After an eleven-year hiatus, Kevin Brooks returned to University of Illinois Extension as the farm business management and marketing educator serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties. He previously served in this role from 2000 to 2011 in Effingham and Champaign counties. He brings a wealth of expertise and experience with him.
“Our unit is leading the way in bringing the agribusiness team back to Illinois Extension,” explained Earl Allen, Extension county director. “Kevin is currently the first farm business educator hired since the university decided to reestablish this field team. His prior Extension and private sector experience and in-depth expertise in farm management is allowing him to quickly launch a strong program.”
As a licensed real estate broker with harVestco LLC in Champaign, he has professionally managed and consulted on over 25,000 acres of farmland and marketed grain for farm management customers as a professional farm management and trust officer.
Kevin has taught farm management, agribusiness management, crop science, crop production, soil science, pesticide application, grain marketing, and general horticulture at the college level. He also holds agriculture teaching certifications in Illinois and Missouri.
His expertise continues to include drones, agronomy, ag input sales, and farm loan analysis. He is a commercially licensed UAS (drone) pilot holding an FAA Part 107 license. He has worked in agricultural input sales (farm chemicals and seed) and is trained in agronomy through Purdue University and Iowa State University. Early in his career, he worked for USDA as a Farm Management Specialist, working primarily on farm loan analysis.
“My experience has taken me down a road that has been through traditional commercial agriculture all the way to small farms and various enterprises,” stated Brooks. “I’ve been working in and around the agriculture industry for over 30 years and have managed over $250 million in farmland assets. Farms I’ve managed range from highly erodible land to Class A farms. I’ve planned inputs, sold grain (and the associated marketing frustrations), and even completed the paperwork for organic certifications and inspections.
“One of the biggest challenges I see producers face today is being able to effectively and efficiently manage the large amounts of information and data that come at us with ever-increasing speed. I won’t pretend to know everything there is to know about agriculture, but when I don’t have the answers people need I can rely on the researchers and specialists on campus. We will all work together to help address the challenges farmers face.”
Kevin grew up on a corn and hog farm in Iowa. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from Truman State University and a master’s degree from University of Missouri in agriculture education.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Anita Wilkinson has been serving University of Illinois Extension since 1998, currently in the role of Communications Program Coordinator for the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit. She began her career in Marshall-Putnam counties leading the 4-H program and transferred to Tazewell County 4-H in 2011. Her 4-H experiences began as a youth member and later 4-H volunteer in Stark County where she was born and raised.
ABOUT EXTENSION SNAPSHOTS
Extension Snapshots are monthly impact reports that share the stories of our programs in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties. To have them delivered to you directly sign up using our E-blast registration.