Murphysboro, Ill. — Katie Bell has joined University of Illinois Extension as local foods and small farms educator serving Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Randolph and Williamson Counties. Bell is a native of Neoga, Illinois and two-time alum from Southern Illinois University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Economics with a minor in Crop Soils and Environmental Management and a master’s degree in Agribusiness Economics.

Bell has experience with Extension serving as an intern from 2018 to 2019 where she worked at the Jackson County Extension Office and the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center. In 2019, she conducted a tomato variety trial and presented her findings at the Illinois Specialty Crops Conference and the Southern Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Conference.

In her role, Bell develops and delivers research-based programs that address all issues related to the local food system. She collaborates with extension educators, campus-based specialists and various other agencies to provide timely and relevant programming focused around agronomic and horticultural crop production, including cover crops, pest management, soil and nutrient management and food safety and security.

News Source: Katie Bell, 618-687-1727,

News Writer: Heather Willis, 618-357-2126,