A new class of soybean experts is ready to provide local recommendations to help Illinois soybean producers increase yields and profits while minimizing their environmental impact. The 2019 CCA Soy Envoys, which are supported by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program, will contribute actionable information, advice and in-season updates via ILSoyAdvisor.com to assist Illinois producers with their goals.

The 2019 class members include:

Brian Gordon – Iroquois County
Gordon is a farm leader in training for Martin Family Farms at their Northfork location, a 10,000-plus sow farm just across the Illinois state line in Boswell, Ind. He is a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) and enjoys helping producers maximize yields and profitability. Growing up on a family farm and seed production business in Rantoul, he now resides in Milford with his family. He is a husband and father to two daughters—Sadie, 9, and Sabrina, 13. Gordon looks forward to the upcoming year and helping producers any way he can.

Dave Rahe – Montgomery County
Rahe specializes in soil fertility, site specific fertilizer application and soil management and is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist, Certified Professional Soil Classifier and 4R Certified Crop Adviser. Rahe is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy. After a 25-year career with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois and Missouri, he began consulting in 2005. He is currently a partner with RPM Soils LLC and resides in Hillsboro.

Jason Carr – McLean County
Currently a technology development representative with Bayer Crop Science, Carr leads agronomic research projects with corn and soybeans focused on creating tailored solutions for producers. Prior to his current role, he spent a decade in soybean breeding with Monsanto as part of a team developing numerous commercially successful varieties in RM Groups 2 and 3. Carr lives in El Paso and holds a master’s in molecular genetics and a bachelor’s in natural resources and environmental sciences from UIUC.

Samantha Schmidgall – Marshall County
Schmidgall is a sales agronomist and CCA for the GROWMARK-FS system. She is based in Toluca, and supports east central Illinois FS member companies—Evergreen FS, Inc. and Heritage FS Inc. She enjoys working with producers to create unique full farm plans utilizing soil testing, fertility plans, seed and chemistry for maximizing yield by environment. She holds a bachelor’s in agriculture business from Western Illinois University (WIU).

Todd Thumma – Whiteside County
A CCA for 25 years, Todd Thumma has been with Golden Harvest and its legacy brands for 15 years. He is passionate about helping Golden Harvest farmers in northern Illinois address corn and soybean field challenges to maximize yields. Thumma is an Iowa State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and ag business. He resides in Morrison.

Tracy Heuerman – Effingham County
Tracy Heuerman has worked within the GROWMARK-FS system for nine years as both a crop specialist and in her current role as a field sales agronomist. She enjoys helping producers maximize return on investment by implementing strategies to increase yields. Raised on a family farm in south central Illinois, Tracy is still involved in growing corn, soybeans and wheat with her family. She holds a bachelor’s in agriculture economics and a master’s in plant and soil science, both from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The CCA Soy Envoy program is a partnership between ISA and Illinois Certified Crop Advisers. CCA Soy Envoys commit to a one-year term with the opportunity to serve a second term if interested. Envoys write and record monthly content for the ILSoyAdvisor blog, participate in the Better Beans Series events and represent ISA at industry events. Visit https://www.ilsoyadvisor.com/on-farm/ilsoyadvisor/cca-soy-envoy to learn more and read recent articles from the CCA Soy Envoys.

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