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Soil Health Partnership Director
Nicholas Goeser directs the Soil Health Partnership and soil health and sustainability for the National Corn Growers Association. In this role, Nick focuses on the construction of a demonstration farm network across Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. The goal is to connect soil health with on-farm management, crop productivity, profitability and environmental responses through data collection, analysis and communications.
Nick’s prior research background includes over a decade of research in the areas of crop production, nutrient cycling and management, and environmental quality. Prior to his work for the Soil Health Partnership and the NCGA, he held a Technology Development Representative role for Monsanto in Arlington, Wisconsin, focusing on germplasm and technology advancement. Nick also held an Agronomic Research and Crop Manager role for a commercial potato farm in southern Wisconsin where he managed agronomic research, production and storage.
Nick completed a BS and MS in Agronomy and PhD in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin. His doctoral research focused on the evaluation of crop productivity, fertility management, nutrient use efficiency, and nutrient cycling from organic residues within a processing vegetable rotation. Nick grew up in Eastern Wisconsin with a dairy farming background.
Soil Health Partnership Operations Manager
Jack Cornell is the operations manager for the Soil Health Partnership, helping lead the partnership’s on-farm data collection efforts. Jack assists the SHP team—including field managers located throughout the Midwest—manage the data collected. He also provides strategic direction, and acts as a conduit of information to the organization’s active Science Advisory Committee.
A plant scientist, before joining SHP, Jack served as a technology development representative for Monsanto, with an emphasis on cover crops and sustainability. Originally from Greenville, Ohio, he has a master’s degree in plant science from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo. He lives in Edwardsville, Ill. with his wife and daughter.
Jenna Higgins Rose
Soil Health Partnership Communications Manager
Jenna Higgins Rose is founder of Rose Media, LLC, a public relations firm specializing in alternative fuel, progressive agriculture and green products communications. She served as Director of Communications for the National Biodiesel Board from 2000 - 2009, during which time biodiesel awareness among consumers rose from 27 percent to 86 percent. She also spearheaded a Sustainability Awareness campaign and a national social media program for the nonprofit.
Prior to her work for NBB, she worked as a television and print journalist. Her work has been published in publications such as Newsweek, Forbes and USA Today, and many daily newspapers including the Des Moines Register. She has appeared on television shows such as Motorweek and AgDay.
Jenna graduated with high honors from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a Bachelor of Journalism. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Columbia, Missouri.
Soil Health Partnership Program Coordinator
Anne Dietz is the Program Coordinator for the Soil Health Partnership, specializing in providing support to the entire Soil Health Partnership team. Anne’s background includes customer service experience, both in the retail and agriculture sectors, as well as a short stint in crop insurance. Anne most recently worked at Cargill as a Support Specialist, focused on process improvement opportunities within the region she worked as well as managing a Biomass Biofuels Sustainable supply chain for soybeans supplied into the European Union.
Anne graduated with high honors from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a degree in German Studies and Foreign Language and International Trade. She lives in St. Charles, Missouri with her husband and son.
Soil Health Partnership Field Manager Bios
Soil Health Partnership Field Manager – Indiana
Dan Towery is field manager for the Soil Health Partnership and operates Ag Conservation Solutions in Lafayette, Ind. which specializes in continuous no-till, cover crops and soil health. He focuses on the “how and why” a healthy soil becomes more resilient and can be the most profitable production system which also enables growers to improve the environment. He has been assisting growers and making presentations on this subject on behalf of numerous clients in the Midwest.
Dan served on the International Soil & Water Conservation Society board for 6 years and was President in 2012 and 2013. He spent 25 years with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He spent 15 years in Illinois in several locations, including as the state agronomist, and 10 years at the Conservation Technology Information Center located at the Purdue Research Park as staff agronomist. Dan is from Illinois and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University.
His travels allowed him to meet and interact with innovative growers and researchers from all over the U.S. and many other countries. Dan also managed a fertilizer plant after graduating from college, and mapped soils as a soil scientist.
Soil Health Partnership Field Manager – Iowa
Elyssa McFarland was raised on a grain and livestock farm east of Columbus Junction, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Agronomy, and spent summers as an intern with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Elyssa recently completed a dual Master's degree in Agronomy and Soil Science ELYSSA'S VIDEOfrom the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has moved back to Southeast Iowa to farm and coordinate field activities for the Soil Health Partnership.
Soil Health Partnership Field Manager – Indiana and Ohio
Hans Kok is a field manager for the Soil Health Partnership covering Indiana and Ohio.
Hans was an associate professor at both Washington State University and the University of Idaho, covering Extension programming for conservation tillage and bioenergy for both Idaho and Washington.
Prior to that, he served as the state extension specialist for soil and water conservation for Kansas State University, and he worked as a conservation tillage specialist for Monsanto.
Dr. Kok has published more than 30 extension publications, several articles in scientific journals and received numerous professional awards.
A native of the Netherlands, Hans has worked on erosion protection projects in Israel, Spain, and Austria, and worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in the state of Washington.
Dr. Kok received Bachelors and Masters in Science degrees from the Agricultural University in The Netherlands, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Idaho.
Soil Health Partnership Field Manager – Illinois
Jim Isermann is a field manager for the Soil Health Partnership covering Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Crop Sciences, and returned home to work on the family farm with his father. He currently has an 85-head cow-calf operation. The farm includes 900 acres in Livingston and LaSalle Counties, Illinois, with 120 of those acres in permanent forage; the rest are in production using a corn-soybean-wheat rotation.
Jim has also worked as a seed dealer, specializing in forages and cover crops. He worked directly with area farmers, providing them advice on cover crops and aerial applications.
Living on the family farm with his wife and three kids just outside Streator, Ill., Jim joined the Soil Health Partnership in 2015.
Soil Health Partnership Field Manager – Western Iowa
Jacob Ness is the Western Iowa Field Manager for the Soil Health Partnership, covering western Iowa and Nebraska. Jacob is a graduate of South Dakota State University, majoring in plant science with an emphasis in soil science and geographic information science. A Certified Crop Advisor, Jacob has been one of the first CCAs to complete both the 4R Nutrient Management Specialty and Sustainability Specialty certifications.
Jacob has a strong agronomic background, most recently working as a Certified Crop Specialist and Nutrient Management Specialist at AgVantage FS in southeast Iowa. Jacob has also worked in agronomy and precision agriculture for Cargill and Monsanto. Originally from Brookings, SD, he now lives in Marengo, IA with his wife, Krystle and their three children.