Western Illinois School of Agriculture Ag Day Basketball Game

western-illinois-basketball-ncaa-2013“Photo Credit: Western Illinois University”

Looking for somewhere to take the kids that’s warm and provides entertainment?

Bring them out to Western Hall on the Western Illinois University campus for the School of Agriculture’s Men’s and Women’s basketball games on February 25th, 2016.

Women’s Leathernecks play the North Dakota State Bison starting at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s Leathernecks play the Fort Wayne Mastodons at 8:00 p.m. Meals will be available during either halftime or in between the games. In addition to great basketball the WIU Ag students invite everyone to participate in educational booths and prize giveaways also during those times. During breaks there will be trivia games and contests the kids can participate in as well. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door that evening.

Womens-Basketball-14Mike-900x878“Photo credit:  Western Illinois University”
  • Adult game tickets: $8 for both games
  • Adult game tickets and meal: $13 (meal includes a drink, 2 slices of pizza, and ice cream)
  • Children, FFA , 4H game ticket: $5 for both games
  • Children, FFA, 4H game ticket and meal: $10 (meal includes a drink, 2 slices of pizza, and ice cream)

Local sponsors of the event are: 1st Farm Credit Services, Papa Johns, Prairie Farms, Sodexo, McDonough County Farm Bureau.

Ag students will be available to visit with the kids, answer questions about how food is raised, and where their food comes from.  My group’s booth is focusing on the different cuts of meat including beef, pork, and poultry. We will be sharing information with our visitors about where their favorite foods come from. We will have posters and brochures on hand to share information with the kids and adults who stop by. Thrushwood Farms Quality Meats, Inc. out of Galesburg, IL has kindly donated beef sticks from their facility to hand out. In addition the Illinois Beef Association and Illinois Pork Producers have donated some free give away items such as recipe pamphlets, pig-shaped erasers, and key chains.

For more information contact me via email at rc-artis@wiu.edu or contact the School of Ag office at (309)-298-1080.


Hello I’m Randall Artis a 2003 graduate of Rushville High School. I attended Spoon River College from 2003-2005 and earned an Associate of Arts. Attended Western Illinois University 2005-2007 and earned a Bachelor of Arts. Enlisted and served in the United States Air Force 2009-2012. Came back to Western Illinois University in 2014 and will graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Ag business.



Athletics, School of Ag’s “Agriculture Day” Feb. 25; Men’s, Women’s Basketball and Ag-Related Activities to Celebrate WIU Traditions

MACOMB, IL — Join Western Illinois Athletics, the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture and the McDonough County Farm Bureau to celebrate the traditions of exciting winter hoops and the impact of agriculture in western Illinois and beyond! At Western Hall, Thursday, Feb. 25 “Agriculture Day” will include a double-header basketball event — WIU Women’s Basketball tips off at 5:30 p.m. and Men’s                Basketball at 8 p.m. — and a number of agriculture-related educational activities and giveaways, as well as a pizza dinner at each game’s half time and between the games, too.
Adults, children and FFA and 4H members who pre-order game and/or meal tickets through the WIU School of Ag (at wiu.edu/cbt/agriculture/basketball/) or purchase from a School of Ag student or in the School of Ag office, will receive discounted ticket prices. Tickets can also be purchased at the information booth at the WIU Ag Mech Club’s 46th Annual Farm Expo Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 6-7. Part of the ticket-sale proceeds will support WIU ag student organizations.

Ticket packages/prices are as follows:

  • Adult ticket, games only: $8
  • Adult ticket, games/meal: $13—meal includes a drink, pizza slices (Papa John’s) and ice cream
  • Children, FFA and 4H members, games only: $5
  • Children, FFA and 4H members, games/meal: $10 — meal includes a drink, two pizza slices (Papa John’s) and ice cream

Tickets purchased online will be available for pick up Feb. 25, inside the main entrance of Western Hall.

“Join us for pizza at either half time or between games, play ag trivia games (for those big and small) and win prizes,” said School of Ag Instructor Jana Knupp. “For those who have questions about agriculture production, both animal and field related, WIU ag students will be on hand to ask and share the facts about the agriculture industry.”
Prairie Farms will donate the ice cream, and 1st Farm Credit Services is the sponsor of prize giveaways at “Agriculture Day.”

For more information, contact Knupp at (309) 298-1246 or via email at JM-Knupp@wiu.edu, or contact the School of Ag office at (309) 298-1080.

Written By: Teresa Koltzenburg (TE-Koltzenburg@wiu.edu)

WIU Ag Students Bring Home First Place Honors from Regional Weed Science Research Symposium; Students’ Research Projects Demonstrate Opportunities WIU School of Ag Faculty/Facilities Offer

MACOMB, IL — As students in the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture, Kyle Russell (Macomb, IL), Krissy Simmons (Ashland, IL) and Ken Tryggestad (Cherry Valley, IL) had different reasons behind the desire to take part in the 70th Annual North Central Weed Science Society Meeting/ Midwest Invasive Plant Network Symposium late last year. They all three agreed, though, that being chosen to attend and present their research results at the 400+ person event was beneficial not only for them as students and agriculture professionals, but their selection as student presenters also demonstrated the learning and research opportunities offered through the School of Ag. 20151208_103011

At the event (which was held in Indianapolis in mid-December), out of the only 12 undergraduate students from Western and other universities and colleges selected to present, Russell and Simmons both received first place honors for their research. Simmons, who graduated in December with her bachelor’s degree in agronomy, presented results from a research study that examined how soybean yield is affected by planting dates and removal times of covers crops or winter annual weeds.

