BLOOMINGTON, ILL – February 4, 2022 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) presented its ILSoyAdvisor Awards at the 2022 Soybean Summit event on February 1 at the I Hotel in Champaign, Ill. The two awards are one way that ISA recognizes and shows its appreciation of Certified Crop Advisers across the state.
Jennifer Jones was awarded the 2022 Soybean Master Adviser award. Jones was recently hired as an Agronomy Manager for ISA where she works on behalf of Illinois soybean farmers in the development and implementation of conservation agricultural research and outreach programs.
“Receiving the 2022 Master Soybean Advisor award is truly an honor to me,” Jones says. “There are so many excellent advisors in the state and to even be considered for this award is very meaningful.”
Jones earned a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Science in Agronomy degree from Purdue University.
In her former role as Watershed Outreach Associate for the University of Illinois Extension, Jones developed working relationships with local partners within the watershed, such as farmers, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Illinois Farm Bureau to motivate and educate farmers and landowners to voluntarily adopt conservation practices to improve water quality and soil health.
The Soybean Master Adviser Award was created as a way to recognize one special CCA each year for their passion for soybean management.
Dan Schaefer was awarded the Dave Rahe Excellence in Soils Consulting award, after being nominated by his coworker and peer, Jason Solberg.
Schaefer, of Tolono, IL, is currently the Director of Nutrient Stewardship for the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association. He spent 30 years in the ag retail business as an agronomist and plant manager for Illini FS. Schaefer worked directly with growers on improving their yields through agronomic practices and recommendations, and assisting the University of Illinois with on-farm research to improve nutrient efficiency.
“I reluctantly accept this award because I can think of 10 individuals that I work with that I feel would be more deserving,” Schaefer says. “I am thrilled to be getting an award and I am appreciative of it, but I accept on behalf of others who work heavily in soil and water conservation, soils consulting, and other dedicated CCAs who work alongside farmers everyday.”
He holds a Master of Science degree in Agronomy from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Professional Agronomist, a CCA, and a 4R Nutrient Management Specialist. Dan was named CCA of the Year in 2010 by the Illinois Farm Bureau and Farm Leader of the Year in 2018 by The News-Gazette.
Schaefer hopes his time and efforts as a CCA will help farmers begin to adopt and incorporate conservation practices into their own operation, something he feels many are reluctant to do.
This is the second year ISA has presented this award honoring Dave Rahe, a former ILSoyAdvisor CCA Soy Envoy who passed away suddenly in April 2020. During his year as an Envoy, he authored blogs for ILSoyAdvisor covering topics such as soil compaction, micronutrient management, cover crops, and more. In addition to writing for ILSoyAdvisor, he wrote his own blog, Observations in Agriculture. ISA is grateful to honor his legacy in this way.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org and ilsoygrowers.com.