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Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


International Drainage Hall of Fame inductees honored at 2023 ASABE Conference

Aug. 8, 2023
Dr. Dan Jaynes and Charlie Schafer (L to R)

Last month, at the 2023 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, the 2022 International Drainage Hall of Fame inductees Dan Jaynes and Charlie Schafer were honored by their peers.

The International Drainage Hall of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the development and use of drainage in agricultural production. The award was established in 1979 at Ohio State in honor of the late Professor Virgil Overholt, who dedicated 42 years to education and research on agricultural drainage in Ohio. The award is administered by the International Program for Water Management in Agriculture at Ohio State, Columbus, Ohio.

"The meeting was a nice mix of scientists that have influenced and been influenced by Dan and Charlie and some history of the key roles that Dan and Charlie have played in advancing conservation drainage and the Conservation Drainage Network," said Chris Hay, Senior Environmental Scientist with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Environmental Programs and Services team and one of the presenters at the meeting. "It was a treat to have both Dan and Charlie there, and especially since Dan wasn’t able to be there for the ceremony at the International Drainage Symposium, it was nice to be able to have the opportunity to honor him and Charlie again with this special session."

Dr. Dan Jaynes graduated from Penn State University (PhD, agronomy), University of Wisconsin (MS, soil science), and Monmouth College (BA, physics). His scholarly contributions include understanding soil hydraulic properties; nutrient and pesticide fate and leaching; soil and crop yield variability; artificial drainage; simulation model use, development, and improvement; and water management practices that affect nitrate leaching. His research work has had practical applications, impacting water management practice adoption and policy decisions. 

Charlie Schafer graduated from Ellsworth Community College with a concentration in farm operations/management. His work has been important to the success of subsurface drainage innovations, leading to multiple patents for water control structures and contributing to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Practice Standards for Drainage Water Management, Denitrifying Bioreactors, and Saturated Buffers. His work and service on numerous government and nonprofit advisory groups and committees has helped to advance the science of drainage and increase the prominence of conservation drainage practices. 

"Dan and Charlie have both been real leaders in conservation drainage," said Hay. "Charlie and Agri Drain have given us many of the tools we use for conservation drainage and Dan has been a key player in the science supporting the practices, as well as developing saturated buffers as a practice."

The ASABE Annual International Meeting provides a forum for 1500+ attendees to expand awareness of current industry trends, promote and acknowledge innovations in design and technology, and provide opportunities for professional development – all with a focus on the economic, political and societal impacts facing the industry. 

View the Overholt International Drainage Hall of Fame website to view all of the inductees.