Welcome to Agronomy Day 2009
Professor and Head
Department of Crop Sciences
Welcome to Agronomy Day 2009, the 53rd consecutive Agronomy Day. Today’s presentations related to the theme “Illinois Agriculture – Change and Challenge” will give you a chance to look at research that will impact Illinois agriculture next year, as well as work that is building toward having an impact 5 to 18 years from now. You will also have an opportunity to hear from our newest faculty and staff in Horticulture. In addition, you will be able to learn the latest techniques to effectively control pests, fertilize your fields, and till the soil to allow you to produce the high yields necessary to meet the large demand for the commodities we produce in Illinois.
Speaking of commodities, our state’s food and agriculture system continues to change to meet the challenges of today’s world. The need for quality and timely information for our clientele is a motivating force behind our research. Cropping systems cover 65% of the land surface in Illinois. Field, food and floriculture crops contribute more than $13.8 billion to the Illinois economy, and animal products another 2.0 billion. Processing industries that transform these agricultural commodities into food, export products, biobased industrial feedstocks, ethanol, and other consumer goods employ many of our citizens and generate a large proportion of state revenue.
Plan to attend the presentation by Colleen Callahan Burns of Kickapoo, Illinois for State Director of Rural Development, at noon on the North side of the Seed House. A native of Milford, Illinois, Colleen has a strong passion for agriculture, a passion developed from her experiences in growing up on a grain and livestock farm. After completing her degree in Ag Communications at the University of Illinois, she spent 30 years communicating the importance of agriculture to central Illinois in her position as Agribusiness Director for WMBD Radio and TV in Peoria. Colleen is one of the most informative and entertaining speakers you will have the opportunity to hear. Her style is unique, never a lecture, but always an enlightened conversation with her audience.
Finally, don’t forget to visit the many displays inside the large orange and blue tent. Interested in possibly becoming a student in Crop Sciences? Find out why NOW is the best time to consider training for a career in plant breeding, and many other plant science related fields. Our current Crop Sciences students will be on hand to tell you about the various courses offered through the program, and the great opportunities that are out there just waiting for our graduates.
This annual event is a partnership among several academic units in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. We’re delighted to have you with us, and hope that you will often return to this premier event.