Lindsay Mitchell

Dec 12, 2016  |  ICGA

Bloomington, IL – Susan Adams, Atlanta, IL family farmer, is the recipient of the ICGA 2016 Environmental Award. The award recognizes individuals who exhibit commitment to conservation and environmental preservation.

“Sue Adams has been an incredible asset to Illinois corn farmers over the years.  She’s always been a voice that drives discussion and questions the status quo.  Her commitment to our natural resources and her ambition to make Illinois farmers constantly better is admirable,” said Jeff Jarboe, Loda farmer and Illinois Corn Growers Association President.

Susan grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, but has proudly been a farmer with her husband John since 1973.  They are the fifth generation to live and run the Adams family farm since it was homesteaded in 1862.

The Adams made a commitment to reduced tillage in 1976, and moved to no-till in 1983.  The farm is currently 100% no-till and has been since 1988, with some strip till being used in the last 10 years.  This continuous move to the most cutting edge management practices continues today, with Susan using GPS to apply fertilizers and crop protection productions only where they are needed and using a yield monitor to record yields and RTK.

The Adams have also created nitrogen test plots in a field for several years to determine what levels of anhydrous with N-Serve make the most sense on their farm.

Susan is currently serving as Chair of the Illinois Water Authority Association and Vice President of Zea Mays, while also sitting on the boards of the Mahomet Aquifer Consortium and the East Central Illinois Regional Water Supply Planning Committee.

Among the work Susan is most proud of is her time representing the Illinois Corn Growers Association on the Council on Food and Agriculture Research.  She worked with George Czapar on a strategic research initiative in water quality-nutrient standards.  Under her jurisdiction, four research proposals ran concurrently over three years to develop the scientific basis for nutrient standards in the surface waters of Illinois and assist in the appropriate development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).

Susan says her main role over the years has been to question what she and her husband are doing on their farm, i.e. “Why are we doing this instead of that?” and to bring those questions and the resulting answers to discussions happening within statewide associations.

“We are happy to honor Sue for her significant commitment to farmers and to the environment,” said Jarboe.