Professor & Weed Science Extension Specialist
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
While his childhood dream was to dive for treasures hidden in ocean waters, Dr. Hager has been firmly planted on land searching for solutions to managing weeds while fending off resistance. He earned his Master of Science at Michigan State University then his PhD at the University of Illinois.
Raised on a west-central Illinois grain and livestock farm, Dr. Hager has been an integral part of the world-renowned weed science program at UIUC for 30 years. His extension program is keenly focused on addressing the evolving weed management challenges across Illinois farm fields, providing farmers with research-based solutions that are sustainable and economically viable.
Dr. Hager once dreamed of becoming a diver who searched the ocean waters around the globe for lost treasure … until he realized he’s not a strong swimmer! Yet, the water still calls him. His favorite vacation spot is Oahu, Hawaii, where his father was stationed during World War II and he first visited in 1984 for an army reunion.
Back in Illinois, he enjoys woodworking, cloudless evenings on the deck, spoiling his granddaughter and summertime sunset drives along country roads. He’s a lifelong Chicago Bears fan and appreciates watching them on television from the safety of his home after experiencing the intensity of the team’s fans when they played in Champaign during the 2002 season.