Agricultural Engineering is the area of engineering concerned with the design, construction and improvement of farming equipment and machinery.
Agricultural engineers integrate technology with farming. For example, they design new and improved farming equipment that may work more efficiently, or perform new tasks. They design and build agricultural infrastructure such as dams, water reservoirs, warehouses, and other structures. They may also help engineer solutions for pollution control at large farms. Some agricultural engineers are developing new forms of biofuels from non-food resources like algae and agricultural waste. Such fuels could economically and sustainably replace gasoline without jeopardizing the food supply.
While agricultural engineers may develop specialties, most are involved in certain core activities. For example, most professionals design and test agricultural machinery, equipment, and parts. They may also design food storage structures and food processing plants. Some may design housing and environments for livestock.
Those interested in sustainability may provide advice on water quality and water pollution control issues. They may also plan and oversee land reclamation projects on farms. Others may be involved in agricultural waste-to-energy projects and carbon sequestration (absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the soil, crops and trees).
- The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) (http://www.asabe.org) - Helps professionals share ideas, stay current, keep their skills fresh, and advance their careers. The society has 8,000 members in over 100 countries throughout the world.
- The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) (http://www.nspe.org) - Represents licensed PEs across all disciplines, as well as those currently working on their licensure. It helps engineers navigate the licensing process, and serves as the authority on ethics and professional practice.
- International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) (http://www.cigr.org/) - The largest global body of its kind, they are a global organization that brings together the worldwide community of Agricultural Engineering professionals. They represent private and public bodies, and national organizations.
- European Society of Agricultural Engineers (EurAgEng) (http://www.eurageng.eu/) - The European Society of Agricultural Engineers promotes the profession, public awareness and research. They are highly active, taking part in conferences all over the continent. They are one of the signature members of CIGR.