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Wiswell-Robeson Lecture to focus on precision agriculture

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Precision agriculture will be the topic of Monmouth College’s second-annual Wiswell-Robeson Lecture.

Stacey Pellett of Whispering Mills Farms in Atlantic, Iowa, and John Deere Co. will speak on the topic at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. Titled “Digging Beyond the Dirt,” her lecture is free and open to the public.

Also called satellite farming or site-specific crop management, precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops.

Pellett and her husband, Mike, oversee and are actively involved in the operation of their fifth-generation family farm in Atlantic, where they produce corn and soybeans. They are heavy users of precision agriculture, utilizing technology in all aspects of the farm. The Pelletts are passionate about sharing their experiences from Whispering Mills Farms with others around the nation.

Pellett also works for John Deere in Des Moines, Iowa, as manager of state public affairs, with responsibility for the company’s business interests in a six-state area. She focuses on developing strong relationships with elected officials in the state legislative and executive branches, as well as key industry association partners.

Pellett joined the company in 1999 and has held a number of positions, including territory aftermarket manager, sales instructor and marketing representative at the John Deere Seeding Group. Most recently, she was manager of customer and channel experience, during which time she created and managed a leadership development program called Through Their Eyes, where employees spend a year immersed in working alongside their dealers and customers.

A Texas native, Pellett earned a bachelor’s degree in ag business from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in international business from Texas Tech University.

The Wiswell-Robeson Lecture was founded last year, thanks to a gift from 1960 Monmouth graduate Jeanne Gittings Robeson of Monmouth. The lecture’s purpose is to annually feature a speaker from the agriculture community who explores issues, challenges and innovations in the industry. Robeson and her late husband, Don Robeson, who was a 1954 Monmouth graduate, operated their farm in Warren County.

The Wiswell-Robeson Lecture complements several food-related initiatives at the College. For more than seven years, College faculty and students have maintained a garden and farm near the campus. Monmouth’s innovative Global Food Security Triad allows students to explore issues in agriculture and food security by studying anthropology, biology and economics. Monmouth was also the only liberal arts college among the charter signatories of PUSH, a United Nations-sponsored initiative to bring the energy of colleges and universities from around the world to address hunger.