Farm Credit and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are sponsoring the 2021 Ag Innovation Challenge – a national competition for food and agriculture entrepreneurs.
The Challenge supports startup companies dedicated to creating innovative solutions that address the needs of America's farmers, ranchers and rural communities.
This year, Farm Credit and AFBF are looking to highlight entrepreneurs addressing both traditional challenges farmers face on their operation – such as access to labor, optimizing yield and reducing operating costs – as well as entrepreneurs addressing new challenges facing farmers and rural communities due to COVID-19.
The Challenge application is open through July 31, and the top ten businesses will compete live for a total of $145,000 in startup funds at the 2021 AFBF Annual Convention in San Diego, Jan. 8-10, 2021.
Visit fb.org/challenge to learn more and apply.
# # #
Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. As a nationwide network of member-owned cooperatives, each of the 72 independent financial institutions serve the U.S. farmers and ranchers, farmer-owned cooperatives and other agribusinesses, rural homebuyers, and rural infrastructure across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more than 100 years, Farm Credit has fulfilled its mission through challenging and prosperous times.
Next week on The Show....
7/13 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Todd Hubbs – Ag Economist @ U of I
7/13 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Lindsey Burden – 4H Youth Development Educator @ Dewitt, Macon, Piatt Extension
Jason Lay – McLean County Farmer
Liz Moran Stelk – IL Stewardship Alliance Resilience Fund
Jennifer Nelson – Horticulturist & “Grounded & Growing” Blog
Allison Reinecke – DeWitt County Farm Bureau
Kortney Hoerbert – Little Brown Cow Dairy in Delavan
Kyle Reed – Hilltop Community Gardens in Mt Pulaski
Kevin Toohill – DeWitt County Farmer & U of I Student
Bob Lawless – Golden Harvest Agronomist
On The Show next week...
7/6 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Eric Snodgrass – Principal Atmospheric Scientist @ Nutrien Ag
7/6 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Adam Brown – Macon Co Farmer & USDA Advisory Committee
Ryan Utterback – DeWitt County Farmer
Matt Jungmann – National Events Manager @ Farm Progress
Susan Moore – IAA Foundation Director
Eric Heeft – Tazewell County Farmer
Pat Toohill – McLean/DeWitt County Farmer
Doug Schroeder – Champaign County Farmer & Chair of IL Soybean Association Board
Raghela Scavuzzo – IL Farm Bureau Food System Development
John Anderson – U of Arkansas & CAST Covid Impact Study
Next week on The Show...
6/29 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Monica Nyman – St. Louis Dairy Council On June Dairy Month
6/29 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
William Graff – IL Ex. Dir. For USDA Farm Service Agency
Kevin Ross – President of NCGA & Iowa Farmer
Nathan Wentworth – Macon County Farmer
Rick Eastham – Edgar County Farmer
Lance Tarochione – Agronomist w/ Dekalb & Asgrow
Nathan Sasse – Sasse's Apiary in Logan County
Robert Klemm – DeWitt County Farmer & IL Farm Bureau Board
Daniel Doyle – Lumpkin Family Foundation on Chicago Region Food System Fund
Mike Warner – Wyffels DSM in Christian & Shelby County
On The Show next week...
6/22 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Lauren Lurkins – Director of Environmental Policy @ IL Farm Bureau
6/22 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Andrew Meister – Chair of Market On The Hill in Mt Pulaski
David Brix – Macon County Farmer
Joe Camp – Manager @ Agrivisior
Doug Schroeder – Champaign County Farmer & Chair of IL Soybean Association Board
Mellisa McMillan – Manager @ Christian County Farm Bureau
Laura Gentry – Director Of Water Quality Research @ IL Corn Growers Association
Matt Hughes – McLean County Farmer
Kris Ehlers – Champaign County Farmer & CCA
Heath Houck – Montgomery County Farmer
Mt. Pulaski, IL -- After a successful year of planning and fundraising, the Market on the Hill, a new community-owned grocery store in Mt. Pulaski will open its doors for business on Monday, June 22nd on the corner of S. Layafette St. on the town square. A grand opening celebration will follow on Friday, June 26th. To better serve Logan County residents amidst the pandemic, all shoppers will receive 20% off fresh fruits and vegetables, guaranteed through September.
The Market on the Hill is a community-owned grocery store owned by 125 residents of Logan County. Store hours are 9am-7pm Monday- Saturday and 10-4pm on Sunday. The store is open to all, and shoppers need not be owners to take advantage of the store's many offerings. The store will feature a deli with high quality meats and cheeses and will carry a number of staple goods, including pantry items and fresh produce, with special efforts to source products directly from surrounding farms. Upon opening, shoppers can expect fresh greens and seasonal produce from Hilltop Community Gardens in Mt. Pulaski, honey from Sasse's apiaries in Chestnut, and beef from Tyson's Farm in Chestnut, with more local farm products to be added regularly.
