FARGO, N.D. — Leon Schumacher will join North Dakota State University (NDSU) as the of chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. His appointment begins on Jan. 3.
“We are very excited for Dr. Schumacher to begin his role as department chair in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering,” says Greg Lardy, vice president for NDSU Agricultural Affairs. “His innovative work in energy conservation, multi-state teaching and research efforts, and his experience with precision agriculture will be assets to the department, our college and the state of North Dakota.”
Schumacher assumes his role during a time of transition for the department, including the recruitment of new faculty and staff, and a physical move from the department’s current location in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering building to Ladd Hall. In addition to overseeing these transitions, he will lead and support the faculty as they continue to accomplish the department’s goals for teaching, research and Extension.
“I feel that the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering team is perfectly poised to help augment the digital revolution that is changing today’s agriculture,” says Schumacher. “The team is embracing this change, as are our regional, national and international colleagues.”
One of Schumacher’s short-term goals for the department is to develop systems that enable the adoption of smart farm technology in the region.
Smart farm technology is one of Schumacher’s research topics. This summer, he traveled to Germany to develop curriculum and research smart farm technology and has been asked by his German colleagues to present about how the U.S. is adopting changes that will enable the digital dimensions of the smart farm, how the U.S. is extending broadband access to rural communities and how curriculum will be enhanced to prepare the next generation of farmers.
His other research areas include precision agriculture, the Internet of Things (IoT), automated farming systems, and energy conservation, including biodiesel, biomass and ethanol. He also researches curriculum-related issues associated with agricultural systems technology.
Schumacher comes to NDSU from the University of Missouri where he had been a professor and program coordinator in Agricultural Systems Management since 2005.
He earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural education and physical sciences and a Master of Science in agricultural education and vocational education from NDSU, and a Ph.D. in agricultural education and agricultural mechanization from Iowa State University.
The NDSU Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering department’s mission is to advance the productivity of agriculture, the processing and utilization of biological materials, and the sustainability, use and management of environmental resources.
— NDSU Extension