Kevin Nelson, Ottawa, Illinois, was honored as the 2019 CCA Soybean Master Adviser during the ILSoyAdvisor Soybean Summit, Tuesday, Feb. 5, in Springfield, Illinois. The award is funded by the ISA soybean checkoff to recognize Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) who excel in helping farmers improve soybean production.
“It is very humbling to be named the 2019 CCA Soybean Master Adviser,” Nelson says. “CCA certification has given me the opportunity to help growers find solutions and improve soybean productivity. Being able to help farmers make progress on their farms is why I do what I do.”
Nelson has been a CCA for 24 years and works directly with farmers to help solve soybean problems and increase profitable yields on their farms. A Joliet Junior College graduate, Nelson is a dedicated learner completing over 500 hours of continuing education credits during his career. Nelson is an independent crop consultant at New Ag Center in Monee, Illinois.
“His dedication to continuing education has helped him keep his approach to grower consulting fresh and up-to-date with current trends in research and production,” says Phyllis Coulter, field editor for Illinois Farmer Today.
Nelson is an accomplished writer, sharing his crop production insights in an entertaining and educational way. For the past two years he has served as an ISA CCA Soy Envoy, providing actionable advice through articles on ILSoyAdvisor. He also is a volunteer Cropwatcher for Illinois Farmer Today and provided helpful information for producers during the 2018 season.
“I believe that to be more profitable, soybean growers need to treat soybeans as more than a rotational option,” Nelson says. “New practices need to be researched and adopted as appropriate with positive return on investment.”
Nelson grew up on a livestock operation, and after graduation took a job at a soil testing lab. It was there that he discovered he liked helping producers solve crop production problems.
“Every day is a new challenge and I get to work with growers to find solutions to move their operations forward,” Nelson says. “One of the things that gets me up in the morning is being able to work with producers from diverse backgrounds with diverse methodologies for growing soybeans. Whether it’s a large operation or a smaller one, everyone I work with brings new ideas, solutions and challenges to the table.”
ISA created the CCA Soybean Master Adviser award in 2016 as part of its mission to help Illinois soybeans farmers excel in the global marketplace. The award acknowledges the significant role CCAs play in improving soybean production by offering insight and advice on practices to improve yield and profitability. A panel of ISA board members, Illinois CCA board members and university professionals selected Nelson as the winner from among CCAs nominated from across the state.
“There were a number of nominees for this recognition and I am honored to have received this award,” Nelson says. “Any one of the candidates would be excellent examples of what it means to be dedicated to helping growers succeed. I am honored to be chosen to represent what it means to work for and with growers to improve soybean productivity and profitability.”
In addition to recognizing CCAs through the CCA Soybean Master Adviser award, ISA is expanding opportunities for CCAs to gain knowledge and skills in soybean management. ISA also enlists CCAs to serve as CCA Soy Envoys. These specialists blog about soybean management on ILSoyAdvisor.com, ISA’s agronomy-focused website.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.