April 03, 2014

‘All Ag Banquet’ honors Robb, Raben

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently honored two of its alumni at its 62nd annual “All Ag Banquet.”           

Fahran Robb accepted the 2014 College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.  Robb serves as senior scientific and policy adviser for biofuels for the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in the Office of Global Analysis.  She is responsible for planning, developing and coordinating FAS positions and strategies to reduce trade barriers to American exports of bioenergy products, biofuels, and biofuel feedstock. Her duties include participating in international trade negotiations and creating a communications plan to combat misinterpretations of American agriculture abroad. 

As an SIU student, Robb, a Pinckneyville native, was twice a member of the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team.  She graduated from SIU in 2007 Summa Cum Laude and as valedictorian with multiple degrees.  She earned bachelor’s degrees in agriculture systems and also political science.  Robb later earned a master’s degree at Cornell University, and a law degree from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law. 

Bill Raben accepted the 2014 College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Alumnus award.  A Ridgway native, Raben was a plants and soil science major at SIU.  He taught at Enfield High School and also worked on the family farm, which continues to do.  He serves on the Gallatin County Farm Bureau Board, the Gallatin County Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the Wabash Valley Board of Directors.  He is chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association and served on the board of directors of GROWMARK, a regional agricultural cooperative. 

The college awarded the Donald M. Elkins Excellence in Education Award to Peter Dirks, an instructor in agribusiness economics, and the Gary L. Minish Outstanding Adviser Award to Nicole Davis, an instructor in animal science, food and nutrition. 

Other awards include:

• Outstanding senior -- Lauren Arteman, plant and soil science, Bellflower; Outstanding senior runner-up -- Kara Cox, agricultural systems, Plainfield.

• Herb Oetjen Outstanding Junior Award -- Cecily Haase, human nutrition and dietetics, Staunton; Outstanding junior runner-up -- Morgan Schulte, forestry, Breese.

• Outstanding Club -- Student Nutrition Academic Counsel (SNAC) and Collegiate FFA; runner-up, the SIU Equestrian Team.