BLOOMINGTON, ILL – APRIL 8, 2022 – The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has named its ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy class for the 2022 growing season.
Funded by the Illinois Soybean checkoff program, the Soy Envoys represent a partnership between ISA and Illinois Certified Crop Advisers. The Soy Envoys commit to a one-year term to contribute actionable information, advice and in-season updates via the ILSoyAdvisor blog to support Illinois soybean farmers in their goals of increasing yields and profits while minimizing environmental impact.
“The ISA agronomy team is excited to work with the new class of Soy Envoys across the state,” says Director of Agronomy Abigail Peterson. “Each one of them will provide new insights that will help our farmers with best management practices, regionally.”
This year the program has expanded to include more than just Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and now includes a wide variety of agricultural professionals to bring a broader array of information to Illinois soybean growers through ILSoyAdvisor.
The 2022 Soy Envoys are:
Jeff Shaner – Shaner of Sheldon, Ill., has been an agribusiness professional for over 30 years, including his role as Soybean Product Lead at the AgVenture Seed Company which he as served since 2001. His job keeps him involved with people and crops across approximately 20 states. A graduate of Lanark High School and the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, he served as a past president of the Soybean Division of the American Seed Trade Association. Jeff and his wife, Mandi, have four children.
Kathryn Kamman – Kamman of Momence, Ill., is a Certified Crop Adviser and Market Development Specialist for Winfield United. In her role at Winfield United, she advises retail sellers on the best agronomic practices to maximize yield and ROI through data-backed seed, crop nutrient, and crop protection products. Kamman earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomy and a Master of Science with an emphasis on soybean production from Purdue University. Kamman resides with her husband and daughter where they farm corn, soybeans, and wheat on a fourth-generation family farm.
Weston Olson – Olson of Peru Ill. is an agronomist with BioLumic, which treats soybean seeds with UV lights to increase yield and vigor performance. He specializes in treating seeds, maintaining field trials, advising his company on best agronomic practices, working closely with trial providers, and collecting vital data from field trials. He manages and runs a multi-generation farm in Bureau County, and holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy management from Illinois State University. The farm manages no-till planting and cover crops on limited acres. Over the past two years, their soybean yield has increased by 28 percent using up-to-date farm practices.
Chelsea Harbach– Harbach of Knoxville Ill., of has been a commercial agriculture educator with University of Illinois Extension since August of 2019. Prior to joining the Extension, she earned her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Microbiology from Iowa State University where she spent four years working with the soybean cyst nematode. Before going to study at Iowa State, she earned her master’s degree at the University of Illinois working in the National Soybean Disease and Pest Research Laboratory on several different soybean maladies. Her passion for the study and education of plant diseases has deep roots in soybean production. Chelsea looks forward to being in the 2022 ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoy cohort, specifically to share and discuss soybean diseases and disorders affecting Illinois farmers.
Brad Zimmerman – Zimmerman of Groveland, Ill., is an agricultural consultant who has spent the last seven years “geeking out” on all-things agriculture. His passion is plant nutrient uptake efficiency. These are exciting times to be in agriculture and with the focus shifting to the importance of biology in our cropping systems, growers are continuing to grow higher yields with greater profitability. With an associate’s degree in biology and a bachelor’s degree in business management, he is active as Director for the Tazewell County Soil and Water Conservation District, a participant in the Precision Conservation Management program and soil health champion, and a Certified Crop Advisor. Brad farms in Tazewell County, with a focus on cover crops and soil health. Using cover crops for the last seven years, he has learned through successes and failures alike, and looks forward to sharing his experience as a Soy Envoy.
Ben Wiegmann – Wiegmann of Nashville Ill., is a Certified Crop Advisor as well as a Field Agronomist for Beck’s Hybrids in Southern Illinois. He specializes in advising farmers in agronomic practices, fertility, chemical and seed genetics to maximize yield potential and economic return on investment for farmers’ operations. Wiegmann holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in crop sciences from the University of Illinois.
Visit ILSoyAdvisor.com to learn more and read updates from the Soy Envoys.
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.