Illinois College - Home Logo
Open Menu

News

GROWMARK gifts honor CEO, Illinois College Trustee Jim Spradlin '82

2.22.2022

Generous gifts honoring GROWMARK CEO and longtime Illinois College Trustee Jim Spradlin '82 will support students in agribusiness for years to come.

This gift will be used to provide dynamic and meaningful hands-on learning experiences for future students who one day may follow in Jim Spradlin’s footsteps. We are honored to be able to provide these opportunities for Illinois College students, and are thrilled to convey something of who Jim is through these awards: his integrity, innovative spirit, and enduring dedication to the ag community.
Illinois College President Barbara A. Farley

The company recently announced that the GROWMARK Foundation would make gifts to the College totaling $75,000 ahead of Spradlin’s retirement later this month. Spradlin’s four-decade career with GROWMARK began after his graduation from Illinois College.

SpradlinIllinois College President Barbara A. Farley praised Spradlin’s leadership and vision as a member of the Illinois College Board of Trustees, and congratulated him on his retirement. Through the generosity of the foundation’s gifts, GROWMARK is extending Spradlin’s legacy in the ag community, she added.

“This gift will be used to provide dynamic and meaningful hands-on learning experiences for future students who one day may follow in Jim Spradlin’s footsteps. We are honored to be able to provide these opportunities for Illinois College students, and are thrilled to convey something of who Jim is through these awards: his integrity, innovative spirit, and enduring dedication to the ag community,” Farley said.

The foundation is establishing the Jim Spradlin Endowed Scholarship Fund with an extraordinary gift of $50,000 that will support students majoring in agribusiness or a similar field each year. The foundation is further providing $25,000 to support life-changing experiential learning opportunities, like internships, global study, student-faculty research, community engagement and more, for students in agribusiness and other business-related fields. 

Spradlin began his career in the agriculture industry with GROWMARK as an accounting trainee and rose through the ranks within the GROWMARK system, ultimately assuming the role of CEO in 2014.

“The GROWMARK System has seen remarkable growth and transformation under Jim’s leadership and vision as CEO, and Illinois College provided the backbone of his successful career,” said GROWMARK Foundation Executive Amy Bradford. “Jim is very appreciative of these gifts to his alma mater to help further educational opportunities for future leaders in agribusiness.” 

Illinois College’s agribusiness management program launched in 2017 and is rooted in the College’s deep ties to agriculture and the region. The program has experienced rapid growth since its start and prepares students for a wide variety of careers in agriculture with a rigorous, customizable academic program and rich hands-on learning experiences. Students can complete a degree in agribusiness on the Jacksonville campus or fully online. 

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademarks, which are used by licensed member cooperatives. More information is available at www.growmark.com

Learn more about the Illinois College agribusiness management program at www.ic.edu/agribusiness. In addition to the on-campus program, IC offers a fully online, flexible agribusiness management degree designed for working adults. Learn more about the unique online degree at online.ic.edu.

To learn more about how you can change the lives of students for generations to come by establishing an endowed scholarship, visit www.ic.edu/campaign/scholarships.

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit www.ic.edu or call 217.245.3000 for more information.

Media Contact Information
Office of Marketing and Communication
Rosalind Essig | Senior Writer
217.245.3194 | rosalind.essig@ic.edu