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MATTOON -- Senior atmospheric scientist Eric Snodgrass is set to be the featured speaker at the annual Rotary Rural-Urban luncheon on Monday.

The luncheon is scheduled to begin at noon Monday in the Education Center at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. The Mattoon and Charleston Rotary clubs annually host this event as a way to increase education and interaction among the rural and urban population.

"We try to vary the topics from year to year to make sure we stay current and make sure we have a topic that will be of interest," said luncheon coordinator Rodney Morris, who is a member of the Mattoon Rotary Club.

Eric Snodgrass, who is director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois, is scheduled to present “Predicting Chaos: Weather Risk in Agriculture" at Monday's luncheon.

The guest speaker will review how weather has influenced crop production, discuss changes in technology and how weather prediction has evolved, describe how weather affects commodity prices, and forecast weather for the spring 2018 planting season and upcoming growing season.

Snodgrass guides more than 1,800 students annually through the study of weather and meteorology in various courses, while also advising all undergraduate students studying atmospheric science and supervising graduate teaching assistants and master’s students.

In addition, Snodgrass serves on many committees and boards on campus and supervises various Capstone Research projects for the university. He has received several awards, including the Campus Teaching Excellence Award and the Excellence Award for Online and Distance Education. In 2012, his "Atmospheric Science 120" was named Best Online Course by the National Association of Continuing Education.

Snodgrass also co-founded Global Weather and Climate Logistics, a private company that provides logistical guidance and solutions to weather forecasting applications in financial markets. His company recently merged with Agrible, a precision farm management and predictive analytics company. Currently, he is conducting research on weather risk of land-falling tropical cyclones and global agricultural yield projections.

"He is a popular speaker, very interesting and very informative. We are really excited to have him here and look forward to his presentation," Morris said.

This year’s Rural-Urban luncheon is made possible by sponsorship from Tate & Lyle Grain, Farm Credit Illinois, Birkey’s, Farmers Grain of Dorans, South Central FS, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative, Coles County Farm Bureau, Alliance Tractor, The Cromwell Radio Group, Rural King, Advanced Ag Services, Helena, Great Heart Seed, Neal Tire & Auto Service, Agrigold, First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, and Sarah Bush Lincoln.

The luncheon is open to the agricultural community but RSVP is required for attendance. To confirm a reservation, phone 217-258-2511.

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