Instructor Evan Parker, 45, began taking machines apart as a child and never stopped being intrigued by them.
"Anything that didn't work he could make work, and anything that worked he could make work better," said his son-in-law, Geoff Hasty of Gallup, N.M.
Parker earned his master's degree at USU while also teaching in the ag tech program, driving the 100 miles round trip from his home in Hooper, where he also ran a farm, a repair shop and a ground-leveling firm.
He married his high school sweetheart, Tammy, after returning from an LDS mission. They have six children and four grandchildren.
He's remembered as a man who was never too busy to help a neighbor plant crops or students repair a tractor.
USU named him the Department of Agriculture's Teacher of the Year in 1995; this week he was to receive the Adviser of the Year Award.
"He always had 10,000 projects going at once," Hasty said. "It was almost as if he knew he had to squeeze in 90 years in a short amount of time."
Steven D. Bair, 24, was called the Quiet Giant by his family.
Tall, lanky and mellow, his sister Jennifer says, Bair loved horses and had wanted to be a cowboy since he was a little boy. His goal was to become a farm machine mechanic "and to have cows and horses on the side," his sister said.
Bair grew up on his family's farm in Moses Lake, Wash., and hoped to return there after getting his degree. His only other big venture away from home was an LDS mission to Fort Worth, Texas.
"He'd just keep to himself and work on his project and get 'er done," classmate Tyler Speth remembered.
The orange tractor that is now a makeshift memorial on the USU campus is outfitted with a transmission built by Bair, an agricultural machinery technology major.
Dusty Dean Fuhriman, 22, was a generous man who loved learning, electronics, auto mechanics, and especially digging in the dirt, his mother, Kathy Fuhriman, says.
"He loved the dirt from the time he was just really small," she said, recalling the times they would till the garden together. "He was my buddy from the time he was just really little."
As a youth, the older of two children enjoyed helping his father, Scott Fuhriman, at his ranch in Pocatello Valley, Box Elder County, and was able to handle big equipment, even a backhoe, with ease by the time he was a teenager.
After graduating from Bear River High School in 2001, he earned an automechanics certificate from the Utah College of Applied Technology's Bridgerland campus. He had just started his first semester at USU, where he hoped to learn about turning agricultural products into alternative fuels.
Family and friends remember him for his selflessness and friendship. "He was such a kind, loving person," Kathy Fuhriman said. "He would give anyone the shirt off his back."
Justin W. Gunnell, 24, Wellsville, Cache County, always came to USU's Agricultural Experiment Station with treats in hand and eager to work, remembers Doyle Knudsen, who oversees the animal science farm and crops at the Caine Dairy Center.
Gunnell had completed USU's dairy herdsman program and was working toward a degree in agricultural systems. He talked of becoming a mechanic for John Deere. Still, farming wasn't the Ag Tech Club president's top priority, Knudsen says.
"His biggest concern was his wife. And his next biggest concern was his immediate family, and his next biggest concern was his little blue (heeler) dog."
The Mountain Crest High alumnus married Connie Israelsen after returning from an LDS mission in England.
"Justin was probably about as gentle and kind and courteous and thoughtful as anyone you'd ever meet," his father-in-law, Clark Israelsen, said.
Justin Huggins, 21, loved farming and farm machinery, but it was faith that was the most important part of his life, his father, Clark, says.
"The church was basically first in his life, and baseball was second," Clark Huggins said. "But it was a close tie."
A sophomore in agricultural machinery technology, Huggins had worked on the family farm in Bear River City since his childhood.
He graduated from Bear River High School, then he attended the College of Eastern Utah for a semester before serving an LDS mission in Tampa, Fla.
He played competitive baseball through high school and was a shortstop for the USU club baseball team.
"He really liked agricultural things, the lifestyle it allowed, living out in the country," his father said. "He's just an extremely good boy. . . . He's going to be missed by everybody."
Jonathan D. Jorgensen, 22, Hyrum, "loved to ride horses, he loved to be in the field," his mother, Susan, remembered. "He loved his wife and his family . . . he loved the Lord and he was a good servant."
It was Jorgensen's dream to become a rancher and to raise horses and cattle with his brothers.
He was born and reared in Peoa, Summit County, and was close to his three brothers and two sisters.
Jorgensen was pursuing an agricultural business major at USU after serving an LDS mission in Panama and in Houston, Texas.
Susan Jorgensen says her son enjoyed playing football, wrestling and dancing. He went dancing every week, and that's how he met his wife, Shari Jorgensen, she says. He also loved animals.
"He was always bringing an animal home to tend," his mother said. "He could get animals to do anything . . . he was probably a horse whisperer."
Curt A. Madsen, 23, Payson, is described as a well-rounded man — a good student who could sing and play the piano and who loved the outdoors, trucks, shooting and fishing.
The fourth of five children born to Tamra and Kenneth Madsen, he graduated with high honors from Payson High School, where was in the a capella choir and was involved in FFA.
He enjoyed raising pigs and once won first place in Utah and third in the nation in a meat-judging competition.
Madsen entered Snow College with college credits earned while in high school. He served an LDS mission in Dallas, Texas, before enrolling at USU full-time this fall.
The university reported Madsen as a history major. But his mother says he had not yet determined his life's work, although he did think about becoming an ag teacher, she says.
"He just liked it," she says. "He was well-rounded."
Ryan W. McEntire, 22, loved being outdoors, his mother, Jane, said. "He loved the sunset, the rain, the snow. He enjoyed baseball. The outdoors was his life."
McEntire grew up in West Point, Davis County, and was an agriculture machinery technology major.
He was engaged to be married in December to Emily Kunz. He had served an LDS mission in Seattle and was an Eagle Scout.
"He was wonderful. He always had a big smile," his mother remembered. "He was happy and helpful and made our lives complete."
As classmate Tyler Speth remembered him, "He was one of the best kids I ever knew. He never cussed, and he had his head on straight."
Bradley G. Wilcox, 26, was "a farm boy through and through," his father, Garth, said.
Reared on his family's farm in Prosser, Wash., and in Logan, he loved farming and loved to see how things worked, often tearing machines apart as a child just to see what was inside.
"He just loved everything about it," Garth Wilcox said of his son's childhood helping his family raise hay, grain and cattle.
While attending USU, where he majored in crop science, Wilcox worked on a dairy farm. His goal was to have his own farm.
Wilcox served an LDS mission in Houston, Texas, and married Kimberly Smedly in 2003.
"He loved anything outdoors," his father says. "He loved snowmobiling, hiking, camping, motorcycling. And he loved his wife very, very much."