“My interest in this research comes from working on the University Farm. I have always had an interest in soybeans, and cover crops are becoming a very popular topic of research in the agriculture field. I chose to present this particular project because it was presented last year by a former student, and I wanted to be able to show the data from the two years the study was conducted,” Simmons explained.

Russell, a senior in the WIU School of Agriculture, said his research, which was conducted at the newly opened WIU School of Ag Teaching and Research Greenhouse, considered the question, “Do tank-mixtures of clethodim with dicamba or 2,4-D adversely affect control of grass weeds?”

“I conducted the study to understand how much antagonism occurs when two different types of herbicides (synthetic auxins and an ACCase inhibitor) are used together at the same time, compared to just an ACCase inhibitor sprayed on a grass species by itself,” Russell noted. “I am interested in this project because it addresses a question that nearly every farmer is asking his or her local agronomist. This project helps to answer a lot future questions farmers will start asking their agronomists when 2,4-D or dicamba resistant soybeans are being used more frequently.”

Although Russell noted he was pleased with his first place award at the symposium, the primary reason he wanted to attend the event was to network with industry leaders.

“Attending this conference enabled me to meet individuals from many different states, as well as professors from many different colleges or universities that I could potentially enroll in for a graduate program,” Russell said. “This project also helped me get over my fear of public speaking. I gained a great understanding of all the work it takes to create and conduct a research project in the agriculture industry.”

For Simmons and Russell, their attendance at the 2015 North Central Weed Science Society Meeting/Midwest Invasive Plant Network Symposium marked their second year taking part in the event. For senior Ken Tryggestad, the 70th annual meeting was his first experience at the symposium.

“It was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve had. Not only did it give me insight into the industry, but it also humbled me. I was sitting, and got to interact, with some of the nation’s brightest and leading scientists. Overall, the experience was profoundly beneficial and showed me exactly what the Weed Science Society was all about,” Tryggestad said.

“The value of the educational opportunities our students receive within the School of Agriculture is directly associated with the availability and accessibility of our faculty members,” noted School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker. “Our faculty and staff encourage our students to get out of their comfort zones and explore new opportunities and experiences that will directly impact their marketability in the work force. It is activities such as this that will leave a lasting impression with our students. It is a winning combination when you have talented students and persistent faculty to guide students to achieve at high levels.”

For School of Agriculture students interested in agronomy, Russell strongly encourages them to take advantage of the faculty mentoring and research opportunities offered.

“If you have the opportunity to work under WIU School of Ag Professors Mark Bernards, Win Phippen or Joel Gruver on a research project—either in the new greenhouses or in a field trial—I recommend doing it. Working on this project helped me understand what it would be like to work in the research and development industry, conducting studies and replicating them over numerous years. The only way to truly know if you are going into the right field of study is to get a first-hand experience with it. We have the faculty and the facilities to conduct a research project… what more could you ask for?”

For more information, contact Mark Bernards, associate professor of agronomy, crop science and weed control, at (309) 298-1569 and ML-Bernards@wiu.edu.

Written By: Teresa Koltzenburg (TE-Koltzenburg@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations

WIU Ag Mech Club’s 46th Annual Farm Expo Set for Feb. 6-7


MACOMB, IL — The tradition of the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture Ag Mech Club’s Farm Expo continues this year with its 46th annual event Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 6-7. It was in 1970 the Ag Mech Club started what has become the largest student-run agriculture show in the U.S., the annual WIU Farm Expo—which many refer to as the “Ag Mech Show.”

As in past years, the Farm Expo will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 6) and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 7) in Western Hall and is open free to the public. Complimentary parking is available in Q-Lot, east of Western Hall.Ag Mech Expo 2016 2-page-001

The 2016 keynote address is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday (Feb. 6), and the speaker is Erin Brenneman, of Brenneman Pork, a family farm operation in Washington (IA). Brenneman is also a contributor to the Pork Network website (see www.porknetwork.com/users/erinbrenneman).

For the third year, Western’s School of Agriculture will add to the Ag Mech Show tradition by incorporating an alumni social for all “WIU Aggies” (alumni, students and current and retired faculty). The social is set from 6-9 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 6) in the Multicultural Center (south of the University Union).

The Farm Expo will include the traditional popular activities of the “Tot-Rod Pedal Pulls” (beginning noon, Sunday, Feb. 7), as well as exhibits with farm machinery, ag sales and service information, ag management information, emerging ag technology, livestock and crop supplies, ag structures, crafts, a farm toy show and much more.

For more information about the Ag Mech Show, contact the School of Ag at (309) 298-1080. Individuals planning to attend the School of Agriculture Alumni Social are asked to confirm attendance with the School of Ag at (309) 298-1080 or via email at DC-Pestle1@wiu.edu.

Follow the WIU School of Agriculture on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WIUag, and on Twitter at twitter.com@WIUAg.

Written By: Teresa Koltzenburg (TE-Koltzenburg@wiu.edu)