Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Robert A. Easter
Retired Professor, Dean and President of the University of Illinois System and Current Farm Credit Director

Mahomet, Illinois
Farm Credit Affiliation
1st Farm Credit Services
Robert's Perspective

Dr. Robert Easter, president emeritus of the University of Illinois, is the current chair of the Food and Agriculture RoadMap for Illinois (FARM Illinois).

FARM Illinois was established to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to enable Illinois and the Chicago region to become the leading global hub for food and agriculture system innovation and ensure their leadership in sustainably meeting the 21st-century challenge of global and local food security. The movement is overseen by a high-level Leadership Council of 39 experts and distinguished leaders with renowned experience in agriculture, international markets, global food security, sustainability, conservation, community development and related issues.

“I believe that production of food, fiber and fuel through agriculture is an honorable profession fundamental to human existence and that meeting the needs of the expanding global population is essential to survival and prosperity of our human species,” says Dr. Easter.

Dr. Easter was born and raised on a farm in Texas, and being involved in Future Farmers of America, now known as FFA, shaped his interest in agriculture. He came to the University of Illinois in 1973 and after earning a Ph.D. in animal science. He first worked as a swine researcher and later became department head, chancellor and ultimately president of the university from 2012 to 2015. He also spent 20 years as an Army Reserve officer.

Dr. Easter serves on the 1st Farm Credit Services Board of Directors as an appointed outside director, bringing a diversity in background, thought, perspective and expertise to the 14-member board of farmers and agribusiness owners.

“I anticipate a growing appreciation of the importance of the food and agricultural systems and significant advances in technologies that impact every dimension, from creation of inputs to delivery to the consumer’s plate,” Dr. Easter says. “I believe in the capacity of those involved to develop strategies that will make it possible to meet the needs of the 21st century in ways that sustain both the production environment and the livelihood of the farmer.”

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