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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Dr. Daniel Hofstetter, P.E.

Assistant Professor, Agricultural Operations Management

Dr. Daniel Hofstetter is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Operations Management in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).

Dr. Hofstetter earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Technology from the University of Delaware in 1997. He worked in agricultural industries until 2009, then went back to school to earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 2011 and 2017, respectively. He has twelve years of professional experience designing agricultural machinery and facilities necessary to install pumping, processing, and handling equipment on dairy farms across the United States. He also has a wealth of experience with computers and technology, and many practical skills such as building hydraulic circuits, electrical wiring, welding, fabrication and assembly, operating farm equipment, and troubleshooting.

Dr. Hofstetter is keenly interested in smart agriculture and recent advances in technology that have made microcontrollers, sensors, CAD, 3D printers, cameras, computer hardware, and simulation software widely available and affordable for teaching and field research. His past research experience includes development of yield monitors for mechanically harvested vegetable crops, compression of baled herbaceous biomass energy crops, and using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to identify strategies for reducing hazardous gases inside animal barns during forced air safety ventilation of manure pits. Recent work includes a poultry health study using custom dust and ammonia generation systems with monitoring and control instrumentation he developed using electronic components and 3D printed parts. His current research involves using artificial intelligence (AI) with video cameras to detect and characterize animal behavior in barns in response to the indoor environment.

Dr. Hofstetter believes hands-on instruction is an important part of the learning experience, and he frequently draws from his professional experience and research projects to illustrate practical applications for course concepts in the classroom and during labs. Hands-on experience makes us better engineers and managers because it gives us a deeper understanding of tasks involved and time and costs required to complete projects. It also gives us an appreciation for work done by others and an understanding of what is needed to effectively communicate with farm workers, growers, facility managers, contractors, technicians, architects, engineers, safety professionals, veterinarians, equipment suppliers, and manufacturers across a wide range of industries.

Dr. Hofstetter is currently teaching courses about electrical power and instrumentation, sustainable agricultural systems, global sustainable energy, and agricultural construction and maintenance. Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills to apply concepts and technology to solve real-world problems in modern production systems with a focus on resource efficiency and sustainability.

Contact Information 


Room 263 at Frazier-Rogers Hall

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 110570
Gainesville, FL 32611-0570

  • Education
    • Ph.D. Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 2018

    • M.S. Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 2011
      (Graduate Minor in Computational Science)

    • B.A.S. Engineering Technology, University of Delaware, 1997

  • Professional Experience
    • 2022 – Present
      Assistant Professor, Dept. of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
    • 2015 – 2022
      Assistant Research Professor, Pennsylvania State University
      Extension-Researcher, Animal Welfare, Pennsylvania State University
    • 2012 – 2015
      Research Assistant, Manure Pit Safety, Pennsylvania State University
    • 2011
      Instructor, Power Transmission, Pennsylvania State University
    • 2010 – 2011
      Graduate Assistant, Pennsylvania State University
    • 2003 – 2009
      Lead Engineer, Nutrient Control Systems, Inc.
    • 1999 – 2003
      Agricultural Machinery Specialist, McLanahan Corporation
    • 1998 – 1999
      Precision Ag Specialist, Royster-Clark
    • 1997  1998
      Research Assistant, University of Delaware
  • Publications
  • Other Professional Activities
    • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 
    • Florida American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers 
    • Alpha Epsilon