Duane Bonifer  |   Published October 16, 2016

New ag lecture

Ethanol expert to give Monmouth’s inaugural Wiswell-Robeson Lecture
  • Craig Willis, president of the ethanol business in Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s Corn Processing business unit, will deliver the first Wiswell-Robeson Lecture on Nov. 14.
One of the world’s leading authorities on ethanol will inaugurate a new lecture at Monmouth College.

Craig Willis, president of the ethanol business in Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s Corn Processing business unit, will deliver the first Wiswell-Robeson Lecture on Nov. 14. Free and open to the public, the talk will be given at 7 p.m. in the Kasch Performance Hall of the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

Willis works at ADM’s North America headquarters in Decatur, Ill. ADM is the largest producer of ethanol in the United States.

Before his current position, Willis held roles of increasing responsibility within the ethanol group, including vice president of ethanol. An active advocate for the ethanol industry, he serves on the board of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Association of Nebraska Ethanol Producers, America’s Renewable Future and Prime the Pump. Willis also sits on the boards of the ADM PAC, Boys and Girls Club of Decatur, Little Sioux Corn Processors, the Fuel Institute Board of Advisors and the Board of Elders for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Decatur. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from University of Illinois.

The Wiswell-Robeson Lecture was founded earlier this year, thanks to a gift from 1960 Monmouth graduate Jeanne Gittings Robeson of Monmouth, to annually feature a speaker from the agriculture community who will explore 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 six 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.
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