Our Society History
A journey that began in 1958...

A journey that began in 1958 as the Canadian Agricultural Engineering Society. Soon after that, the official publication of the Society became Canadian Agricultural Engineering with C.G.E Downing being appointed as editor. The first volume was published in January of 1959. The Journal articles were presented at the Agricultural Engineering Section of the Annual Meeting of the Agricultural Institute of Canada in Wolfville, NS in June of 1958.  J.E. Beamish served as the first President along with H.D. Ayers as Secretary-Treasurer.

The Society represented a mutual interest between engineering and agrology. Both professional engineers and agrologists came together in the Society to apply science to the interrelationship between the two disciplines (Beamish, 1959). It is interesting to note that the Agricultural Engineering Society founders realized that, to achieve an acceptable place in world trade, Canada would need to focus on the efficiency of agricultural production.  Also, the Society members realized that modern progress must be based on education, and that  ‘Agricultural Engineering Education must relate machinery, irrigation, and building design to the needs of business, industry and agriculture’ (Beamish, 1959).

Today, we have diversified as a Society. The mission of CSBE-SCGAB has shifted to advancing the application of engineering principles and practices to biological systems for the production of food, bioproducts and energy.

The evolution of our society from its beginnings in 1958 to CSBE-SCGAB as it is today is presented below in the form of a condensed timeline (members are invited to correct any errors, and suggest other important milestones by contacting the Society Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.):

1958      Canadian Agricultural Engineering Society formed

1959      Volume 1 of Canadian Agricultural Engineering published

1960      Name changed to Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineering

1960      163 Charter members

1969      Introduced position of VP Technical - R.S. Broughton

1969      Introduced position of VP Regional - K.W. Domier

1971      Inaugural CSAE-CSSBI Award presented to John E. Turnbull

1973      First CSAE-SCGR Fellows named (Jim Beamish and Glenn Downing)

1977      Inaugural Canadian Agricultural Engineer of the Year Award presented to W.Carson

1977      Inaugural Maple Leaf Award presented to Len Staley

1977      CSAE-SCGR Incorporated June 29

1987      Formal association with Agricultural Institute of Canada ended

A big step for CSAE was to part ways with AIC and explore an affiliation with ASAE. In 1985, Ed Brubaker (AIC Rep) , Frank Kains and John Ogilvie (Pres Elect) flew to Ottawa to speak with the AIC CEO and their president .  John Ogilvie as president elect (forward planning)  did a study for CSAE on the relationship to AIC and ASAE . Further discussion at our AGM confirmed the split in our membership where something like 65-75% were PEng and 25-35% were PAg with some both PEng and PAg. The membership gave Council the authority to negotiate with ASAE on some arrangement to replace the services provided by AIC. These were: holding the mailing lists, dealing with annual invoices but nothing to do with editing the journal publication. In 1986, CSAE got encouragement from the membership to make a pitch to ASAE Annual meeting from Jimmy Butt, then VP of ASAE.  As a result, on one bright September morning Ron Britton, Frank Kains and John Ogilvie set out for St Joseph, MI, to initiate the affiliation with ASAE.


Discussing the partnership between CSAE/SCGR and ASAE and services provided by ASAE. Standing: Franklin Kains (85-86 Dir Ont CSAE), Ron Britton (85-86 Pres Elect CSAE), Jimmy Butt (VP, ASAE) Sitting: Mark Zielke (ASAE Staff), Wayne Maley (ASAE Exec. Dir.), Dorothy Fountain (ASAE Staff), John Ogilvie (85-86 Pres CSAE)

1987      The signing of the official MOU was at the ASAE meeting AGM in California by Don Allen (86-87 President CSAE) and Bill Stout (Pres ASAE)

1997      Introduced position of Webmaster - J. Ogilvie

1997      Adoption of tag-line:’ The Canadian Society for engineering in agricultural, food and biological systems/ La societe canadienne de genie rural, alimentaire, et biologique’.

2003      Introduced position of VP Industry - D. G. Hodgkinson

2004      Name changed to Canadian Society for Bioengineering/La Societe Canadienne de Genie Agroalimentaire et de Bioingenierie

2006      Introduced position of VP Membership - O. G Clark

2009      The journal began using the Open Journal System for submission, review, and acceptance of the manuscripts enabling the decentralization of the handling of the submissions.

2011      The journal papers from Volume 1 to 30 were scanned, OCR processed to make them searchable and posted online.

2013      The journal was registered with CrossRef and began assigning Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) for the published papers making them highly visible and widely accessible.

2014      The rest of the journal papers from Volume 31 to 42 were scanned, OCR processed to make them searchable and posted online. The entire collection is available online.


  1. Beamish, J.E. 1959. A New Society. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 1(1): p1.
  2. CSAE-SCAB History – J. Ogilvie – Personal Communication
  3. CSAE-SCGR. 25th Anniversary Edition. 1983. J. Pos. Editor.

Historical documents

A Brief CSBE History (to 1983)

Engineering in agriculture, Food Production and Bio-Resource Systems: A Vision for the 21st Century. 1995. Hugh Fraser, John Higgins, Don MacAulay, Eric Norris, Ralph Winfield, Martin Wrubleski

A Brief History (to 2004)


Presidents of CSAE/SCGR and CSBE/SCGAB - 1958 - Present

2023 Orsat, Valerie
2022 Adamowski, Jan
2021 Chen, Ying
2020 Madramootoo, Chandra
2019 Agnew, J.
2018 Mann, D.
2017 Mann, D.
2016 Raghavan, V.
2015 Tessier, S
2014 Clark, G
2013 Predicala, B
2012 Zhang, Q
2011 MacDonald, R
2010 Prasher, S
2009 Hodgkinson, D
2008 Lemay, S
2007 Kok, R.
2006 Sokhansanj, S.
2005 Feddes, J.
2004 Choiniere, Y.
2003 Jayas, D.
2002 Kushwaha, L.
2001 Kushwaha, L.
2000 Ghaly, A.
1999 Nyborg, E.O.
1998 Townsend, J.S.
1997 Barrington, S.F.
1996 Leonard, J.J.
1995 Watts, K.C.
1994 Higgins, J.C.
1993 Darby, D.E.
1992 Savoie, P.
1991 Linkletter, G.A.
1990 Wrubleski, M.
1989 Norum, D.I.
1988 Misener, G.S.
1987 Britton, M.G. 
1986 Allen, D.A. 
1985 Ogilvie, J.R.
1984 *Reed, W.B. 
1983 *Staley, L.M. 
1982 *Feldman, M. 
1981 Barlott, P.J.
1980 Desilets, D.J.
1979 *Zoerb, G.C.
1978 Laliberte, G.A.
1977 Pos, J.
1976 *Clark, D.E.
1975 *Lapp, H.M.
1974 Broughton, R.S.
1973 *Robinson, R.L.
1972 *Brubaker, J.E.
1971 Domier, K.W.
1970 *McEachern, J.C.
1969 *Dodds, M.E.
1968 *Theakston, F.H.
1967 *Downing,C.G.E.
1966 *Frey, R.P.
1965 Hudek, E.P.
1964 *Symes, O.L.
1963 *Roberts, J.A.
1962 *Anderson, D.T. 
1961 *Ford, R.F.
1960 *Stephanson,B.T.
1959 *Frey, R.P.
1958 *Beamish, J.E.

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