Besides hosting a first-class trade show, the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) also likes to honor a select few of the folks at the annual event by bestowing upon them “best of” honors. For a second year in a row, the association presented a trophy and recognition for a custom applicator within the state of Illinois that has shown “dedication, achievement, and an overall professional attitude” when applying crop protection product to grower-customer fields. The trade group accepted applications for this award throughout the early summer months of 2023, narrowing the finalists down to four from there.
“We thought it would be nice to honor these hard-working individuals because they might not receive such widespread recognition elsewhere,” said IFCA President Kevin “K.J.” Johnson of the Applicator of the Year award. “And we further thought that the MAGIE [Midwest AG Industries Exposition] show, dedicated to the ag retail business, would be the natural place for this kind of ceremony to take place.”
At the 2023 MAGIE, Johnson and IFCA’s Leslie Forrest, Director of Programs, Office & Memberships, were on hand to formally announce the winning custom applicator. That ended up being Jamie Pennock from Logan Agri-Service in Griggsville, IL.
According to his entry, Pennock has been spraying for 23 years. Annually, he applies products for growers across 25,000 acres in Illinois. He lives in Pittsfield, IL.
The other Applicator of the Year finalists were Alex Tarr from Ag View, Varna, IL; Jake Conrad from West Central FS in Wataga, IL, and Travis Tedlock from Ehler Brothers Fertilizer in Royal, IL.
The Image Award
In addition to the Applicator of the Year award, IFCA also annually recognizes one exhibitor at the MAGIE show that exemplifies the best “booth display.” In 2023, the winner of this honor was Squibb Taylor Inc.
Founded in 1947, Squibb Taylor serves the LP-gas and anhydrous ammonia industries. The company is responsible for the national marketing of Taylor’s liquid level gauges and PGI International valves.
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Author: Matt Hopkins