Aggie Insights
    VOLUME 5 | ISSUE 1 January 2007     

In This Issue


Event Listings



USU Alumni Spotlight - Conly Hansen

Conly Hansen

Professor Conly Hansen has spent decades studying ways to rid farmers of their agricultural waste. Now he’s doing much more than just studying.

Professor Hansen, along with his brother, Carl, and business partner, Ed Watts, have created a special kind of recycling plant that creates electricity from cow manure. The three men run a company called Andigen that is working to install these recycling plants with their anaerobic digesters around the U.S., Canada, and even Africa.

How it all works is the anaerobic digesters process the manure, producing methane gas. This gas is then pumped into an engine where it is converted into electricity. The electricity can then be used to power the plant itself, the farm, and even sold back to the utility company. Whatever material that is not digested can be used as nutrient-rich compost.

Presently, Andigen has plants in Idaho and Utah, with more planned for sites across the U.S. and Canada.

Hansen hopes to soon see a plant go up in Niger, Africa as well. Three years ago, word of the recycling plants reached the people in Niger. A man named Salaou Garba began writing to Hansen expressing his interest. Garba, who does not speak English, traveled to Salt Lake City somewhat unexpectedly with no American money and no place to stay. Garba was finally able to make it to Logan and, with interpreter Pungu Okito’s help, discuss the possibility of constructing a recycling plant in Niger. Garba was also able to meet with other USU faculty members to learn about other agricultural issues, such as animal husbandry and irrigation.

Although the waste-to-energy plants would be extremely beneficial for Niger, the technology is not cheap. But through Garba’s persistence, he secured $250,000 from the World Bank to help make this recycling plant idea a reality.

Professor Hansen is well acquainted with the agricultural way of life. He grew up on a farm in Utah before attending Utah State University. He graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering, and then earned a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from the Ohio State University.

Hansen eventually returned to USU and began teaching in the Department of Nutrition & Food Science in 1985. Since 2004, he has also served as the director of the Center for Profitable Uses of Agricultural Byproducts.

He says he came back to Logan because it seemed like there were good opportunities to do research at Utah State. Also, the level of cooperation among faculty members and departments was a big plus.

Outside of his research and work, Hansen first and foremost enjoys spending time with his family. But the professor is also an avid skier and snowboarder, though his favorite pastime is paragliding off the mountains of Utah.

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USU to Help Train Iraqi Farmers

Aggie Pride in Iraq - taken in 2004

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $5.3 million to assist a consortium of universities in the rebuilding of Iraq’s agricultural base. The consortium, led by Texas A&M, includes Utah State University, New Mexico State University, Washington State University, and the University of California at Davis.

The universities will help train Iraqi nationals how to run agricultural enterprises, addressing issues such as crop production, animal health, and irrigation technology. Most of the training will take place in neighboring Jordan.

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A President Comes to Campus

photo provided by USU's Special Collections and Archives, Merrill-Cazier Library

Flags still fly at half mast as a nation mourns the passing of former U.S. President Gerald Ford. While many recognize him as a great man and leader, his connection to Utah State University is far less known.

In June of 1974, then Vice President Gerald Ford spoke at Utah State’s Commencement, where he also received an honorary doctorate of Political Science. Prior to that, Ford stopped by USU to visit a student in the College of Natural Resources. That student was Jack Ford, President Ford’s son.

Betty Ford, President Ford’s wife, also left her mark in Utah State University history as she participated in the ribbon cutting of USU’s Women’s Center.

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Help USU Build a Legacy

As the snow falls on Old Main, the Office of Admissions’ focus is turned to the upcoming semesters. The goal is to meet the needs of the future, and who better to help fulfill this goal than fellow Aggies?!

The Office of Admissions’ mission of involving alumni in recruitment efforts is two fold: 1) increase the enrollment and retention of students, and 2) involve alumni volunteers in the active promotion of the University. There are several ways that alumni can perpetuate their legacy as Aggies, and Admissions is here to help preserve that heritage.

