76th Annual Agricultural Technology Exposition Held at NDSU

2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at NDSU. Since its opening in 1924, it has worked hard to train students in “the development and transfer of knowledge or information resulting in usable, economical, and sustainable technologies for enhanced production and utilization of agricultural [resources],” according to the purpose statement on the department website. Though the official centennial and celebration will be during the upcoming fall semester, the ABEN department has held several events to celebrate in the months leading up to the actual anniversary.

One such event was the Ag. Tech Expo held at Ladd Hall this past Saturday, where students in the department showed off their research projects. Each student team created a poster board summarizing their research and then displayed it for the industry professionals, parents, faculty, and staff who attended to learn about what the student teams had been working on over the course of the past year.

Students who participate in the Expo form teams and choose research topics that fall into several different divisions related to agricultural technology. The teams then research those topics and organize what they learn into presentations, which they display at the Expo to demonstrate the knowledge they’ve gained in their chosen field, with the added bonus of having the chance to win a small scholarship sponsored by different businesses or individuals in the community.

The Ag. Tech Expo has been held annually since 1948, making this its 76th year. All students with ABEN majors are required to participate at least once for credit, as well as students with Precision Agriculture Management or Agricultural Systems Management majors. Since students work as teams, it is a good way for them to practice teamwork and communication, which will prepare them well for the working world.

Participating in the Expo is a good way for students to gain experience in their field and to show any future employers that they have good organizational and research skills. One of last year’s winners, Ben Van Berkom, is quoted in an article on the ABEN department site, saying “One thing I really enjoyed about this project is the learning I was actually able to do as I presented it. I learned more presenting it than I did while I was preparing it.”

The Ag. Tech Expo was followed by a banquet in the Memorial Union Ballroom, where students presented their research on agricultural technology and scholarships were given out to winners in the Expo for Grand Champion, Reserve Champion, Division Champions, Freshman Champion, and Senior Design Champion. After the banquet, retired ABEN faculty members Elton Solseng and Vernon Hofman gave speeches on the achievements and growth of the ABEN department over its hundred-year history.

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