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Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

SDSU Quarter Scale Team Continues Their Success at International Tractor Design Competition

group picture of 1/4 Scale Team members
2019 ASABE International Quarter Scale Student Design Competition Team

Congratulations to the Jackrabbit Tractor Team for placing overall second at the ASABE International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, IL! The team has consistently excelled in the pulling and presentation categories for three years in a row, and this year, they brought home the awards for manufacturability and maneuverability. Way to go, Jacks!

Photo: SDSU Quarter-Scale Tractor Team named Overall Secondat the 2019 ASABE International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, IL. Team members and advisors include, from left to right: Jeff VanderSchaaf (advisor), Megan Bodin, Michael Hansen, Brian Prchal, James Kellen, Ty Grone, Collin Endres, Tate Ketelhut, Luke Schemm, Logan Goslee, Jeremiah Dooyema, Joshua Irvin, Douglas Prairie (advisor), Tia Muller, Joe DeBoer, Levi Wicks.

Not pictured: Advisor Aaron Franzen; Members Jesse Kramer and Craig Santema. 

Cutting-edge science to feed and fuel the future

The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering focuses on preparing students to improve the world’s food chain and available natural resources.

Our department gives students and scientists the resources necessary to generate innovative ideas and build rewarding careers through teaching, research, and Extension efforts. The Department offers degrees in Ag & Biosystems Engineering (ABE), which prepares students to work with the development and design of systems that impact food sources, and in Ag Systems Technology (AST), which teaches students the practical application of new innovations in the agricultural market. We have also partnered with the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics to jointly offer the first in the nation Precision Agriculture (PRAG) major.

Cutting-edge research in our department spans topics that range from food safety and biodiesel fuel to biofilters and manure odor reduction. Accurate and up-to-date information for the public and industry is provided through our Extension outreach and includes information about irrigation, farm safety, and outdoor air quality, as well as rural handicap-accessible issues and other key topics in the realm of agriculture and biosystems.


Precision Agriculture student Taylor Beckstead
Precision Agriculture student Taylor Beckstead

Meet a Precision Agriculture Student!

Precision Agriculture student Taylor Beckstead of Weston, ID, made an impression on his employer, Valley Implement. While doing the grunt work for the company, Beckstead demonstrated a strong work ethic he learned from his father and grandfather: “Work as hard as you can. Whatever they give you, do it.”

Recognizing the long-term positive impact Taylor could have on the company, Valley Implement decided to invest in his future and SDSU’s first-in-the-nation Precision Agriculture bachelor’s degree gained a bright new student. 

When asked about his interests, Taylor is quick to share his passion for getting hands-on and solving problems. He was hired to assist with fabrication, welding, and other duties in the Agricultural Engineering shop, and the job has proven to be an excellent fit while he pursues his degree.

Taylor hopes to become an agricultural mechanic and lead his own team after graduating from SDSU. He said that owning his own store is also appealing. Precision Agriculture required courses such as microeconomics and crop production among numerous others will all help prepare him to achieve his goals.