Cover Crop Specialists

Find the Cover Crop Specialist for your area:


Or based on your specific needs:

Impacts of Herbicide Residuals on Cover Crop Success - Pete Fandel

Using Cover Crops for Grazing and Livestock - Dean Oswald, Jim Isermann

Soil Health and Conservation Cropping Systems - Dan Towery


Specialist Bios and Contact Information:


Dean Oswald (Kewanee, IL)  Contact Dean

Dean served as an Animal Systems Educator for 34 years with University of Illinois Extension, and currently serves as a forage/grazing specialist with Midwest Grass and Forage in addition to this role with CBMP. He is the owner operator of the Oswald Family Farm in Kewanee, IL.

 Fandelheadshot.jpgPete Fandel (East Peoria, IL)  Contact Pete

Pete spent 18 years as a crops educator with the University of Illinois. He also conducts research on cover crops and farms his families land in central Illinois.


isermann.jpgJim Isermann (Streator, IL)  Contact Jim

Jim studied crop sciences and farms around 900 acres, including 350 acres of fenced row crops used for grazing 85 head of cattle. Using forages and annuals led Jim to becoming a seed dealer for ProHarvest seeds. He works directly with farmers on their cover crop needs including seed sales, advising, and setting up aerial applications.

 Kris Reynolds - photo copy.jpgKris Reynolds (Nokomis, IL)  Contact Kris

Kris is a Certified Crop Adviser and a Resource Conservationist for the Montgomery County SWCD. He raises corn and soybeans, and uses cover crops to promote soil health, prevent erosion, and manage nutrients. He uses CRP and grassed waterways. He has experience with conservation and nutrient management plans.

 Lyonsphoto.jpgDick Lyons (Harvel, IL)  Contact Dick

Richard Lyons has over 15 years of no-till production experience and four years in planting cover crops. He taught agriculture and agronomy classes for 30+ years and led the Lincoln Land College Agriculture Program. He farms 800 acres with his brother and has been active in the Lake Springfield watershed.

 dant.jpgDan Towery (East Central, IL)  Contact Dan

Dan Towery is a field manager for the Soil Health Partnership and operates Ag Conservation Solutions, specializing in continuous no-till, cover crops and soil health. Dan spent 25 years with the USDA NRCS. He was the state agronomist, and spent 10 years at the Conservation Technology Information Center located at the Purdue Research Park.

 Pike Picture.jpgJohn Pike (Marion, IL) Contact John

John Pike served as a Research Agronomist for the U of I at Dixon Springs Research station, focusing on nutrient management, soil fertility, and cover crops. He served as an Extension Educator in Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has also worked for SIU, Lake Land College, and was a Certified Crop Specialist/CCA for GROWMARK in Christian and Piatt County. He lives on a family farm south of Marion, Ill.



Cover crop specialists set up meetings across the state and partner with local SWCD, NRCS and ag departments at community colleges to establish a network for education and outreach.  

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