Joe came to ICIA in 1975. He was young, a quick study, and worked very well alongside ICIA Seed Lab Manager Martha Hatchett. Martha was from the original IL Crop seed lab staff. She was very hardworking and detailed. Martha was a great seed analyst and a good teacher for Joe. Joe picked up the details quickly. Martha retired in 1979 and Joe was promoted to Seed Lab Manager.
Joe received his certificate as a Registered Seed Technologist (RST) in 1979. As part of his management responsibilities, he attended many AOSA and SCST meetings. Those meetings involve detailed discussions of how seeds are to be tested and the rules for seed testing procedures.
Joe and Karen had three children: Kathy, David, and Stan. While they were growing up, Joe volunteered as a coach for many of their organized sports activities, especially baseball. Joe was a dedicated St Louis Cardinal baseball fan and, in his retirement, an avid golfer.
Joe left ICIA in 1989 to form his own seed lab. He was there just a short while and then took a seed lab position with Great Lakes Hybrids at Ovid, Michigan. Joe and Karen moved back to Illinois after his retirement and settled in Savoy.
Being the Manager of the ICIA Seed Laboratory is a very prestigious job. Seedsmen have always been able to count on ICIA for fair and accurate results. They decide whether to accept or reject seeds based on ICIA’s testing scores. Seeds grown by IL Seedsmen plant nearly all the 22 million acres of IL, contribute much to the acres of surrounding states as well as international acres. In the nearly 100 years of IL Crop, there have only been 5 people that headed up the seed laboratory. Joe held that title from 1979 – 89. He did his job well and with a lot of professionalism. Joe was well-liked by the ICIA membership. Jim Shearl Manager of ICIA during Joe’s years said, “the members and I always could count on Joe to be correct in his seed analyst opinions.”