Mike Plumer

Apr 14th, 1949 - Dec 25th, 2017


Blue Funeral Home (Marion)

Fri, Jan. 5th, 2018 5pm-8pm


Blue Funeral Home (Marion)

Sat, Jan. 6th, 2018 10am

Mike Plumer

Creal Springs-Michael “Mike” Plumer passed away on Monday, December 25, 2017 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Mike was born in Peoria to Dean and Mary J. (Schade) Plumer. He married Allida Carosiello on May 28, 1983.

Mike worked for the University of Illinois Extension Service for 34 years. He began his career as a County Agent in Kankakee County and then Williamson County.  He later became a Natural Resource I Educator.  Mike was a pioneer in O-Till Farming and Cover Corp Management.  His influence spread national and then international.  His passion for farming, conservation and making the world a better place did not stop when he retired from U of I.  Mike started his own consulting business and continued and expanded his work internationally.  He worked extensively with Illinois Corn Growers Association and Howard G. Buffett Foundation, as well as many universities, organizations and individuals.  Even through his illness he continued to work with Oregon Ryegrass Growers Commission.  He served on many local, regional and national boards and committees related to agriculture, protecting our natural resources and feeding the world.  During all of this he farmed his own land, researching and testing ideas on his own crops.

Mike loved hunting, fly fishing and anything that involved the outdoors. He became a licensed pilot and owned his own plane.

Mike was a very loving, caring and supportive man. He was always there to lend a helping hand to a friend or stranger alike.  Mike will be greatly missed by many.

Survivors include:

Allida Plumer (Wife)

Jennifer Dalton (Daughter)

Calvin and Mary Plumer (Brother)

Debra and Dave Bills (Sister)


Braden Dalton

Bryce Williams

Carley Williams

Jaylynn Robertson

Many nieces and nephews

He was preceded in death by his parents

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 10am at Blue Funeral Home in Marion. Visitation will be on Friday, January 5, 2018 from 5pm-8pm at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Feeding America or the organization of your choice that will benefit agriculture and make this world a better place. Donations will be accepted at Blue Funeral Home/PO Box 411/Marion, IL 62959

For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit bluefuneralhome.com

38 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Don

    From: Rockville, Indiana

    Date: December 27, 2017

    Mike was such a source of valuable information on all aspects of notill and cover crops. I loved being around him, absorbing like a sponge all that I could. Even with all he knew, he was always quiet and humble and eager to spread that wealth of knowledge. I am truly honored to have known and worked with him. The family is in our thoughts and prayers

  • Guest: Ruth Hambleton

    From: Woodlawn, Illinois

    Date: December 27, 2017

    A great and yet humble educator, friend and colleague. Rest in peace my friend. Prayers for Allida and the whole family.

  • Guest: Aunt Joan and uncle Carson

    From: , Missouri

    Date: December 28, 2017

    Our thoughts are with you and your family Jennifer.

  • Guest: Bob and Maxine Knight Dunn

    From: Glen Carbon, Illinois

    Date: December 28, 2017

    I met Mike in Jan. 1977 when I went to work as a 4-H agent in Kankakee Co., IL. He was a good co-worker and a dedicated professional. I am saddened to learn of his passing but I am glad to have had a chance to know him! Indeed, Mike was a good steward of the environment and worked hard to protect the land! RIP, friend. You will be missed.

  • Guest: Dan

    From: Demotte, Indiana

    Date: December 28, 2017

    Mike was a mentor to me. Many a phone call and visit when we could get together. He taught me a quiet and humble way to influence agriculture as a whole and farmers towards a regenerative system.

  • Guest: Ryan Stockwell

    From: Medford, Wisconsin

    Date: December 28, 2017

    Mike will be missed by many. I had the joy of working with Mike to make farming, and this world, a little better. He shared a hopeful attitude with all. I know many people will miss him. I will.

  • Guest: Rob Myers

    From: Columbia, Missouri

    Date: December 28, 2017

    Mike was a pioneer in promoting cover crops and no-till for not only Illinois but the entire Midwest. He was widely known among conservation workers for his deep knowledge on cover crops and conservation, and had a big impact in educating many people on these topics, both from one-on-one advising and the many presentations he gave. He also contributed significantly as an advisor to many of the organizations working on promoting cover crops and conservation agriculture. I will miss my discussions with him and his insights.

