May 21, 2024

WIU alumni event honors five ag alums

Dennis Bowman

MACOMB, Ill. — After they’ve strolled through the Western Illinois University Ag Mech Club’s Farm Expo on Saturday, Feb. 17, WIU alumni are invited to attend an event after the show for an update on the alumni program and to honor five distinguished ag department alumni.

“It’s open to all WIU alumni and friends. We’ll be giving a brief overview of some of the ongoing projects of the alumni programs,” said Jana Knupp, a WIU ag department alumni, who is an ag communication instructor at WIU and adviser to the WIU Ag Mech Club.

The event will start at 5:30 p.m. at Park Place, 127 E. Carroll, on the downtown square, in Macomb. There is a registration fee of $10.

“It’s a social so people can pop in and pop out anytime between 5:30 and 7:30. We also encourage students to attend so they can connect with alumni and everybody can share their stories of their time at Western,” Knupp said.

Five alumni from WIU’s School of Agriculture will be honored at the event: Dennis Bowman, Dan Loy, Rodney Main, Trent Torrance and Allan L. Watson.

Dennis Bowman

Bowman is a 1981 graduate in Crop Science. He currently works as an Extension specialist for digital agriculture at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

His background includes the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award and the Illinois Extension Individual Excellence Award.

Dan Loy

Dan Loy

Loy, a 1978 graduate of WIU, is a professor emeritus at Iowa State University. Loy, who holds a doctorate degree from Penn State University, has made major contributions to the areas of applied feedlot nutrition and beef production.

In July 2023, he retired as director of the Iowa Beef Center after having served in that position for 12 years. He worked as an Extension beef specialist in Iowa, starting that job in 1982.

Loy received numerous awards, including the Extension Award from the American Society of Animal Science, highlighting his significant impact on the cattle feeding industry.

Rodney Main

Rodney Main

Main graduated in 1983 from WIU with a degree in agriculture education. He has been the agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at ROWVA High School in Oneida for 29 years.

In 2023, Main marked 40 years as a high school agriculture teacher and FFA adviser. He was raised on a family farm and is a farmer himself.

Trent Torrance

Trent Torrance

Torrance graduated from WIU in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. He is the chief operating officer for United Animal Health.

Torrance serves on the executive board of directors of AgriNovus Indiana, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce board of directors and the Indiana Advisory Council for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Allan L. Watson

Allan L. Watson

Watson received his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1971 and a master of business sdministration from WIU in 1989. Watson’s career includes beef production, sales and marketing and financial advisory.

Watson’s contributions to the agriculture industry include managing amino acid sales and marketing, serving on numerous agricultural boards and serving in his churches and localities. He lives in Carefree, Arizona, where he is active in community service.

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor