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Dr. Prasanta K. Kalita

Consortium Director and Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Department of Agricultral & Biological Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: pkalita@illinois.edu

Dr. Kalita is a professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, and the Presidential Fellow of the University of Illinois System. A Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and Indian Society for Agricultural Engineering (ISAE), his research areas include water resources management and environmental sustainability, food security, and water quality. Dr. Kalita is widely recognized for his excellence in teaching, research, and international engagement; he has worked extensively in educational development and capacity building, water resources, food production, and food security issues around the world. 

Dr. Alan C. Hansen

Professor Emeritus and Machine System Specialist

Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: achansen@illinois.edu

Dr. Hansen’s research creates innovative solutions to improve the operation of off-road machine systems. He led ASMC in Phase I towards establishing innovation hubs and field hubs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. He has facilitated the development of appropriate-scale technologies for smallholder farmers, especially women, targeting sustainable intensification of food production benefiting the local environment and economic well-being of rural communities.

Dr. George F. Czapar

Associate Dean and Director of Extension Emeritus

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: gfc@illinois.edu

Dr. Czapar's research and extension programs focus on addressing the environmental impacts of agriculture. His work includes developing best management practices to reduce pesticide, sediment, and nutrient losses from agriculture.  As the former Director of University of Illinois Extension, he seeks to expand the role of Extension and outreach to share research results and practical information to diverse audiences.  He is interested in youth engagement and adapting the 4 -H model for international development.

Leyton J. Brown

Project Manager

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: ljbrown2@illinois.edu

Leyton serves as the Project Manager for the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium. He coordinates all project activities, administration, research monitoring, communications, and knowledge management efforts. Leyton holds a B.S. and M.S. in Technical Systems Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While a student at UIUC, he had the opportunity to travel abroad to New Zealand, South Africa, and Senegal. In accompany with his academic career, he has also engaged in a vast array of agricultural operations. He is now able to apply the technical and management skills that he has obtained through his unique set of experiences as the Project Manager for the ASMC. 

Dr. Alex E. Winter-Nelson

Director of ADMI, Associate Dean for International Programs, and Professor of Agricultural Economics

Department of Agriculture & Consumer Economics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: alexwn@illinois.edu

Dr. Winter-Nelson applies economics to better understand how we can alleviate poverty and hunger in some of the world’s most disadvantaged places. He works in Africa and Asia to examine what technologies, policies, and programs are most effective in enabling poor people in rural areas to move themselves from poverty into economic security. He examines the constraints on the adoption of new agricultural technologies by small-scale farmers whose livelihoods depend on finding sustainable ways to intensify their production. As Director of the ADM Institute for Prevention of Postharvest Loss he also supports activities related to combine harvesting and postharvest management.

Dr. Hope C. Michelson

Assistant Professor

Department of Agriculture & Consumer Economics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: hopecm@illinois.edu

Dr. Michelson studies the dynamics of poverty and food security in low-income countries where market failures are a fact of life. One of her key subjects is the interaction of international development efforts with local and large-scale agribusiness. She investigates how small farmers respond to the expansion of international supply chains, the sourcing of agricultural products, and the buying and selling of agricultural inputs. With her expertise in agricultural economics and international development, she will help evaluate the effects of the technologies on small farmer welfare, production, and investment.

Maria Jones

Gender and Youth Coordinator and Associate Director of ADMI

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: mjones10@illinois.edu

Maria is a multifaceted development professional with a passion to empower smallholder farmers, especially women and youth, to access social innovations and services that lift families out of poverty. Maria serves as the Gender and Youth Co-PI for Phase 2 and has been with ASMC since 2018. She has experience with different USAID food security programs spanning program management, implementation, conducting research assessments, and facilitating workshops. Her areas of expertise include: gender integration, youth capacity building, scaling adoption of early-stage technologies, social-enterprise strategy development, and organizational capacity building. Maria holds an MBA from the Gies College of Business and an MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Dr. Ajit K. Srivastava

Professor

Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering

Michigan State University

Email: srivasta@msu.edu

Dr. Srivastava’s research interests lie in agricultural mechanization. He has published extensively in this area including a textbook titled, Engineering Principles of Agricultural Machines. He has served as the Burkina Faso country coordinator for the ASMC Phase I project and has developed technologies such as a solar-powered two-wheel tractor, and a solar drip irrigation system to grow crops during the dry season. He will be serving as the coordinator of the ASMC West Africa Innovation Hub in Senegal. In addition to coordinating activities such as technology innovation, scaling, gender and youth engagement, and capacity building, he will be collaborating with ASMC partner institutions/organizations to meet the goals and objectives of the project.

