BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Kristofer Ehler, Thomasboro, Ill., is the first honoree in a new Illinois soybean checkoff-funded program to recognize Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) who excel in helping farmers improve soybean production. Ehler received the CCA Soybean Master Adviser award in Peoria Feb. 16 as part of the ILSoyAdvisor.com Soybean Summit, sponsored in part by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA).
“Among the many talented crop advisers in Illinois, Kristofer Ehler is clearly one of the most dedicated when it comes to soybean management,” says John Longley, Aledo, Illinois, farmer and ISA Production and Outreach Committee chair. “He is well deserving of the first CCA Soybean Master Adviser award.”
Ehler advises farmers as part of his sales and agronomy role at Ehler Brothers Seed, a 50-year-old family business serving East Central Illinois. A CCA since 2002, Ehler calls himself a “soybean nerd” due to his passion for achieving high yields. He encourages growers to plant full-season soybean varieties, conducting yield trials to demonstrate how early planting can increase yields by as many as eight bushels per acre.
His online community on Facebook, “The Pursuit of 100+ Bushel Soybeans,” has more than 500 followers. Ehler has an associate degree from Parkland College and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business/crop science from the University of Illinois.
“I’m extremely honored to receive this award because I’m so passionate about soybeans,” says Ehler. “It’s exciting to see Illinois back on top as a soybean-producing state. Our state’s 59 bushel-per-acre average yields last year are creating a lot of buzz and excitement. We’re getting growers to think differently about soybeans.”
ISA started the CCA Soybean Master Adviser award program last year as part of its mission to help Illinois soybeans farmers excel in the global marketplace. The award acknowledges the significant role that 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 Ehler as the winner from among CCAs nominated from across the state.
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 Soy Envoys. These specialists blog about soybean management on www.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.
— Illinois Soybean Association
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