Fred Stickler

Fred participated in both vocal and instrumental music at Villisca High School. While attending school, he developed an early interest in agriculture by working for various farmers and helping mechanics at the local John Deere dealership.

Received a B.S. from Iowa State College (now University), an M.S. from Kansas State and a Ph.D. from Iowa State, all in agronomy. While at Kansas State, he pioneered research on using narrow (20- and 30-inch) rows and improved herbicides for growing grain sorghum. Authored or co-authored 56 publications and helped establish a research program at Kansas State sponsored by Deere & Co. Became Assistant Professor of Agronomy at Kansas State, and later Associate Professor.

As an agronomist at Deere & Co., he directed research on crop management systems for row crops, especially corn and soybeans, and their effect on machinery design. Later became responsible for planning and design of Deere tillage and planting equipment. Appointed Director of the Deere Technical Center where his staff of 130 conducted applied research to improve Deere products. Assisted in reorganizing the product planning function at Deere & Co. Appointed Director of Product and Market Planning for the North American Agricultural and Consumer Products Division of Deere & Co., a position he held for 7 years until he retired in 1987. After retiring, Fred continued to represent Deere & Co. in several key farm organizations.

Although active in various organizations in his local community of Moline, Illinois, he has maintained his ties to Villisca. When home in Villisca, he shared ideas about tillage and equipment with local farmers. He owns a farm near Grant and has written two articles for the Villisca Historical Society Newsletter.

Fred Stickler, a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Moline, Illinois.