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Niles, Donald E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 48, Number 3 (November 1943)

Hagen, Hobart I.
Agricutural [sic] engineering,   pp. 6-7

Page 7

Jut CAlala4d1 9. Acaew 49     '"44
  The Department of Agricultural Engineering was founded about 1900, and
the present Engineering building was
completed in 1905. It is of engineering interest that this structure was
the first reinforced concrete building on the
campus. The late Prof. E. R. Jones was chairman of the department from 1918
until 1937 when Prof. F. W. Duffee,
the present chairman, succeeded him.
  The agricultural engineering course was non-technical innature and consisted
of the required credits in agriculture
and in addition the major studies in agricultural engineering.
  This commercial major or non-technical course is still offered and is primarily
designed for those students who
are inclined toward engineering and desire to return to the farm or to take
positions as agricultural agents, farm man-
agers, or to enter the farm equipment business.
  Today there is also a professional major. Because the College of Agriculture
and the College of Engineering are
on the same campus, Wisconsin is enabled to train and develop technical Agricultural
Engineers, who receive Bach-
elor's degrees in both Agriculture and Engineering. It takes five years to
complete the combined course, but it is well
worth the price.
  The first student to graduate from the combination course was Russel L.
Perry in 1926. However, it was not until
1928 and 1929 that the enrollment began to take on appreciable proportions
and has been on the incline until the
outbreak of the present conflict. It reached about 60 at the start of the
  Upon the completion of four years of required work, including 45 credits
in agriculture, the B.S. Agricultural De-
gree is granted, with a B.S. Degree in Civil, Mechanical, or Electrical Engineering
after the fifth year, if all the re-
quirements for these degrees have been met.
  Among the required courses in the Agricultural College are Agronomy, Animal
Husbandry, Soils, Agricultural Bac-
teriology, Agricultural Economics, and fifteen credits of Agricultural Engineering,
which includes Farm Power and
Machinery, Farm Surveys and Structures, Farm Mechanics, Tractors and Tractor
Machinery, Soil Erosion, Drainage
and Irrigation Engineering, Special Problems and Seminary.
  Practically all courses including both Agriculture and Engineering are
required as listed.
  Members of the Agricultural Engineering department include: Prof. F. W.
Duffee, chairman, who specializes in
farm power and machinery; Prof. 0. R. Zeasman, soil erosion and drainage;
Prof. S. A. Witzel, farm structures;
Prof. F. B. Trenk, extension forester; Prof. H. D. Bruhn, extension farm
power and machinery; Prof. M. J. La Rock,
extension, farm structures; Prof. R. C. Swanson, farm safety specialist who
recently became a member of the depart-
ment and has been assigned director of the farm safety program; and assistant
N. E. Rather, who completed the tech-
nical Agricultural Engineering course last semester.
  The American Society of Agricultural Engineers was founded in the Agricultural
Engineering building, December
27, 1907. Throughout the school year all agricultural engineering students
function as a student branch of this organ-
  It is essential that an agricultural engineer should have the same basic
engineering training that is required of other
professional engineers; yet he must have a training in and an understanding
of agriculture that other professional en-
gineers have not and will not acquire.
  Technical Agricultural Engineers are trained for the research departments
of farm implement companies and the
agricultural engineering departments of other State Colleges, for directors
of rural electric lines, for the more eco-
nomical construction of farm buildings, and for improved design of drainage,
irrigation and soil erosion control works.
  Farm implement companies need engineers who know the requirement and problems
connected with doing a farm
job. Having had a thorough scientific background in agriculture, they are
specially qualified to design and develop
new machines for the various tasks on the farm which are labor saving and
economical. Equipment must also be de-
signed very often for a new type of work, arising from achievements of research
workers in Agricultural Experiment
Stations. For instance, when it was discovered that molasses or cornmeal
was a good preservative for grass silage it
was up to the agricultural engineer to design the proper equipment to distribute
the preservative evenly with adjust-
ments for control.
  The Agricultural Engineering departments of state agricultural colleges
continually do research work in farm build-
ing construction and design. In this way they are prepared to offer a great
service to farmers in helping them in their
building problems. These engineers, through their knowledge of agricultural
economics and farm requirements, know
what is the most desirable for each individual and can advise them wisely.
  Likewise, the agricultural civil engineer, who specializes in drainage
and irrigation, will have a better knowledge of
his work as far as adapting it to the special needs of the type of soil or
the crops grown is concerned.
  Wherever there is a correlation between agriculture and engineering, the
agricultural engineer is specially trained
for that job. The future looks bright for him. Food to be produced in quantity
must be backed up by the neces-
sary farm implements, soil control and the comforts for the farm family.
N OV EM B ER, 1943

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