Student Profile

Ben Wier
Class of '10

Ben Wier earned an M.S. in agricultural production in the first Illinois PSM cohort. He is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. While a student in the Illinois PSM, Ben volunteered at the Wildlife Medical Clinic and interned with Monsanto.  Ben is a D.V.M. candidate at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Agricultural Production


Advanced interdisciplinary education in science and agribusiness are the core of the Agricultural Production program. 


Agribusiness needs people who know and understand the science of agriculture. In many cases though, science knowledge alone is insufficient. The skills and abilities to transform science knowledge into meaningful products and services are needed as well.

The goal of the M.S. degree in agricultural production is to produce graduates with advanced knowledge in agricultural science and with relevant real-world business knowledge and skills.

Agricultural innovation requires the management and understanding of relationships – the connections between the laboratory, field, consumer, regulator, investor, among others. The depth of the science curriculum plus the breadth of the business curriculum guide you toward an understanding of these connections.

As an agricultural production graduate, you can contribute to the full range of activities that take plants or animals from farm to fork.


While developing an in-depth understanding of agricultural sciences, students learn the skills necessary to transform rapidly changing scientific knowledge into meaningful, sustainable products and services.  This is critical, as food production and resource management become increasingly important.  Food production capacity must double if we are to feed the burgeoning world population expected by 2050.

Illinois PSM graduates of the agricultural production program have career opportunities as a:

  • Breeding Manager
  • Production Farm Manager
  • Sales/Marketing Representative
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • International Development Analyst or Advocate
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Sustainable Farming Consultant


Three specializations are available:

  • Food Animal Production
  • Crop Production
  • Sustainable Production Systems

For additional information or to discuss your learning and career objectives, contact Robert Knox, major advisor for agricultural production, at or (217) 244-5177.

2018 IL PSM Poster Showcase


Chandler Bruns was an Agronomy Marketing Intern for GROWMARK & Illinois Farm Bureau's 4R4U Nutrient Stewardship Partnership. She provided marketing support for the statewide initiative and was even featured on the news. 






Brittney Madison spent her summer as a Sales Intern for AgriGold where she served performed logistical, agronomic, and marketing activities to support the companies' corn and soybean sales.  





Joseph Rahe worked for Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) this summer as their Technology Development Field Assistant. In his role, he conducted small plot and strip trial research as well as disease and fertilizer management research.




 Yueqi "Yoki" Zhao 
was a Rotational Intern this summer for a regional nursery. She managed the supply chain of the production line and investigated plant health.






2017 IL PSM Poster Showcase


Bryce BeVier was a Business Development Intern for The Maschhoffs, LLC. He developed and updated sales tools, analyzed lost opportunities, and improved their sales binder.






Lalita Nivasnanda spent her summer as an adoptions counselor for PAWS Chicago where she served as a consultant to potential adopters at their no-kill shelter in Chicago.






Emily Rogier worked for the Illinois Farm Bureau this summer as their Program Research and Coordinator Intern. In her role, she researched and wrote articles and briefs on agricultural production issues and economics.



Jessica "Jesse" Soule was an Urban Agriculture Intern this summer for the Jefferson Conservation District in Colorado. She provided education and technical assistance to urban farmers and performed a grazing management practices project.
Lauran Widman served as a Grain Merchandising Intern for Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. (CGB) this summer. She originated and marketed grain, built farmer relationships and led educational marketing meetings.
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