The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) today announced the selection of six respected certified crop advisers and agronomists to serve as ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoys for the 2024 growing season.

Chosen through a rigorous selection process, the six agronomy and crop specialists commit to the year-long program, offering Illinois soybean farmers valuable insights, advice, and real-time updates via the ILSoyAdvisor Field Notes blog and Online Crop Report. The Soy Envoy program, sponsored by the Illinois Soybean checkoff program, helps empower Illinois farmers with the latest soybean production techniques, helping them achieve higher yields and increased profits while conserving the environment.

Named to the 2024 Envoy class are:

  • Eric Beckett, Urbana, IL: Field Agronomist for Illini FS and Certified Crop Adviser. His expertise encompasses a wide range of agronomy areas including weeds, crop management, cover crops, fertilizers, on-farm trials, and precision farming.
  • Drew Beckman, Streator, IL: Northwest Illinois Regional Field Agronomist for Beck’s Hybrids and Certified Crop Adviser. He is leading a research project that examines the correlation between SCN egg count levels and their impact on PI88788 versus Peking yield.
  • Karen Corrigan, Goodfield, IL: Co-Owner and Certified Crop Adviser at McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics Additionally, she holds the position of Full-time Instructor at Heartland Community College. Her expertise lies in the specialization of weeds, herbicides, and pest management.
  • Craig Grafton, Monticello, IL: Product System Scientist at Bayer and Certified Crop Adviser. He specializes in breeding systems within corn and soybeans.
  • Kelly Robertson, Benton, IL: Owner and Lead Agronomist at Precision Crop Services LLC, and Certified Crop Adviser. He specializes in soil fertility, precision management, and variable rate (VR) seeding.
  • Shelby Weckel, Thomasboro, IL: Sales Agronomist for Ehler Brothers Seed and Certified Crop Adviser. Her primary focus lies in implementing effective farm management strategies to optimize soybean production. Weckel specializes in the areas of weeds and insects.

“We’re thrilled to introduce six Soy Envoys for this year’s program, spanning the entire growing season from April to October,” said Stephanie Porter, CCA and ISA Outreach Agronomist. “ILSoyAdvisor Soy Envoys actively engage with soybean farmers in the fields on a daily basis. This program not only serves as a networking opportunity for learning from fellow agronomic professionals but also as a platform to exchange valuable soybean knowledge and information among ourselves as we serve soybean farmers across the state.”

As part of their assignment, the Soy Envoys will submit written blog articles, record in-field video updates, and share crop reports from across the state. Soybean farmers can learn more about the Soy Envoy program and the production-related information Envoys share throughout the year by visiting or follow the Soy Envoys on X (formerly known as Twitter) and Facebook.

“Our Soy Envoy program supports Illinois soybean farmers by providing them information to achieve sustainable growth and profitability,” said ISA CEO John Lumpe. “It’s almost like having an entire team of soybean production experts gathered in your machine shed ready to answer your questions or provide the latest insights based on actual field conditions.”

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and government relations efforts, while the membership program, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) and the Illinois Soybean Growers PAC actively advocates for positive and impactful legislation for farmers at local, state and national levels. ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean farmers through promotion, advocacy, research and education with the vision of becoming a trusted partner of Illinois soybean farmers to ensure their profitability now and for future generations. For more information, visit the website and

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About the Author: Kelsey Litchfield

Kelsey Litchfield is the Agronomic Outreach Specialist for the Illinois Soybean Association. In her role, she manages ILSoyAdvisor media platforms and assists the agronomy team with events and field days. A native of Rio, IL, Kelsey earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017 where she double majored in Agricultural Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

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