Hometown: Spring Grove, MN
Agricultural Engineering ,
Charles A. Onstad earned his B.S. and M.S. in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1964 and 1966. He began his career as an Agricultural Engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, MD. He received his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from SDSU in 1972 and worked as an agricultural engineer with the USDA-ARS in Brookings, SD, while completing his degree. He then joined the USDA-ARS office in Morris, MN, where he worked as an Agricultural Engineer for 12 years. From 1978 to 1979, Dr. Onstad was employed as an Agricultural Engineer for the Thames Water Authority in Berkshire, England, where he was involved in the development of a predictive tool to relate river nitrate levels to historical land use. He returned to the USDA-ARS office in Morris, MN, in 1984, and served as Research Leader, Location Coordinator and Supervisory Agricultural Engineer for a 10-scientist unit conducting research on soil management technology. In 1989 to 1992, he worked as Program Manager and Deputy Area Director for Water Quality Research and was responsible for providing leadership to develop the research and implementation plan for the President’s Initiative on Water Quality. In 1994, he became Director of the Southern Plains Area (SPA) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in College Station, TX. Dr. Onstad provided executive leadership to all ARS programs in the states of Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and the Republics of Mexico and Panama.