Stand Up and Holler for ABE

Mark Your Calendars for Gator Nation Giving Day on February 17th, 2022!

On February 17th, 2022, The Gator Nation will Stand Up and Holler for its 4th year in a row. The annual Stand Up & Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day is a 24-hour, all-day fundraising event, calling on the University of Florida (UF) alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and families and friends to come together to support UF and all of its areas of positive impact in our state, nation and world.

With the help of our incredible donors, last year the UF Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) Department received 55 gifts for a total of $12.2K! This year in 2022, UF ABE has a goal to achieve 65 gifts in a total of 24 hours! With your help, we can create an innovative teaching space that will further the mission of ABE!

ABE Teaching Building

The ABE Department will once again put its Giving Day efforts toward its new ABE Teaching Building. This new state-of-the-art space will not only provide Agricultural Operations Management (AOM) and Biological Engineering (BE) students top of the line teaching equipment but will prepare them to become successful professionals.

This teaching building will have two hands-on, experiential learning classrooms. One will be dedicated to our Agricultural Operations Management students and provide hi-tech facilities with modern equipment and flexible work areas. The other will serve our Biological Engineering students as a maker space for course labs, senior design, competitions, and other engineering activities.

Current facilitates, such as the Agricultural Operations Management teaching building, lack the basic elements of a nationally ranked academic institution. Most nationally ranked ABE departments have designated areas for students to explore design and other hands-on activities. This is a significant limitation to our undergraduate program as our AOM and BE students aren’t able to develop technical and soft skills at the highest level. Today’s classes incorporate a wide range of technologies from more traditional machinery and equipment to computers, robotics, and sensors. To attract, retain, and develop the best students, there is a need for a teaching building, facilities, and infrastructure that meet the demands of the 21st century.

Collection of four images showing the future ABE Teaching Building.

Match Gift In Honor Of Dana Eller

J. David Eller, ABE Alumnus ’64, next to the first 60inch Hydraflo water pump he built, pumping about 120000 gpm.

Last year for Giving Day, ABE Alumnus Dana Eller and his family matched all gifts made to this fund dollar for dollar up to $5,000 total. This year, he will do it again in honor of his father and fellow ABE Alumnus J. David Eller.

David Eller was an accomplished student in ABE during his time at UF and a generous contributor to the department and the discipline throughout his life. He served as Chairman of the Board for MWI Pumps and oversaw the company’s long-term objectives and relationships with long-established customers, banking relationships, and several international organizations. As a licensed professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in engineering and management, David conducted seminars around the world educating other engineers and organizations on how to use advanced pumping technologies to accomplish their objectives. The idea for using Hydraulic power to run our axial flow water pumps came from one of his classes at UF when he was introduced to hydraulics and hydraulic motors. He is also the author of the well-publicized paper How to Substantially Increase Food Production in the Developing World.

Along with Dana Eller’s matched gifts, will be several naming opportunities within the new teaching building. One of the opportunities is for Dr. Wendell Porter.

Wendell Porter Naming Opportunity

Since 1994 Dr. Wendell Porter has been instrumental in leading the AOM undergraduate program through teaching and advising. Building on the strong foundations, he moved the AOM program forward for generations of students. For decades Dr. Porter taught courses in the old AOM shop, and in honor of his retirement a group of AOM alumni are pursuing a naming opportunity for Dr. Porter in the new teaching building to carry his legacy forward. The naming will depend on the amount raised in his honor, with an aspirational goal of naming the AOM lab classroom. This much-needed space will provide a new dimension to the ABE student experience reflective of Dr. Porter’s impact, and the future of an agricultural and biological engineering program at a Top 5 public university.

Wendell Porter, Senior Lecturer Emeritus

Coming Together

As UF ABE Gators, you understand the importance of our mission to create synergy between science and engineering. The goal to improve and sustain agricultural and biological systems for future generations begins with the students. The skills that AOM and BE students develop are essential in making this a reality yet teaching skills can only be effective to the extent that facilities are accessible. The individual skills, team-building skills, entrepreneurship, and design innovation such a teaching facility brings will develop workforce-ready students.

Your donation of any size will help make this building and naming a reality. The project’s total cost is estimated at $2.6 million. At UF ABE, we hope you will help us champion this state-of-the-art facility, not only for the current faculty and students but for our future engineers, managers, specialists, and leaders for years to come.

If you would like to know more about this project, please email Kati Migliaccio at or visit our ABE Teaching Building information webpage. For more information about space and building naming opportunities, and ways you can make a tax-deductible gift, contact Cody Helmer, Executive Director of UF/IFAS Advancement, at



Posted: February 2, 2022

Category: Agriculture, Clubs & Volunteers, Curriculum, Events, UF/IFAS, Volunteer/Training
Tags: ABE, Agricultural And Biological Engineering, Agricultural Operations Management, Biological Engineering, Gator Nation Giving Day, Stand Up And Holler, UFABE

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