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Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

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.



July 9-14, 2017


Natural Resources Engineering - Keeping our water and environment clean with good engineering!


People affect water and the environment in many different ways. Agricultural engineers work to maximize food production efficiency and minimize negative effects agriculture and communities might have on our water and environment. We will explore food production systems, explore ways we affect water and the environment, and focus on design and management strategies to keep them clean.

We will measure our environment in water found in streams, runoff, and groundwater as well as air in the country. We will collect samples and measure what is in the water and air. Students will explore ways to keep our water and air clean using good engineering.

Precision Agriculture - Inspiring the next generation of Precision Ag innovators and leaders!

Precision Ag is an exciting new field in agriculture that takes agronomy, machinery, and ag business, and ties them all together with technology. Ag is no longer backbreaking work but rather a field that requires people who are knowledgeable on multiple subjects and able to problem solve to be able to ensure the global population will have enough food to eat in the future.

Students participating will learn about spatial management and how to make each seed placed in a field produce its maximum yield potential at harvest.  The students will utilize GPS equipped vehicles equipped with auto guidance systems to accurately survey fields and analyze the data collected to determine the best management practices for that particular field at the plant level. Students will get a glimpse into the decisions a farmer must make in a growing season and realize how precision ag systems can better equip the farmer to make those decisions. 


For more information, check out the Fishback Summer Scholar Program website at:



Our students are changing the world of agriculture! Check out the exciting Senior Design projects our students are working on this year:


                                                                              Netwrap and Twine Densification 

                                                                              Cody Myers and Colin LeBrun
Senior design students Cody Myers (Columbus, NE), Colin LeBrun (Dell Rapids, SD), and Grant Bose (Slayton, MN) from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering are working with POET, LLC to assist with the development of a new process which densifies the netwrap/twine waste stream produced at the POET-DSM LIBERTY plant. The new process will need to accommodate year-round operating conditions, accept widely varying material properties, and produce a material stream capable of being pneumatically conveyed to their solid fuel boiler system. Myers, LeBrun and Bose are helping to develop a less energy-intensive process which increases reliability and decreases cost associated with converting corn stover to biofuels.

                                              Testing and Validation of Raven’s Direct Injection Pump System

                                                                    Matt Fritzke and Chandler Jansen
Senior Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students Matt Fritzke (Watertown, MN) and Chandler Jansen (Emery, SD) have partnered with Raven Industries to improve the performance and accuracy of Raven’s direct injection pump system. Raven Industries is based in Sioux Falls, SD, and manufactures precision agriculture and flow control technologies.    Fritzke and Jansen will develop test procedures and corresponding test fixtures to measure actual flow produced by the injection pump under different operating scenarios. Their work will improve the accuracy of applying chemicals to fields to help reduce crop damage and improve chemical effectiveness.

                                                          Feedlot Design for a One-Thousand Head Cattle Operation

                                                                          Christopher Waibel and Lindsay Wallace
Senior Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students Christopher Waibel (Saint Augusta, MN) and Lindsay Wallace (Maple Plain, MN) are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on a cattle feedlot design project. Waibel and Wallace will design a new feedlot area with a full containment system.  The new feedlot will be designed to house 1,000 head and have expandability to 2,000 head.    The feedlot and containment system must be designed within South Dakota Department Environment and Natural Resources (SD DENR) and NRCS criteria. Waibel and Wallace are gaining valuable experience from this real-life project and are getting first-hand exposure to alternative viewpoints, design concepts, designing to meet specific standards and regulations, and carefully considering the economics of design choices. 

Our Mailing Address

Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department

Box 2120, SAE 107

1400 N Campus Drive

Brookings, SD 57007