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Trent Torrance graduated in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in Applied Sciences.
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Allan Watson graduated in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in Applied Sciences and in 1989 with a master's degree in Business Administration.
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Dan Loy graduated in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science.
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Dennis Bowman graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in Crop Science.
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Rodney Main graduated in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Education.
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WIU Celebrates Distinguished Agriculture Alums

February 5, 2024

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University recognizes the outstanding achievements of its distinguished Agriculture (Ag) alumni, who have made significant contributions to the field. Among these individuals are Trent Torrance, Rodney Main, Dennis Bowman, Dan Loy and Allan L. Watson.

Torrance, who currently serves as the chief operating officer for United Animal Health, has been named one of WIU's Distinguished Ag Alums. With a background deeply rooted in family farming, Torrance's journey from a grain and livestock family operation in west-central Illinois to leadership roles at United Animal Health showcases his dedication to the industry. He received his bachelor's degree in Animal Science from WIU and his master's degree in Animal Science from the University of Missouri.

He has extensive background in various organizations and serves on the Executive Board of Directors of AgriNovus Indiana, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Indiana Advisory Council for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Main is a dedicated agriculture teacher and FFA advisor and an influential individual among WIU's Distinguished Ag Alums. Raised on a family farm in Illinois and a lifetime farmer, his journey led him to a fulfilling career in agriculture education. With 29 years at ROWVA High School and 40 years overall as a high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, Main's commitment to the community and the industry doesn't go unnoticed.

Outside of his career, Main has actively participated in tractor pulling at both state and national levels, showcasing his diverse knowledge of agriculture.

Bowman, a 1981 graduate in Crop Science, has been recognized as a Distinguished Ag Alum for his significant contributions to digital agriculture. He currently serves as an extension specialist for Digital Agriculture at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and holds many achievements in agronomy, county extension and regional crop systems. His background includes the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Distinguished Service Award and the Illinois Extension Individual Excellence Award.

Bowman's expertise extends to drone technology and is a certified FAA Part 107 drone pilot. His involvement in large grant projects at the University of Illinois, including AIFARMS, IFARM (Farm of the future) and SCAPES (Agrivoltaics), proves his commitment to advancing agriculture through technology.

Loy, a distinguished figure in the field of animal science, is celebrated as a professor emeritus at Iowa State University. With a doctorate degree from Penn State University, Loy has been a large contributor to applied feedlot nutrition and beef production. He currently has served as director of the Iowa Beef Center for 12 years and received numerous awards, including the Extension Award from the American Society of Animal Science, highlighting his significant impact on the cattle feeding industry.

Watson, who received his bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a Master of Business Administration from WIU, has had a successful career spanning beef production, sales and marketing and financial advisory. Watson's contributions to the agriculture industry include managing amino acid sales and marketing, serving on numerous agricultural boards and serving in his churches and localities. He currently lives in Carefree, AZ, and remains actively engaged in community service.

"WIU acknowledges these distinguished Ag alumni for their outstanding achievements and lasting impact on the agriculture industry," WIU Ag Director Andy Baker said.

For more information on WIU's School of Agriculture, visit

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