Election to Fellow is one of the highest distinctions an ASABE member can achieve. Recognition by peers is a superlative honor. Thirteen new ASABE Fellows were announced at the 2017 Annual International Meeting in Spokane, Washington. In this issue and in the next three issues of Resource, we shine the spotlight on these honorees. The ASABE Constitution establishes that “a Fellow shall be a member of unusual professional distinction, with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to, the field of agricultural, food, or biological engineering. A Fellow shall have had 20 years of active practice in, or related to, the profession of engineering; the teaching of engineering; or the teaching of an engineering-related curriculum. The designation Fellow shall have honorary status, to which members of distinction may be elected, but for which they may not apply. Admission shall be only after a minimum of 20 years as an active Member-Engineer or Member of ASABE.” Congratulations to these new ASABE Fellows! Sreekala G. Bajwa, Professor and Chair, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, was honored for her outstanding research in precision agriculture and biocomposites, stakeholder engagement, academic leadership, and service to agricultural and biological engineering. Bajwa’s research has two main goals: creating value-added products derived from agricultural waste streams, and using aerial remote sensing in agriculture. Bajwa built a research program in biocomposites to remove products from agricultural waste streams, which has led to new commercial products in various industrial materials. Bajwa’s work in precision agriculture and the application of remote sensing to predict crop yield, monitor crop condition, and monitor soil characteristics are major technical contributions. Pictured here: Sreekala Bajwa at an NDSU Field Day. Edward M. Barnes, Senior Director, Agricultural and Environmental Research Division, Cotton Incorporated, Cary, N.C., was honored for advancing the cotton industry and for his contributions to agricultural and biological engineering. At Cotton Incorporated, Barnes removed barriers to adopting precision technologies for cotton producers and helped farmers adopt better water management tools. He has led efforts in the modernization of cotton harvest systems and facilitated the use of radio-frequency identification technologies for tracking cotton modules from the field to the gin. Barnes has focused on simplifying precision management for site-specific agricultural producers, leading to improved sustainability while minimizing costs to producers and minimizing environmental impacts. Barnes developed a national interdisciplinary precision cotton working group that coordinates research and facilitates information sharing. This group has developed protocols for the use of precision agriculture technologies for onfarm testing and helped facilitate the use of sensors in cotton breeding. Pictured here: Barnes in a high cotton (Australian type) field. Christopher L. Butts, P.E., Research Agricultural Engineer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Dawson, Ga., was honored for his expertise in postharvest peanut processing, reducing costs while preserving quality throughout the value chain. Butts has had a diverse career, encompassing the areas of on-farm storage and grain drying, solar energy, feedstocks for biodiesel, irrigation scheduling, decision support systems, and processing peanuts from the farm gate to the manufacturer’s loading dock. Butts is regarded as a world leader in peanut harvesting, curing, storage, and handling. He was part of a team that successfully introduced the use of semi-trailers converted into peanut drying trailers and adapted drying techniques for large batches in the humid American Southeast. He has also improved peanut drying through the creation of Peanut Curing Management software and developed algorithms for setting optimum drying temperatures. These techniques have reduced post-harvest losses as well as the energy required to dry, store, and handle peanuts. Pictured here: Butts, center, “talking peanuts” on the Georgia Peanut Tour. Mark Casada, P.E., Research Agricultural Engineer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Manhattan, Kan., was honored for his contributions to science and education related to grain aeration, modeling, and storage. Casada is a pioneering researcher in grain-based food and feed supply chains, resulting in innovative commercialized technologies. His work in improved storage and transport methods for a variety of crops has led to reductions in post-harvest and shipping-related losses. Casada has developed novel recommendations that prevent moisture and fungal issues during shipment of bulk peanuts and potatoes and has led research on grain aeration management practices, monitoring methods, and system requirements to account for the effects of humid air on the aeration of wheat, which has determined the engineering design and management requirements for effective use of aeration. He has also created management practices for insect control in empty grain bins using propane heat treatment. Pictured here: Casada with his wife Sheryl at their daughter’s wedding.
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