  • Guest: David Whison

    From: Melbourne, Florida

    Date: December 28, 2017

    Mike was my first assistant in Kankakee County and devoted himself to helping others. I am sorry to hear of his early death. He was one a few extension educators that had such broad knowledge and insight and often thought outside the box to help others.

  • Guest: Holly Zessin

    From: Hanna City, Illinois

    Date: December 28, 2017

    Mike will be missed by many. Prayers for all.

  • Guest: David Kanters

    From: Port Angeles, Washington

    Date: December 28, 2017

    I first met Mike back in the 70s in Port Angeles Washington. His lifelong best friend, Dick Paine, and I would get together every Thursday evening to watch the series of Kung Fu on Mike’s grainy back of white TV, constantly adjusting the rabbit ears trying to get a signal. Mike spent 2 years here washing cars for a used car salesman and trying to make a connection in agriculture. To the worlds gain and our loss this was unsuccessful and finally he had to admit he needed to move back to Illinois.

    We kept in touch over the years through his friend Dick Paine emails and occasional visits but I was only vaguely aware of his work. Now most of us would like to think we will leave this world in a better place. Few of us ever truly accomplish this. Mike DID it! This became very apparent when I traveled to Africa, no matter where in Tanzania as well as other countries Mike’s legacy lives on. As I would drive by corn fields interspaced with sunflowers and beans held up by the corn stalks as well coffee on the edges it had Mike’s name written all over it. You don’t have to look hard. It was everywhere. I was proud to think “I know this man” and I rubbed shoulders with him. In his years on this earth he TRULY made a difference on a Gobal scale. ……..“Lest We Forget”

  • Guest: Mark Lambert

    From: St Louis, Missouri

    Date: December 28, 2017

    So sorry for your loss. I wanted to share my post from Facebook: There are people who live life and others who touch lives. My friend Mike Plumer, who passed yesterday, was the latter and left his imprint on an entire industry. He was a conservation educator and pioneer who believed in farming smarter and saving and building our soil resources to feed and clothe future generations. He shared his dearth of knowledge with farmers, scientists, decision makers and he was highly successful in his outreach with environmental messages to the urban public. But in the end I will remember him as my thoughtful, soft spoken, sincere friend who had an enduring love for his wife, an affinity for nature, Triumph motorcycles, and his fellow farmers in the US and overseas. My heart aches and you will be missed my friend.

  • Guest: Stan and Loretta Eden

    From: Oregon, Kentucky

    Date: December 29, 2017

    Mike will be missed by many – his positive approach to problem solving helped many – he was a great Extension professional. God’s blessings to Mike’s family!

  • Guest: Betty Gibbons

    From: Belleville, Illinois

    Date: December 29, 2017

    Allida and family, my deepest sympathy at the loss of your beloved. I know he will be deeply missed by many.

  • Guest: Kay Holderfield

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: December 29, 2017

    Mike was my Boss, yet always treated me as friend, many memories of him and Allida and Jennifer. Prayers and kind thoughts for all the families.

  • Guest: Walt and Jan Townsend

    From: Geff, Illinois

    Date: December 29, 2017

    We have lost a true educator. Mike taught from authority—he did not say “I think or it might”. Farmers loved attending his meetings and field days where he spoke. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Guest: Ross and Marianne Adams

    From: Pleasant Hill, Illinois

    Date: December 30, 2017

    Lee and Jennifer,
    Ross and I are so sorry and crushed to hear of Mike’s passing and the world’s loss. He truly was a man of all seasons and one of the sweetest and humblest people we have ever met. I won’t go into all the times we spent together and the fun we had, but I do have to mention your wedding at our place in Marion. That event still stays in our memories as one of the best. What fun! Mike packed so much into his life and most of it was making life better for other people and he loved you dearly.
    I am so sorry we cannot be with you at this time, but we are in Arizona for the winter but our love is there with you.

