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farmdoc Celebrates 20 Years of Progress

A Message from Scott Irwin, farmdoc Team Leader

The farmdoc project was started in 1999 (remember Y2K?), when online information systems specifically for agriculture were relatively new. The original version of the farmdoc website was ground-breaking because it was the first to provide “one-stop shopping” for information and tools to aid decision-makers in Corn Belt agriculture. With initial funding from the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, we created an integrated website offering information and decision tools on agricultural finance, agricultural policy, crop insurance, farm management, law and taxation, and marketing and outlook. In today’s world of instant Google searches for any kind of information imaginable, this may not seem like a very big deal, but it was. People loved being able to find everything from the agricultural economists at the University of Illinois in one place.

The original farmdoc website turned out to be just the first step. Spurred on by the mobile device and social media revolutions, people began to desire multi-platform accessibility to information and have it presented in a condensed format. In response, we created the farmdoc daily site in 2011. This site has had from the beginning the audacious goal of publishing one new article of research-based analysis each business day. The articles on farmdoc daily quickly earned a place on the must-read list of farmers, educators, journalists, traders, market analysts, and policy-makers around the globe. We are still going strong over 2,000 articles later.

In 2016, the Farm Policy News site was added to the farmdoc family of websites in order to provide updates on current developments relating to the farm economy and U.S. farm policy. The social media component of the project was upgraded at the same time. There are now multiple ways to connect with farmdoc through email updates, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

The overall goal of the farmdoc project is the same today as in 1999 — to provide U.S. Corn Belt crop and livestock producers with constant access to integrated information and expertise to better manage their farm businesses. Along the way, the farmdoc project has been honored with numerous awards, including the Team Award from the College of ACES at the UI (three times) and the Distinguished Group Extension Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (three times).

In view of all this, we thought it was appropriate to celebrate the 20th anniversary of farmdoc. The celebration included the following events:

We had an amazing time celebrating the first 20 years of farmdoc. The luncheon was a very special event. In our busy and hectic lives, it is all too rare that so many leaders in Illinois agriculture gather together in one place. Hopefully it won’t be another 20 years before we do it again.

We are grateful to everyone that has supported us over the years. All we can say is THANK YOU!

Download 20th Anniversary Booklet PDF

A Celebration 20 Years in the Making

Rich Guebert, farmer and President of Illinois Farm Bureau making comments during the panel
Matt Ginder of Compeer and Aaron Johnson of Farm Credit Illinois accepting a gift of appreciation from the farmdoc team.
The farmdoc team
Dr. Sean Fox, ACE Department Head, welcoming guests
(ABOVE) Todd Gleason, MC for the event

(LEFT) Cathy Strick and Melissa Warmbier, event coordinators

(BELOW) The assembled crowd for the event
SWAG for the day!
Michael Robinson of Westchester Group accepting a gift of appreciation from the farmdoc team
(ABOVE) The panel having fun!

(LEFT) Dr. Robert Hauser and Dr. Sarahelen Thompson, former ACE faculty and administrators, accepting a gift of appreciation from the farmdoc team
Rod Weinzerl of Illinois Corn Marketing Board accepting a gift of appreciation from the farmdoc team
Dwight Raab, Illinois FBFM, accepting a gift of appreciation from the farmdoc team
John Reifsteck of Growmark accepting a gift of appreciation from the farmdoc team
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