Dec. 20, 2021

New chair to join agricultural and biosystems engineering


Leon Schumacher will join NDSU as chair of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. His appointment began Jan. 3.

“We are very excited for Dr. Schumacher to begin his role as department chair in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering,” said 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.

“I feel that the agricultural and biosystems engineering team is perfectly poised to help augment the digital revolution that is changing today’s agriculture,” said 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.

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 his bachelor’s degree and Master of Science in agricultural education and vocational education from NDSU, and his doctorate in agricultural education and agricultural mechanization from Iowa State University.

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