Dr. Stout was born on a wheat and cattle farm in Nebraska, USA in 1932. He has over 50 years of experience in agricultural engineering and has been deeply involved in international applications. He has served as a Farm Power and Machinery Specialist for FAO in Rome, Director of a 3-yr USAID study of agricultural mechanization in Equatorial Africa, Campus Director of USAID Agricultural Research Project in Mali, and Key Consultant to the UNDP/ICAR sponsored energy center at the Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India. He has also had short term assignments in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Latin America. He has authored or edited eight books on mechanization and energy management in agriculture and has also published over 140 papers in technical and popular journals. He was a faculty member at Michigan State University from 1955-1981 and served as Chair of the Agricultural Engineering Department for five years where he directed a broad program of engineering applications in agriculture-- mechanization, structures, irrigation, and food processing.
Dr. Stout joined the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at Texas A&M University in 1981. His program expanded beyond the technical aspects of engineering to focus on management and a number of social and ethical issues. He was co-principal investigator of a NSF project entitled, "Beyond the Large Farm: Ethics and Agricultural Research" and also a project entitled, "Risk Assessment: Implications for Agricultural Research". He served as coordinator for a B.S. program in "Agricultural Systems Management" from 1987-90. He was Speaker of the Faculty Senate at Texas A&M University in 1990-91 and advised the President of TAMU on all matters of concern to the 2500 faculty members. He was Director of the branch campus of Texas A&M University in Koriyama, Japan for 2? years. He retired from TAMU in 1998.
In 1999/2000, Dr. Stout served as President of CIGR, the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, a global network serving agricultural engineers in about 100 countries. He has visited a total of 70 countries in his long career. Since 2003, he has spent 2-4 months each year as a Visiting Professor at the China Agricultural University(CAU) in Beijing. At CAU he works with students and faculty interested in renewable energy and mechanization. Since 2009, he has also served as Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences(CAAMS) and in 2012 he was designated as Visiting Professor at the Shenyang Agricultural University.
He is a Fellow in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers(ASABE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS), and the International Commission of Agricultural Engineering(CIGR). In 1986, he received the ASAE Kishida award for "outstanding contributions toward food and fiber production, improved living, and education of people outside the USA". In 1988, he was elected as a member of Academia dei Georgofili, an Italian Honorary Society. In 2001, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the University of Nebraska, Department of Biological Systems Engineering. In 2002, he received the Max Eyth Medal from the German Society of Agricultural Engineering "in appreciation for his great contribution to the technical development of harvest machines and in the field of renewable energy helping to improve the world food supply and to protect the environment", in 2003 he received the McCormick-Case Gold Medal from ASAE for his "exceptional and meritorious engineering achievements in agriculture", and in 2004 he was named a "Distinguished Alumnus" by the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Michigan State University. In 2011, his work in developing the once-over mechanical cucumber harvester was designated an ASABE historic site at MSU.