The University of Illinois brought out some heavy hardware to honor one of its eminent agricultural specialists. Stu Ellis has more in this morning’s report From the Farm.
Gary Schnitkey is ubiquitous in agricultural circles, not just in Illinois but across the Cornbelt. And the farm management specialist now wears the honor of Illinois Soybean Industry Chair in Agricultural Strategy.
Dean Kim Kidwell
There is a sum of money that we actually put into an endowment and we use the interest to support the research. They beauty of it is we have the money into perpetuity, so from here forward we’ll have a soybean-endowed chair in the College of ACES. Its absolutely essential for sustainability and it gives us some options to provide funding for excellent people like Gary to do amazing work.
Illinois Soybean Association CEO Craig Ratajczyk says this initiative is a function of the soybean checkoff.
So it is really bringing people together and looking at these challenges we’re facing over the next 5 years. We know right now economically things are tough; but we are not positive we see a lot of light at the end of this tunnel, so we need Gary to really get people together, work with our board, work with our organization and really try to determine what can we really be doing better for the soybean producers in this state.
Gary Schnitkey says his research will now focus on the future…
I am still going to be a farm management specialist but we are going to think a little bit about the future. Maybe 5 to 10 years out in the future, preparing farmers for those changes that we see coming in the future and dealing with, you know for example, digital agriculture and sustainability issues that we are more likely to face more of in the future and spend more of my time thinking how we are going to deal with that in agriculture.
That’s our report from the Farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.