"It was important to us to make sure the store not only helped feed our community, but serve as an economic driver as well. Every dollar that the store spends purchasing local products is a dollar that gets reinvested with area farmers who will reinvest it with other local businesses. There is an economic multiplier effect going on that will help our store do double the good—growing both the health and wealth of southern Logan county," says Andy Meister, Board President.
To further support the well-being of the community, the Market on the Hill will offer 20% off all locally-grown fresh produce, guaranteed through September.. The discount is made possible through a partnership with the Mt. Pulaski Economic Development Board and will make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable for shoppers of all income levels at a time when it is needed most.
"The Covid 19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity across the state, and our community feels it too," says Kim Martin, head of the Health Initiative Committee for the Market on the Hill board. "Just getting the store open will provide southern Logan County with greater food access, but we wanted to go a step further and help people afford more of the fresh, wholesome food that is often perceived as too expensive. We're doing what we can to make local produce accessible to everyone who needs it."
Opening week will consist of a "soft open" from Monday, June 22nd through Friday, June 26th at which time customers can shop the store as normal following state health guidelines. The soft open will provide staff the opportunity to work through any initial hiccups in preparation for the grand opening on Friday, June 26th at 6:00pm. The grand opening will feature a ribbon cutting with dignitaries and legislators and free light refreshments provided by Mike Richner Catering in partnership with John Wyss of Primo Grills. Local ingredients will be provided by Hilltop Community Gardens and Tyson's Farm. Outdoor seating will be available and state guidelines for social-distancing will be observed.
For more information about the Market on the Hill and opening week activities visit www.facebook.com/marketonthehill
Nearly 8,000 Farm Credit Illinois borrowers receive their share of a $28 million cash patronage distribution this week.
This is FCI’s second consecutive patronage payment and represents 37.1% of the Association’s 2019 net earnings. In January, FCI’s Board of Directors declared a $28 million distribution after reviewing 2019 year-end financials and projecting capital and business needs for the coming year.
In true cooperative spirit and demonstrating Member Economic Participation – a guiding principle of all cooperative businesses – patronage is distributed equitably based on the business value each borrower contributed to the cooperative in 2019.
All checks arrive the week of June 15-19 by mail. Cash patronage is a tribute to generations of farm family cooperative members. Together, FCI and farm families celebrate the legacy of disciplined management from borrowers and cooperative managers alike, which allows FCI to deliver additional cooperative value.
“As a cooperative diligently managing its capital, FCI is well-positioned to provide $28 million of additional value to our farm family and agribusiness borrowers,” says Eric Mosbey, FCI Board Chair. “Cash patronage is a tangible and significant benefit of our cooperative structure.”
“Especially in these volatile economic times, unbudgeted revenue is welcomed by farm families,” says Aaron Johnson, FCI President and CEO. “The cooperative demonstrates its mission of Helping Farm Families Succeed through cash patronage.”
Next week on The Show...
6/15 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Lexi Mueller – New IL FFA President & USDA's Ag USA – Protect Pollinators
6/15 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Doug Harlan – County Director @ U of I Extension Dewitt, Macon, & Piatt
Molly Schempp – New IL FFA Vice President & Emma Kuhns – IL FFA Treasurer
Kris Ehlers – Champaign County Farmer & Certified Crop Advisor
Margaret Vaessen – New IL FFA Reporter & Jordi Oliver – New IL FFA Secretary
Jennifer Fink – Director of Info & Ag Literacy Coordinator & Tim Stock – Ex. VP @ Macon CFB
Chase Brown – Macon County Farmer & IL Beef Board of Governors
Grant Noland – Christian County Farmer
Emerson Nafziger – Professor Emeritus @ U of I
Sara Marten – 4H Youth Educator @ U of I Ext Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin & Jersey
The Environmental Protection Agency responded to last week's Ninth Circuit ruling with this cancellation order....
Illinois Farm Bureau President, Richard Guebert, Jr., issued the following statement...
“Illinois Farm Bureau has worked quickly to engage in discussions with stakeholders since the Ninth Circuit ruling vacating the registrations of three dicamba herbicides was announced last week.. On June 5, IFB submitted a letter to USEPA expressing concern and urging the agency to consider remedies to avoid sudden disruption during the 2020 growing season.
“The USEPA cancellation order outlines limited circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products can be used for a limited time. We appreciate the guidance from USEPA to allow our members to use the product without further disruption for the 2020 soybean crop. As the largest soybean producing state in the nation, Illinois farmers have a considerable financial investment in the technology and are committed to its responsible use..
“This announcement is a result of a groundswell of activity and engagement within our organization and across the country. Illinois Farm Bureau looks forward to working with Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting Director Jerry Costello on the implementation aspects of this order for Illinois farmers.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (IL-12), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Darin LaHood (IL-18) authored a letter today to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging an appeal of the recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court that vacated three registrations of dicamba and request a Section 18 Emergency Use Authorization to provide guidance for producers. This decision comes at a time when soybean farmers across Illinois have already begun applying dicamba to their crop in order to achieve maximum yield potential.
