BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Todd Steinacher from Sangamon County has been announced as the recipient of the 2020 Illinois Certified Crop Adviser Award.
The CCA Award is designed to increase awareness that farmers and their crop advisers strive to make economically and environmentally sound cropping decisions. The award recognizes an individual who is highly innovative and performed superior service for his farmer customers in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production.
Steinacher, who has 14 years of experience as a crop adviser, provides agronomy support for farmers, students and salesmen in west-central and southwest Illinois and the St. Charles river bottom, including Macomb, Peoria, Decatur, Springfield, Jacksonville, Litchfield, Mt. Vernon and Jerseyville greater areas.
As an AgriGold regional agronomist, Steinacher services customers farming 500 to 20,000 acres across soybeans, corn in GMO and non-GMO premium markets and wheat.
Steinacher has been employed with AgriGold since 2015. During those years, he has been named the AgriGold Eastern Division 2018 Agronomist of the Year, presented at yearly agronomy FOCUS meetings, served as a recurring guest panelist at the AgriGold Specialty Crop Conference, spoke to 500-plus farmers at a Farm Journal event and continues to educate customers and the non-farming community on best agronomic practices via his personal social media channels.
In 2017, Steinacher established the Tissue Sampling Project, an initiative working with 10 farmer customers to sample corn tissues and review results with growers to develop nutrient management plans throughout the season at specific growth stages.
In fall 2018, Steinacher was invited to Zambia, Africa, to train 11 village farmers in modern agriculture practices to help utilize and increase their food stability. He was invited to return to Zambia in spring 2019 to host field days, showing 160-plus Zambian farmers the differences between field trials established on his previous visit.
“He used a pick-ax to bust the soil open to show them corn roots – no one had ever showed them corn roots and how the development will be reflected in yield,” said Eric Dolbeare, the farmer who led the Rotary Vocational Training Team to Africa.
“These farmers each walked several miles to learn more from him about root development, nutrients, plant health and weed control. He used a solar panel and cell phone to explain photosynthesis and the importance of keeping nice green leaves. All of this is invaluable knowledge for these farmers who rely on corn production to feed their families.”
As an Illinois Soybean Association CCA Envoy alum, Steinacher has been a mentor to other CCAs and a recruiter for the 2019 Soy Envoy class. Through his work with ISA, Steinacher writes up to three agronomic blogs shared online at www.ilsoyadvisor.com and in its member newsletter.
Additionally, Steinacher has developed and moderated five agronomic webinars, created agendas for ISA Soy Summit conferences and served as an Illinois Farm Families panelist, educating audiences on hot agricultural topics.
Steinacher is a current Illinois CCA Board member and has trained several current Illinois CCAs.
“Todd provides great insight to the board on how to improve the organization and grow membership,” said Eric Ifft, chairman, CCA Board. “He is actively working with colleges and universities to help recruit the next generation and to make the CCA program and exam more a part of the agronomic teaching process.”
As the state’s top crop adviser winner, Steinacher’s name will be submitted for the international award by the Illinois Certified Crop Adviser Board.