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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Veenstra welcomed as new Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department head at OSU

STILLWATER, Okla. – It has been nearly four decades since John Veenstra joined the Oklahoma State University family. Over the years he has become a staple within the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Veenstra welcomed as new Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department head at OSU

John Veenstra

Veenstra started as an assistant professor in 1980 and worked his way up, serving as the head of the School of Civil Environmental Engineering from December 2007 through August 2016. He then joined in the OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as interim department head.

That interim tag was recently lifted as Tom Coon, DASNR vice president, announced Veenstra will be officially taking over the title as department head.

“I am extremely pleased with the leadership Dr. Veenstra is providing in biosystems and agricultural engineering to strengthen our programs and to guide the department as we meet new challenges,” said Coon. “I’m confident that under his guidance, BAE will continue to educate our students for the workforce and provide high quality Extension and research programs.”

Veenstra brings a plethora of engineering experience and expertise to the department, which prides itself in preparing the best and brightest students for the workforce as agricultural engineers.

“(An agricultural engineer) is a person who is able to apply engineering principles to many of the essential elements (food/fiber/energy/water) of existence for civilization,” Veenstra said. “It’s a very important field and contributes significantly to improving the quality of life for countless numbers of people.”

Many BAE students may already be familiar with Veenstra.

“Students in this department are well-integrated into two colleges at OSU -- the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology,” Coon said. “BAE students receive instruction from nationally recognized faculty in both colleges and to have Dr. John Veenstra in the ag college brings our leadership and programs even closer together.”

The collaboration between departments and colleges is a blueprint for success, and Paul Tikalsky, dean of the OSU School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, knows what the faculty, staff and students of biosystems and agricultural engineering can expect from Veenstra.

“John is an experienced leader who will work with the faculty in the biosystems and agricultural engineering department to advance its mission,” said Tikalsky. “He’s a student-centric head who will be a consummate advocate for them.”

His one year serving as the interim department head gave Veenstra a good feeling about the direction the department is going.

“The future of the department is bright and covers a wide spectrum of knowledge areas. We will seek opportunities to collaborate with others to capitalize on these strengths and move the department forward,” he said. “People around the country within the biosystems and agricultural engineering discipline know all the many contributions OSU has made to this field.”

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REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
157 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490

Fax: 405-744-5739

Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000

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