PCM’s Precision Conservation Specialists are the lifeblood of our program. They offer one-on-one technical support to farmers in our program. Specialists compile and review custom farm reports, assess farm data, demonstrate agronomic strengths and weaknesses, and discuss how each farm compares to other farms in their region. They also connect farmers with federal, state and local programs – making it a priority to attend annual training to stay informed about new programs and technology useful to PCM farmers.
PCM Operations Manager
Clay supervises daily operations of Specialists throught the program.
Precision Conservation Specialist
Kentucky (Lower Cumberland, Lower Green, and Purchase Regions)
Building and growing the PCM program requires leadership, tenacity and a wide range of skillsets. Our founders are visionaries and wholly committed to farmers and to economically viable precision conservation.
Director of Precision Conservation Managment
Mr. Greg Goodwin leads IL Corn’s water quality and sustainability initiatives focused
on implementing the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and meeting supply
chain sustainability demands. In partnership with others, he develops and implements
education, outreach and research to help Illinois corn farmers reach their nutrient loss
goals and engage in the sustainability conversation.
Greg has an extensive background in helping farmers and environmentalists understand how agricultural chemicals can impact our environment. He holds an M.S. in Agricultural Engineering focused in Soil and Water Resources from UIUC. Greg will direct and oversee the PCM program which includes overseeing daily operations, business development, grant reporting, budget analysis and more.
Dr. Laura Gentry
Director of Water Quality Science, IL Corn
Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois
Dr. Laura Gentry’s work focuses on watershed research to support agriculture water
quality initiatives and nutrient management. She most recently served as research
assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializing in
the sustainability of high-yielding corn production systems, residue management and
reduced tillage, and production and sustainability of annual bioenergy crops. Previous
to her position at UIUC, she was an assistant professor at North Dakota State University.
Her Ph.D. studies focused on the effect of tillage, rotation and organic amendments on
Dr. Gary Schnitkey
Professor, University of Illinois
Dr. Gary Schnitkey is a professor and farm management specialist in the Department
of Agricultural & Consumer Economics, University of Illinois. His activities focus on
farm management and risk management, including examination of issues impacting
the profitability of grain farms such as corn-soybean rotations, machinery economics,
and factors separating profitable from unprofitable farms. Schnitkey performed
economic analysis for the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and the economic analysis
for conservation practices through the PCM program.
Consultant, & PCM Techology Partner
CEO, Heartland Science & Technology Group
Mr. Glen Salo, an electrical engineer and entrepreneur, has successfully established multiple technical teams and organizational units to support government programs, private industry, and public good missions for small, large, and independent not-for-profit businesses. Heartland operates the PCM Farmer Portal, and continues to develop and expand it’s supporting data analysis technologies.
Significantly reduce the environmental impact of commercial agriculture on waterways and soils
Reduce the farmer’s risk while maintaining farm business economic viability
Demonstrate that environmental goals can be achieved without regulation
WHO DO WE SERVE?
We take a farmer-first approch. Always.
We use farmer data to serve farmer’s interests. Our connection to the Illinois Corn Growers Association assures that the best interest of the farmer is at the heart of everything we do.Learn More
Who Else Do We Support?
PCM Specialists are successful at helping farmers make changes, large & small, because they can demonstrate continuous improvements – even in times of financial distress.
USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Innovation Through Conservation
Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) has developed Precision Conservation Management (PCM), a farmer service program helping farmers adopt conservation practices in a financially responsible way, as a response to the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. PCM aims to meet the management needs of farmers by making possible the integration of agronomic information with financial and environmental analytics. Through collaborations with more than 30 partners and the development of a farmer-friendly data collection platform, PCM offers one-on-one technical support, data analysis, and an environmental evaluation through the Field to Market’s Fieldprint Calculator 3.0.
The project was made possible through a funding agreement between IL Corn and NRCS in the agency’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). In 2015 they were awarded $5.35 million in RCPP project funds, while bringing an additional $13.5 million from other partners to help fund the program. Currently, PCM staff work with 250 farmers in 16 Illinois counties and 10 Kentucky counties, representing approximately 250,000 acres of row crop agriculture. As a commodity crop program, IL Corn has the objective of ensuring that PCM data represents most Midwest farming operations and can be applicable to the broader farm population.
“Farmers sometimes have difficulties making good conservation decisions, when there is very little information on the economic benefits of implementing conservation practices,” said Shannon Allen, Illinois RCPP Coordinator for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “This PCM project is providing the economic information to farmers so they can make an informed decision.”
By joining PCM, farmers agree to allow IL Corn to collect and anonymize data in a way that demonstrates how conservation practices affect both farm income and local resource concerns. One advantage of PCM to individual farmers is the robust support system available through the Specialists’ network. The PCM Specialists’ offices are centrally located in local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)/NRCS offices so that they have access to conservation and technical resource systems.
PCM staff work directly with farmers to input management data into the PCM Farmer Portal, a secured and encrypted data platform. Data is then used to generate a comprehensive, sustainability-focused Resource Analysis and Assessment Plan (RAAP) that provides direction to the farmer in evaluating and considering changes to production practices. Currently, the focus of PCM’s assessment includes tillage, cover crops, and nutrient management. RAAP reports additionally provide meaningful comparisons to allow an individual farmer to contrast themselves with results of farmers with different farming practices. The PCM Specialist works closely with the farmer to review the results of the RAAP and to identify practices the farmer might consider adopting. Based onthe farmer’s business and Man speaking about PCM to a group of younger farmersconservation interests, the specialist helps make connections with a wide variety of technical support and local incentive opportunities (e.g., NRCS cost share; cover crop incentives offered by ICGA and ag retailers). Once conservation practice recommendations have been determined, PCM Specialists then connect the farmer with their NRCS district conservationist to move forward with Farm Bil program applications. PCM data is used to generate a variety of reports that are made available to farmers across the Midwest to assist with financially sound conservation decision-making.
We are grateful to the following agencies for their financial support: