Dr. Sarah Sellars is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Sustainable Farm and Food Systems in the Ness School of Management and Economics at South Dakota State University. Her research interests include conservation practice adoption, farmer input rate decisions, farm management, precision agriculture, and agricultural ecosystems markets. Sarah holds a B.S. in Agricultural and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her interest in agricultural economics began while growing up on a family grain and livestock farm outside of Winchester, IL.
Meet DIFM’s new team member, Francisco Gamino.
My name is Francisco Gamino and I am studying Computer Science + Crop Science at the University of Illinois in Urbana – Champaign (UIUC).
I have over three years of experience working as an independent contractor in programming and web development. I’ve worked with various companies and institutions in town — including Inprentus, Inc., UIUC Physics, Sagamore Venture Publishing LLC, and the NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center in the UIUC Materials Research Lab. I specialize in programming and website design and often work in projects that require automation, data migration, and efficient workflow design.
Before transferring to UIUC, I attended Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, where I earned an associate degree in Data Systems and Development and certificates in Database Management and General Programming. I completed the Leadership Academy and I served as the Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the President of Club Latino. I’m an All-Illinois Academic team member.
I can speak, read, and write English and Spanish fluently. I have strong communication skills and I’m always looking for opportunities to improve myself.
I joined the DIFM project in the spring of 2020 to help create an efficient system for working with data and help them take it to the next level. Currently, we are collaborating with Oracle Corporation to build this system and I’m heavily involved with the data migration and user interface design aspects of the project. I also work with data in QGIS and R to create and manage multipurpose datasets.
In my free time, I enjoy playing chess, bike riding, cooking, coding, and watching movies.
An introduction by Emanuel:
My name is Emanuel Hernández Cornejo and I am from Panama, located in Central America. I started my education at 5 years old at a school close to my neighborhood because my parents wanted to give me the education they never had. At the beginning of my studies, I was not a dedicated person because I did not know what I wanted to do. However, after some advice and time, I understood that the best way to reach my goal is through further education. Years later with a few months left in high school in Panama, after I had focused on one path, I won a scholarship under the branch of agriculture from a university in Honduras. Thanks to this aid, I was not only able to continue my education, but also experience a new culture and new people. It was there that I learned new knowledge about the earth, animals, and the importance behind all of these things. More specifically, it taught me how the world is advancing technologically which will lead to great changes in humanity.
The American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America hosted the 2019 International Annual Meeting, “Embracing the Digital Environment,” on November 10-13, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas.
Rodrigo Trevisan, graduate student in Crop Sciences, gave two presentations titled, Understanding the Spatial Variability of Optimum Nitrogen Rates Using Remote Sensing and on-Farm Precision Experimentation and Using Deep Learning to Predict Optimum Crop Management Decisions.
View the presentation materials below:
- Understanding the Spatial Variability of Optimum Nitrogen Rates Using Remote Sensing and on-Farm Precision Experimentation
- Using Deep Learning To Predict Optimum Crop Management Decisions – Trevisan (Abstract)
- Using Deep Learning to Predict Optimum Crop Management Decisions (Poster)
It was a chilly harvest day in Illinois, but that didn’t phase University of Illinois Ph.D. student, Aolin Gong. Gong visited one of the DIFM fields to gain some firsthand experience of what harvest is like behind the scenes.
Pictured above is graduate student, Aolin Gong, standing in front of the CASE IH combine. Pictures taken by DIFM Coordinator, Carli Miller.
DIFM Principal Investigator David Bullock gave an invited presentation, titled “The Data-Intensive Farm Management Project: Using Precision Technology to Get the Information Needed to Use Precision Technology Profitably,” at the InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, on July 25. The InfoAg Conference bills itself as, “The Premier Event in Precision Agriculture,” and features seminars by agribusiness and academia, along with display booths by companies that have entered the digital agriculture industry. Approximately one hundred farmers, crop consultants, and professionals in the digital agriculture industry were in attendance. Agribusiness professionals from the U.S., Australia, and Ukraine approached Bullock after the presentation, expressing interest in learning more about collaborating with the DIFM project. His Power Point presentation can be found at: https://infoag.org/.
DIFM’s Maria Boerngen was recently featured in CSA News Magazine for her study focused on farmer perspectives on nutrient loss strategies:
Maria Boerngen, an Assistant Professor of Agribusiness at Illinois State University, is interested in understanding how farmers access information and how they use that information in decision-making. In Agricultural & Environmental Letters (https://doi.org/10.2134/ael2019.02.0004), Boerngen and co-author Benjamin Marks recently published results of a study focused on farmer perspectives on nutrient loss strategies in one Illinois county. This pilot project was in preparation for a larger survey, but the approach is relevant for understanding how farmers discover information in general. For example, how do farmers learn about new crop varieties or new equipment? Or, what makes an individual farmer decide to implement a new management practice?
This specific pilot study consisted of a telephone survey of 30 farmers, conducted in 2016–2017. The researchers wanted to determine if farmers were familiar with the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, if farmers were concerned with nutrient loss, and if farmers were taking action to reduce N and P runoff. Released in 2015, the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy was developed by a group of researchers and other stakeholders. The document outlines goals for reducing nutrient loss from agricultural land, industry, and urban landscapes. In addition to setting these statewide reduction goals for reducing N and P loss to the Mississippi River, the strategy includes suggested best management practices.
The results of these interviews revealed farmers are concerned about nutrient loss, even if they are not aware of the particular details of the state plan. Of the 30 farmers interviewed, 14 indicated they were familiar with the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. Boerngen says it was encouraging to find out that 19 of the 30 said that they were concerned about nutrient loss and had taken steps to reduce the nutrient loss from their farms. These farmers also stated in interviews that their trusted sources of knowledge included researchers and retailers, suggesting that opportunities for researchers to communicate with farmers through field events can resonate with this group.
Click here to view the full article on CSA News Magazine.
George Hoselton has been working with Data-Intensive Farm Management, under Dr. Maria Boerngen (Illinois State University), on his master’s thesis project since August of 2018. His research focused on understanding how farmers perceive nutrient loss.
Hoselton successfully defended his thesis, “Illinois Corn Farmers Concerns About Nutrient Loss and the Adoption of Best Management Practices” and graduated from Illinois State University with his Masters Degree this past weekend.
Congratulations, George! Thank you for the work you have contributed to DIFM!
Congratulations to DIFM’s German Mandrini, recipient of the Agricultural and Consumer Economics “Outstanding M.S. Thesis” 2018 award for his thesis titled, “Using Crop Simulation to Optimize Variable Rate Experimentation.” Mandrini studies under Dr. David Bullock.
Pictured above is German Mandrini receiving his award with Dr. Bullock at the Award Ceremony.
Carli Miller joined the DIFM team as the new Project Coordinator in November 2018, following Caitlin McGuire’s departure. Carli received her BS in Agricultural Communications from the University of Illinois in May of 2017. Coming from a strong agricultural background, she grew up on her family farm in Central Illinois- primarily raising corn, soybeans, and beef cattle.
Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.