University News

WIU Ag Student Places First in State Conference Poster Competition

May 9, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University School of Agriculture student recently took first place in the poster competition of the Illinois State Academy of Science (ISAS) conference in Decatur, IL. Keely Egelhoff, a senior agriculture major from Medora, IL, won first place in the agriculture division of the Student Presentation Awards. 

Egelhoff competed in the agriculture science division with research attempting to determine whether grafted tomato plants could be differentiated from non-grafted tomato plants using hyperspectral reflectance data and an unsupervised classification technique that differentiates natural spectral groupings, called cluster analysis. Egelhoff worked with Assistant Professor of Agriculture Dan Atherton and Assistant Professor of Agriculture Shelby Henning to capture the data and analyze the results.

The ability to differentiate grafted plants from non-grafted plants provides a process validation tool for growers who sell these plants since grafted tomato plants demand a 100 percent premium compared to non-grafted tomato plants. Egelhoff's poster was titled "Remote Sensing for Evaluating the Effect of Grafting on Hyperspectral Reflectance of Tomato Plants."

In addition to Egelhoff capturing first place, Atherton, who is ISAS Division Chair for Agriculture, served as a judge in some of the conference's competition categories. 

For more information about the WIU School of Agriculture, visit

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