Transforming Food and Agriculture to Circular Systems

In 2019, under President Sue Nokes, ASABE hosted keynote speaker Joel Makower at the Society's annual international meeting. Makower’s presentation, “From Here to Sustainability,” spurred vigorous follow-on conversations among ASABE members regarding our food and agricultural systems, the need to transform to circularity, and the essential expertise agricultural and biological engineers bring to the process.

From those conversations emerged an initiative being led by ASABE Fellows Jim Jones and Brahm Verma that is growing within and beyond ASABE. A  mini-symposium at the 2021 Annual International Meeting, ongoing webinars, and other events have followed. See below for recordings of past events, recent news, and other announcements.

Mentoring Workshop for Mid-Career Researchers

The Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is hosting a two-day mentoring workshop in Kansas City June 6-8, 2022, for mid-career professionals interested in interdisciplinary research for developing circular biomass-based economy. Attendance is by application only. ASABE's TFACS (Transforming Food and Agriculture to Circular Systems) leadership is working with AAEA, Council for Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America to organize this event.
Applications are due March 15, 2022.  Cost of hotel and meals will be covered, and partial transportation cost will be provided to selected candidates. Participants are expected to be members of one of the organizing professional associations listed above, including ASABE. The workshop is supported by NIFA and the AAEA Trust.

Stay Informed with Online Lecture Series

Join us for our informative Member Hour series of presentations that focuses on various aspects of circularity. 

Scroll down to access recordings of past events, and watch this page for news of the spring 2022 series.

Registration free but required. Non-members welcome. 

All times Eastern


Thursday, September 16, 1 pm 
James W. Jones, PhD, and Sue E. Nokes, PhD, PE
An Introduction to Circular Economies in Agriculture
Watch • Slide Deck • Backgroud Paper by Basso, et al.

Thursday, September 30, 1 pm
Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie, PhD
When Circularity Becomes Central to Our Global Food Security Agenda

Thursday, October 14, Noon 
William (Joe) Sagues, PhD
Coupling Circularity with Carbon Negativity

Thursday, October 28, 1 pm
Stephanie Herbstritt, PhD Student
Waste to Worth: A Case Study of the Renewable Natural Gas Circular Economy in Pennsylvania

Tuesday, November 9, Noon
Keith Kline and Mike Levy, CLE
Circular Economy Standards Initiatives in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO TC323): Status, Issues, Opportunities

Thursday, December 2, 1 pm
Ernie Shea, Kellie Blair, and Bryan Sievers
Farm Scale Circular Systems

Thursday, December 9, 2 pm
Allison Thomson
Circularity Ag Value Chain and the Environment
Learn more

NAE Focus on Complex Unifiable Systems

NAE Logo

ASABE Fellows James Jones, R. Paul Singh, Sue Nokes, and Brahm Verma, as well as ASABE member Bruno Basso, are among the presenters and moderators for the Virtual Forum on Complex Food and Agricultural Systems: Engineering for Sustainability and Resilience, hosted by the National Academy of Engineering.

The forum will review characteristics and challenges of existing systems and the need for various engineering disciplines to converge to lead the transformation of current mostly linear food and agriculture into circular and resilient systems. The forum will also explore needed progress and investment in education, R&D, modeling and analytics, public-private collaboration, and other dimensions.

The forum will take place September 9, from 11 am to 4 pm (eastern time). Registration is free.

ASABE is proud to be a major sponsor for this event.


#ASABE21 Mini-Symposium on Circular Economies

Keynote Presentations

Panel Presentation: Building a Coalition

Panel Presentation: Current Activities for Transforming to Circular Systems