  • Guest: Mike and Wanda Cain

    From: , Illinois

    Date: December 30, 2017

    Our sincere sympathies are with you during this difficult time. We are grateful we had the privilege of getting to know Mike and have always respected him greatly. We hope you find comfort knowing that his kindness, compassion and spirit will live on through those he left behind.

  • Guest: Richard Paine

    From: Port Angeles, Washington

    Date: December 30, 2017

    It was 50 yrs ago this past summer that I first met Mike at a 4H Conservation camp. My dad tells the story that when he and my mother drove in to pick me up I brought Mike over to meet them and said, “This is Mike Plumer…and you will be seeing a lot of him.” That indeed came to pass as we would visit back and forth from his family farm in Northern Illinois to ours in Southern Illinois. The years passed and I ended up in far Northwest Washington state, Mike came out for a couple of years but the Midwest and Agriculture drew him back and he went on to become a successful farm adviser and innovator of Ag Practices. During those years we were able to make many great memories hunting, fishing and just traveling from the Florida Keys to Alaska. The in between times we kept in contact by letter, by phone and that new fangled thing, the internet.
    Mike was a true Renaissance Man…he knew a lot…about a lot. He was my “go-to” guy for most all things, from bamboo fly rods and turn of the century single shot rifles to modern financing and political happenings. He was my guru.
    But he was also my best friend, I will cherish the times we had together and morn the future times now lost.
    Sleep well my friend…

  • Guest: Randy and Gail Jones

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: December 30, 2017

    We are shocked and saddened by Mike’s passing. He was such an intelligent, kind and gentle soul. He will be missed greatly. Our love and prayers go to Lee and all his family.

  • Guest: Travis

    From: Robinson, Illinois

    Date: December 31, 2017

    Mike will be missed greatly by the farming community. I loved the way he shared his knowledge in such a passionate and humble manner. I think it would be safe to say that his efforts to educate farmers on conservation will no doubt have an impact on the world. My condolences are with his family.

  • Guest: Kent Sickmeyer

    From: West Frankfort , Illinois

    Date: January 1, 2018

    I was fortunate to have worked with Mike at the Ewing Demonstration Center in S. Il. many years ago. I was always amazed with the depth of his knowledge on so many subjects and his ability to explain complex concepts in a way that even I could understand them.
    I’m not sure that Heaven can get any better than Heaven is, but this world is a lesser place w/o him

  • Guest: Harry Wright

    From: Pittsfield, Illinois

    Date: January 1, 2018

    Mike was such a bright person when it came to using agriculture to improve not only our country, but that of the world, and he worked to make it something that would help all…His work will be used for many improvements in the U.S. and Worldwide.

  • Guest: Rebecca Wisdom

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: January 2, 2018

    Dear Allida and family,
    Thinking of you during this time of loss. Peace and comfort to you.

  • Guest: Barry Fisher

    From: Greencastle, Indiana

    Date: January 2, 2018

    Mike was, and will remain a gift to agriculture and sustainable food production. His ability to glean the most logical and practical solutions from his and other’s research and deliver it so broadly across the agriculture community was extraordinary. I join many, that called Mike a mentor and a friend, with heavy hearts as we reflect on the many gifts Mike shared throughout his carrier. Prayers for Allida and the whole family.

  • Guest: Dennis Epplin

    From: Mt. Vernon, Illinois

    Date: January 2, 2018

    I appreciate that Mike was always willing to help out. It did not matter how long it took or how many miles were needed. I am very glad that he did what he loved and wish that he would have had more time.

  • Guest: Brad Guidi and the FCHS Class of 1967

    From: Princeville, Illinois

    Date: January 3, 2018

    Mike was a high school classmate from Farmington Community High School; a quiet man who devoted his life to his passion. God bless your spirit Mike from all of your classmates.

  • Guest: Robert Frank

    From: Edwardsville , Illinois

    Date: January 3, 2018

    So sorry to hear of Mike’s death. We worked together many years in the Extension service. He was a dedicated professional. His leadership in the adoption of 0-tillage and cover crops was outstanding.

