“I love soybeans,” is not a common phrase in Northern Illinois, but soybeans are more popular here now than ever. Farmers are finding them more and more essential every year. I really do love working with soybeans!
My name is Jeff Keifer. I was born near Sugar Grove, about 50 miles west of Chicago. I attended school there, and have been attracted to farming my whole life. I took a little hiatus from Illinois when I moved to Wyoming to attend the University of Wyoming, where I graduated in 2001. Wyoming is far from corn and soybean country, so I followed my heart back to Illinois. I now reside in Cortland, located in eastern DeKalb County, with my wife, Jamie, and my soon-to-be four year old twins.
I started work in that same year at the Elburn Cooperative Company, where I work still today. My job here gives me the opportunity to work very closely with farmers and other industry experts and practice agronomy every day. Aside from my full-time job, my two brothers and I farm what is left of both of my family’s farms in Sugar Grove and Virgil. My real interest in soybeans began in 2008 when I and my then sales manager started a group at Elburn Co-op that we called the High Yield Soybean Team. The purpose of the group, which is made up of about eight growers, was to try some new ideas in soybeans to see if we could boost our yields. In the last six years some interesting things have started to come from this work and we have learned that soybeans have high yield potential. I look forward to sharing some of this with you in the future as your Soy Envoy for the next year. I volunteered for this position because I look forward to helping raise soybean yields for the greater good of our industry and the state of Illinois.
Jeff Keifer specializes in agronomic data and technology at the Elburn Cooperative Company. His job requires him to help his fellow sales team deliver agronomic and technological knowledge to their customers. Jeff is a 2001 graduate from the University of Wyoming with a degree in Agroecology and is glad to be back working in his home area.