Published January 30, 2017

The future of farming

Global Food Security Triad hosting panel on Feb. 9
As an innovative Monmouth College Triad explores an issue of global significance through the lenses of biology, economics and anthropology, some of the key answers may be very close to home.

That is the idea behind a panel discussion organized by the three faculty members in the College’s Global Food Security Triad.

Titled “Shaping the Future of Farming in Western Illinois,” the discussion will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

Panelists will include Monsanto’s Troy Coziahr; Western Illinois University professor Joel Gruver; extension educator Andrew Larson; and dairy farmer/soil scientist Francis Thicke. The discussion will be moderated by local farmer Ron Moore.

“This is a discussion among four panelists, representing industry, farmers, academia and government about what the future of agriculture will look like right here in our backyard over the decades to come, and how we all can participate in directing this change to create the Western Illinois we hope to live in,” said biology professor Eric Engstrom, who teaches courses in the Triad, along with Ramses Armendariz (economics) and Megan Hinrichsen (anthropology).

With his wife, Susan, Thicke owns and operates a 90-cow, grass-based, organic dairy near Fairfield, Iowa. They process their milk on the farm and market their dairy products through grocery stores and restaurants in Fairfield. Thicke has a Ph.D. in soil fertility and has served as national program leader for Soil Science for the USDA-Extension Service in Washington, D.C.

Gruver received his Ph.D. in social science. In addition to teaching that subject and sustainable agriculture at Western, he is the director of the WIU Organic Research Program. A recipient of the National No-Till Educator of the Year Award, Gruver’s research interests include conservation cropping systems with a focus on cover crops and organic grain production, soil organic matter, and innovative teaching methods.

Prior to returning to University of Illinois to be an extension educator in local food systems and small farms, Larson worked for six years as the small farms specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He has a master’s degree in natural resources and environmental sciences from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from Iowa State University. The pursuit of sustainability in agriculture has been the focus throughout his training.

Coziahr is manager of the Monsanto Learning Center, located just south of Monmouth.

Moore serves as president of the American Soybean Association, representing the Illinois Soybean Association. The Roseville, Ill., farmer has a soybean, corn, alfalfa and feeder cattle operation. As an ISA Board member, he has been involved with the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, Illinois Livestock Development Group, Soybean Research & Development Council, and Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable, as well as numerous other related groups and committees.
Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/academics/only-at-monmouth/educational-garden-farm/" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthcollege.edu/offices/global-engagement/" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="https://monmouthscots.com/" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>