25 Years of Service: Dayle Birney
Crops Manager, Andrews University Farm
Dayle and I were hired by Andrews University three months apart in 1995. His welcome-to-the-department gift to me was an unassuming brown paper lunch bag on my desk. I opened it to find it contained a little live snake. My scream gave him all the reward he, and his co-conspirators, could have wanted. His practical jokester side is disguised so when you first meet him you are charmed by his good humor and don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff attitude.
His folksy manner disguises an in-depth knowledge of crop production, soil and plant science, manure management, farm machinery, and welding. And then there’s his techy side which has come to the aid of our faculty many times as we have struggled with getting the classroom computers, projectors (both fixed and mobile), DVD players, etc. to all communicate with each other. He helped me on multiple occasions as I was learning the ins and outs of Excel spreadsheets.
Dayle’s student workers have all said how much they liked working for him and how much they learned while doing so. He has the rare ability of being able to take complex topics and break them down so that others can easily understand them. He is a natural teacher, patiently explaining some process or how a piece of farm equipment functions. We were able to bring this talent of his into the classroom a number of times as he taught “Forage Crop Production,” “Field Crop Production” and “Farm Machinery” classes to the agriculture majors.
One word to describe Dayle would be “helper.” He is there to help whenever needed from tech assistance to help baling hay or plowing snow or solving problems. Andrews University is fortunate to have such a generous, kind man dedicate 25 years of his life to making the world around him a better place.