Seventeen students studying agricultural and biosystems engineering, precision agriculture, agricultural systems technology, agronomy, mechanical engineering and construction management and one faculty member, recently attended the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, Feb. 15-18.
Since the show was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were eager to make the trip and meet with industry professionals in person.
“The students were able to take in and observe all the latest and greatest of the ag world, like the newest equipment from all of the major dealers,” said Kristin Stuckey, program coordinator and advisor for the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. “They were also able to network, which was a major component of the trip. Each student had their own business cards so they could connect with ag professionals from the different companies that were there since our students work with so many of them in their internships.”
The show floor included over 900 exhibitor booths representing the agricultural equipment industry’s top brands from across the globe, new product launches, and alternative energy solutions to problems the industry is faced with today.
By attending the show, students in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering/Agricultural Systems Technology/Precision Agriculture (ABE/AST/PRAG) Club were exposed to cutting-edge agricultural equipment and had the opportunity to network with industry professionals in their chosen field of interest.
“I got to meet a lot of people and explored some job opportunities that were out there,” said Andrew Mairose, a senior agricultural systems technology student from Kimball, and president of the ABE/AST/PRAG Club. “It opened my eyes to possibilities that I didn’t know were available—my major takeaway was that it’s never a bad thing to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people.”
Mairose also added he would like to extend a thank you to the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering for sponsoring half of the trip and providing them with this opportunity.
Industry experiences like this provide students with an opportunity to expand upon their education in the classroom and gain exposure to opportunities available to them after graduation. Students are then able to acquire a better idea of what type of career they want to pursue and what steps to take to prepare for their future occupation.
“It’s always good to get real-world experience,” said Carson Kahler, a senior agricultural systems technology student from Sherburn, Minnesota. “Coupling our education and having the opportunity to talk to people who are doing the things we want to do helps us to recenter our focuses so that we can better prepare ourselves for what we want to do after our time at SDSU.”
About the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering:
The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering focuses on preparing students to improve the world’s food chain and available natural resources. The department gives students and scientists the resources necessary to generate innovative ideas and build rewarding careers through teaching, research and SDSU Extension efforts. The department offers degrees in agricultural and biosystems engineering, agricultural systems technology and the nation’s first four-year precision agriculture degree program. Cutting-edge research in the 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 SDSU Extension outreach.