Prior to joining ISU, Don was Extension Director for McLean County. As Director, he provided leadership in managing the budget, local staff, and marketing. Don began with McLean County in 1983 as an agriculture educator and in 1990 moved to manager, overseeing all programs. Under his leadership, Extension expanded to meet a growing population and changing client needs including both rural & urban issues. Besides management, he taught a variety of subjects including agricultural awareness, horticulture, agriculture economics, and pest management. Before Extension, Don taught 6 years at Lexington High School as agriculture instructor.
Donald was recognized as Achievement Award winner in Illinois Extension Agricultural Association and twice received a state award. He presented a paper to the National County Agricultural Agents meeting in 1987. He received the McLean County Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award in 1990, and recognized as an ISU CAST Associates Award winner from Agriculture Department in 1992. In 2000 he received Extension’s Award of Excellence for Sustained Excellence in Programming. In 2009 he was honored with the UI “Team Award for Excellence” for his work as a TV panelist on the WILL-TV Illinois Gardener program. In 2010 he received WJBC’s “Spirit of McLean County” award for community contributions & in 2011 was named Chamber of Commerce “Legacy of Excellence” winner. At the 2011 4-H Fair, he received Farm Bureau’s “Golden Clover” recognition.
In addition to teaching at ISU, Don is a licensed real estate broker, auctioneer, & farm management consultant with Lee Realty Group in Bloomington.