Harold Chapman, who received a bachelor’s in Ag Mechanization from CAFNR in 1985, has been named 2020 Alumnus of the Year by the CAFNR Alumni Association.
Chapman is the complex general manager for eight Missouri locations of Crown Power and Equipment and was instrumental in helping design an equipment lease program with CASEIH equipment that has transformed CAFNR’s Missouri Ag Experiment Station and its network of research centers across the state. Chapman worked with John Poehlmann, now-retired Assistant Director, Agricultural Experiment Station Director, and Don Schindler, Manager of Farm Operations, to provide the research centers with top-of-the-line equipment. The program started in 2011, and currently provides more than $9 million of farm equipment annually at a cost that fits the budgets of the 17 different centers and fits their needs in the field.
Other universities also have versions of this program, but CAFNR’s program is the envy of many of these institutions because Chapman endeavored to design a program that met CASE IH Inc., CAFNR and CASE IH dealers’ needs in a manner that would be an incentive for each to be involved.
“The significance of Harold’s work is extensive,” Poehlmann said in his nomination of Chapman. “College classes offered in CAFNR utilize some of the equipment for real life field calculations. Research scientists now have modern farm equipment available that compliments their research needs on the road to discovery. Dependability of the equipment is not questioned when hurrying to get a research trial in. Harvesting delivers better yields because of advanced equipment. Labor savings result from high dependability, larger equipment and more efficient engines. New research tools often require the higher hydraulic capacity of modern tractors to operate well. It has taken a team to make this work that includes dealers, farm superintendents, MU accounting, professors and ultimately, buyers of the equipment once the year is over for each. Harold Chapman is the coach that makes it successful.”
“Prior to the inception of this lease program, it was common to find 50-year-old (or older) equipment doing general farm work, and it was being used to do agricultural research, too,” said David Davis, Superintendent of Forage Systems Research Center. “I believe that without Harold’s perspective gained from being a CAFNR graduate and his willingness to take the lead in developing this lease program that this transformation may not have happened.”