What alumnus wouldn’t be proud to have children and grandchildren continue the true blue tradition? There is a certain pride that accompanies “legacy” students as they embark in their own aggie adventures. One of the best ways alumni can participate in recruitment efforts is by gathering names of high school and transfer students in their area who are legacy. Likewise, the names of any outstanding student will be well received at the university. Sending these names to the Office of Admissions is as easy as going online and filling out the “Refer a Prospective Student” link. Rest assured that a staff member from Admissions will be contacting these students to answer what ever question they might have, and to inform them of opportunities at Utah State.

Alumni involvement can be a vital part of recruitment. The University has so many opportunities for those who are willing to volunteer. We want our alumni to be well educated and trained, so they can feel comfortable fielding any questions that might come their way. Visiting the admissions/alumni website is the most efficient way to see how to utilize your skills. On the “Volunteer to Recruit” link, you can request information that explains how to host a USU reception in your home, offer students advice about their college choice, visit students at local high schools, and many other recruitment options.

February 1st is the scholarship application deadline for the fall 2007 semester. To be considered for scholarships, applicants must be admitted to the Utah State University Logan Main Campus with the intent to graduate from USU. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis. That means money is awarded as Admissions receives scholarship applications. Get those applications in as soon as possible!

It takes an Aggie to know an Aggie, and the Office of Admissions is always looking for your help. Your relationship with, and example to, prospective students will be the gateway that leads future Aggies to a lifetime of tradition. Through our combined efforts, we hope to enable future students to experience all that Utah State University has to offer.

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Utah State Magazine Winter Issue Now Online

The winter issue of Utah State magazine is now available online. Inside is more on Professor Hansen and his work converting manure to energy.

Click here to read the latest issue.

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Back to the Buzzer


A-day 1943. Chief project of the day was moving the Block "A" from the mechanic arts building to the library.


Utah State University Alumni Relations sponsors many exciting events throughout the year. To keep informed about the most current ones, visit often.

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Read the Classnotes


Read the Obituaries

Chapter News

January 12
Western Washington Chapter event

January 20
Pre-game Party at San Jose State (Northern CA Chapter)

January 27
Pre-game Party at University of Nevado Reno (Northern Nevada Chapter)

February 16
Salt Lake County Sweetheart Dinner at Archibald´┐Żs Restaurant at Gardner Village

More information on the pre-game parties is available at

For more information about alumni chapters and to find the chapter in your area, visit

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Alumni Basketball Tipoff Parties

Alumni Association Tip-off Parties have been announced, for the most up to date information visit the Tipoff Page.

Aggie Baller Jaycee Carroll Impressing on a National Scale

Jaycee Carroll

Last season, he was good. This season, he’s even better.

Junior guard Jaycee Carroll is quickly emerging as one of the best players, not only at Utah State, but in the nation. Carroll ranks first in the WAC and ninth in the nation in scoring with 22.7 points per game. He also ranks 22nd in field goal percentage, though the 21 players ahead of him are all forwards or centers, making Carroll the top shooting guard in the country.

More impressive stats for Carroll include top 35 rankings in scoring, field goal percentage, three-point shooting, and free throw shooting; the only player in the nation to do this. He is also attempting less than 13 shots per game while averaging 1.76 points per field goal, both of which earn him the top spots in the country.

At USU, Carroll ranks 22nd in scoring and is the school’s all-time leader in three-point shooting percentage.

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Travel Opportunities

Costa Rica Discovery Vacation

Costa Rica

February 21 - 28, 2007
Costa Rica is a little of the Garden of Eden and Jurassic Park all rolled into one. It offers incredible beauty, black and white-sand beaches, volcanoes, rugged rivers and friendly people and all sorts of activities from bird watching, sightseeing of its pristine beauty, exciting adventure such as zip-line excursions through the jungle, whitewater rafting, volcano hiking and much more. Costa Rica is spectacularly beautiful and it offers the vacation experience of a lifetime.

For more information on upcoming alumni travel events, visit or call the Alumni Relations office at (435)797-2055.

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