Dr. Timothy Harrigan

Associate Professor
Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering

Michigan State University

Email: harriga1@msu.edu

In Phase I, Dr. Harrigan aided in developing an improved in-line conservation tillage ripper to conserve protective crop residue, a maize planter suitable for low-disturbance tillage, and a small-scale forage chopper to improve year-around forage availability for dairy cattle and draft animals. His team strategically addressed constraints from lack of planter availability, poor performance, and high-cost by building the capacity of local blacksmiths to design, build, evaluate, and repair the planters. Building blacksmith capacity ensured the sustainability of the planter beyond the project lifetime and ensured that farmers' had local access to skilled labor for equipment repair and maintenance. In Phase 2, he aims to work towards redesigning farming systems in a way that balances higher productivity, environmental sustainability, and gender equity.

Dr. Nanda P. Joshi

Associate Professor and WorldTAP Food Safety Program Director

Michigan State University

Email: joshin@msu.edu

Dr. Joshi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science (ANS), College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Michigan State University (MSU). His research interest is in animal agriculture and its impact on the livelihoods of small farmers globally. In ASMC Phase I, he provided training in animal nutrition focusing on feeding strategies for draught animals. He will be providing training in feeding strategies for draught animals and participate in research program related to animal nutrition.

Dr. Ranjani Krishnan

Ernest W. & Robert W. Schaberg Endowed Chair in Accounting

The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management

Michigan State University

Email: krishnan@broad.msu.edu

Dr. Krishnan's research focuses on issues related to managerial accounting, cost behavior, and performance measurement. She teaches courses in financial accounting, managerial accounting, strategic performance measurement, operational performance management, health care accounting, and value chain analytics, in Undergraduate, Masters, Executive MBA, MBA, PhD, and executive education programs. She has also worked on corporate training programs with Fortune 500 companies. She has experience in class-room, hybrid, and online teaching formats.

She has prior work experience with The National Dairy Development Board and rural development NGOs in India. Her grass-roots work in Western India includes: (a) founding a social enterprise to generate income for women in rural, tribal and urban slum belts, (b) establishment of micro-credit societies, and (c) design of rural health infrastructure including training of barefoot doctors. Additionally, she has experience in project finance and capital budgeting for cooperative and NGO organizations. Recently, at MSU she is involved with development projects related to business and technology training in Burkina Faso and Senegal.

Dr. Manuel Reyes

Research Professor and Agroecological Engineer

Kansas State University

Email: mannyreyes@ksu.edu

Dr. Reyes has been coordinating ASMC’s initiatives in Cambodia. The team has improved on an Australian designed drill, modifying it to a no-till seed drill, tested a land leveler, and a broadcaster. With imported conservation agriculture machines, these Cambodian made machines are marketed to conservation agriculture service providers and farmers. In addition, many tools for conservation agriculture on commercial vegetable home gardens were tested, with tools recommended based on soil type and fabricated by local artisans. In Phase II, Dr. Reyes will coordinate profitable engagement of the private sector to rapidly spread appropriate conservation agriculture machinery and tools, which will change the Cambodian countryside, in Battambang, from a soil degrading conventional tilled system to a soil health enhancing conservation agriculture production system.

Dr. Niroj Aryal

Assoicate Professor

North Carolina A&T University

Email: naryal@ncat.edu

Dr. Aryal serves as a Co-PI with expertise in environmental conservation and sustainability. He earned his M.S. in Biosystems Engineering and PhD in Biosystems and Environmental Engineering from Michigan State University. His research interests are in agricultural conservation practices, water quality and hydrology. Dr. Aryal will contribute to the formulation of Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework for implementation and assessment. He will focus on the sustainability of the introduced technologies specifically with respect to the environmental footprint.