  • Guest: Duane Friend

    From: Jacksonville, Illinois

    Date: January 3, 2018

    I am so sorry to hear about Mike. He was a great colleague, and I was always amazed at how many things he was involved in at one time. He was passionate about his work, and he will be missed.

  • Guest: Brett Roberts

    From: Champaign, Illinois

    Date: January 3, 2018

    Mike was a valued colleague of mine for 30 years. He will be missed dearly. I extend my condolences and prayers to his many friends and family.

  • Guest: Bill Million

    From: Sidney, Illinois

    Date: January 4, 2018

    Agriculture lost a true friend and advocate with the passing of Mike Plumer. He lived aspects of the 4-H Pledge…pledging his head to clear thinking and his hands to larger service…during his short life here on earth. My condolences to the family during this difficult time. We pause to celebrate his life knowing the many individuals locally and globally that he helped along his journey.

  • Guest: Soil Health Partnership

    From: Chesterfield, Missouri

    Date: January 4, 2018

    Our deepest sympathies from the Soil Health Partnership team. As a member of our Science Advisory Committee, his knowledge was invaluable, and he will be greatly missed.

  • Guest: Marilyn Rainey

    From: Murphysboro , Illinois

    Date: January 4, 2018

    We shared thoughts, meals, laughter, work, and friendship. Thank you for being a part of my life, Mike. I felt so honored to be amoung your work family in Extension. You helped so many within your short 68 years. Thank you for your continued support and caring. You are a testament to us all!

  • Guest: Kevin Donoho

    From: Mahomet, Illinois

    Date: January 4, 2018

    Mike set the bar very high for everyone in the Natural Resources arena. He challenged the status quo, and lead by example. I believe that he had a genuine calling to teach people of all ages and backgrounds. Mike has made an incomparable contribution to Agriculture, and our understanding of the complex relationships between all natural resources. Everyone who has met him, heard him speak, or certainly worked with him, are much better people and professionals as a result. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. While we may feel this loss for now, we are all blessed for having known him for a short while. May he rest in peace, now that he has been called to his heavenly home.

  • Guest: Randy Chapman

    From: Newton , Illinois

    Date: January 5, 2018

    I am so saddened by mikes death. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for him.so much knowledge. You will be missed

  • Guest: Tim

    From: Goreville, Illinois

    Date: January 5, 2018

    When I first met Mike 35 years ago he was busy with three occupations. In addition to Extension Advisor and the commitment of farming his own land, Mike homesteaded. In his unassuming, methodical manner he sourced vintage hand-hewn log dwellings, disassembling and transporting the many massive timbers to construct the multi-story family log home. Among his side-kicks at the time were Terry Wachter and Al Stachoviak, fellow craftsmen with sawmills who similarly worked with hardwood timbers and log-construction techniques. Outside of the handful of individuals who corroborated with Mike on their unconventional projects happening at the time, few people realize that Mike was a uniquely accomplished do-it-yourselfer who could have excelled in the building trades as he has in his particular expertise of agriculture.
    May the memories of many great years sustain you, Lee and Jennifer, and others who loved him.

  • Guest: Ed Billingsley

    From: Goreville , Illinois

    Date: January 5, 2018

    Mike was a well respected man throughout the Midwest for his knowledge. He was a coworker and friend. We spent many nights as roommates on the road. He helped me teach hunter safety courses as well. For that he was a volunteer. He often spoke of his family and always with love and affection. He truly was a kind man he will be missed.

  • Guest: Larry Flesner

    From: Carterville, Illinois

    Date: January 5, 2018

    I and fellow members of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter 277 have missed Mike these past few years at our chapter events. We always enjoyed sharing with Mike our common love of aviation. He was always soft spoken but never without a smile. He has been and will continue to be missed. Our combined thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • Guest: Wilbon R Anthony

    From: East St Louis, Illinois

    Date: January 10, 2018

    My condolence to Mike’s family. We worked together as colleagues in Extension for many years in southern Illinois. I have fond memories of Mike sharing his stories of travel, meeting with the Buffets, and flying his plane. I am thankful for his commitment to make the world a better place.