For many Illinois farmers, the 2020 Soybean Summit was the last in-person event they attended before COVID-19 brought a quick end to winter agricultural meetings.
This year, the Illinois Soybean Association is hosting virtual meetings on three Wednesdays in February with a mix of workshops for growers and recognition of crop advising excellence.
Kelly Robertson, an alumnus of Illinois Farmer Today CropWatch, was named the first winner of the Dave Rahe Excellence in Soil Consulting Award at the Soybean Summit kickoff Feb. 10.
Robertson, of Benton, who farms in Franklin County in southeast Illinois, is the owner and lead agronomist of Precision Crop Services. He has been a certified crop advisor since 1994, helping fellow farmers make agronomic decisions in areas south of I-70.
Robertson is the first recipient of the new award, named for Dave Rahe, a CCA Soy Envoy for the Illinois Soybean Association in 2019 and popular blogger about soil compaction, cover crops and related issues. Rahe died suddenly at age 64 in April while working on the family farm, according to his obituary.
The 2021 Soybean Master Advisor, also recognized at the virtual Soybean Summit, is Randy Niver of Potomac, Illinois.
Niver, who has been a CCA since 2012, is a technical agronomist for Dekalb Asgrow in east central Illinois. He earned his master’s degree in crop science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2009.
The third installment of the 2021 Illinois Soybean Summit will be held virtually Feb. 24 with panel discussion on ag tech and ther topics including weed, pest and pathogen control.