"This decision by the Ninth Circuit Court could not come at a worse possible time for soybean farmers in Illinois," said Republican members of the Illinois Congressional delegation. "Dicamba is a vital part of over-the-top (OTT) application plans for soybean farmers across the Midwest, and especially in Illinois. This ruling only causes more uncertainty for producers who are trying to rebound from a historically tough 2019 season while ensuring planting takes place despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We urge Administrator Wheeler to appeal this decision immediately and request a stay of the court order to ensure farmers can finish their soybean planting season without having to worry about whether or not their crop will make it to harvest."
Text of the letter sent to Administrator Wheeler:
The Honorable Andrew Wheeler
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
Sent via electronic mail
We write to you regarding the June 3, 2020 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to immediately vacate the registration of three dicamba products (Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan) during the height of the application season. Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.
Illinois is the largest soybean producing state in the nation, and thousands of farmers use dicamba to ensure their crop reaches its maximum yield potential. This ruling comes at the height of the dicamba application season and has created chaos amongst farmers and manufacturers. The Court has not considered the consequences of their decision to immediately prohibit the use of dicamba, including the millions of dollars spent by soybean farmers on this product.
Many producers across Illinois made specific plans to apply dicamba to protect their soybeans from post-emergent weeds, such as water hemp. Manufacturers produced dicamba to fit the needs of producers and passed the product down the supply chain to retailers that stocked their inventory for farmers to purchase. Retailers are facing overstocked warehouses of an unusable product and will likely not have sufficient supplies of alternative product to ensure farmers have the ability to protect their crop.
We urge you to immediately appeal this federal court ruling and request a stay of the court order. If a stay is placed on the decision, producers will be able to continue to apply their remaining stocks of dicamba and not have to alter their plans to protect their soybean crop. Additionally, we request that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue an existing stocks order to provide appropriate guidance to farmers and applicators, including a Section 18 Emergency Use authority for Illinois farmers.
Soybean farmers in Illinois are counting on the EPA to stand with them and ensure that they will be able to continue to use dicamba during the 2020 planting season. The decision by the Court has caused undue chaos for producers already facing adversities due to market volatility and COVID-19. Thank you for your urgent consideration of our request to help assist soybean growers throughout Illinois. If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
On June 3, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling immediately vacating the registrations of Xtendimax, FeXapan and Engenia. The Ninth Circuit ruled that USEPA’s registrations of those products violated The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Pursuant to FIFRA, all pesticides sold, used, or distributed in the United States must be registered with the USEPA. Therefore, effective June 3, 2020, based on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, Xtendimax, FeXapan, and Engenia cannot be sold, used, or distributed as their registrations have been vacated.
While the Department has the authority to regulate the sale and use of pesticides within the State, it cannot permit any sale or use without a valid FIFRA registration. The Department acknowledges and is sympathetic to the challenges that the Court’s decision will pose to the industry.
The Department has not yet received any guidance from the USEPA, but we will continue to monitor this situation closely. As new information becomes available, the Department will provide updates on its website.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is disappointed by the 9th Circuit's decision to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency's federal registrations for three dicamba products, Xtendimax, FeXapan, and Engenia. Farmers rely on EPA's science-based process for developing appropriate and safe guidelines for the use of crop protection products.
NCGA urges the EPA to immediately appeal this ruling and obtain a stay of this overreaching court order. This decision to remove a weed control option, especially in the middle of the season, adds yet another challenge to an already difficult time and sets a concerning precedent.
Farmers have invested in previously allowed dicamba products, EPA should offer clarifying guidance and allow the use of existing stocks. NCGA is working closely with its partners and the EPA to understand the full ramifications of this decision and what options lie ahead for the future of the product.
Next week on The Show....
6/8 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Wes Durbin – Shelby Co Farmer & Farm Credit Illinois Board Member
6/8 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Rich Guebert – IL Farm Bureau President
Lisa Diaz – Director of Illinois 4-H
Evan Marr – Morgan County Farmer & Farm Credit Illinois Directors Cup Winner
Mike Nelson – Ford County Farmer & Farm Credit Illinois Directors Cup Winner
Allison Reinecke – Manager @ DeWitt County Farm Bureau
Kelly Estes – Illinois State Ag Pest Survey Coordinator
Andy Schumacher – Cumberland County Farmer & Farm Credit Illinois Directors Cup
Alex Head – Macon County Farmer & Farm Credit Illinois Directors Cup Winner
Rodney Weinzierl – Executive Director of IL Corn Growers Association
A U.S. appeals court this week vacated the registration of three dicamba herbicides, including Bayer’s XtendiMax. NAFB's Micheal Clements reports…
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the registrations of three dicamba-based herbicides, one each from BASF, Corteva, and Bayer. Allison Crittenden is director of Congressional Relations with the American Farm Bureau, who says these kinds of court decisions often hit farmers at the worst possible times…
The court says the Environmental Protection Agency substantially understated or failed to consider the “social and economic cost of approving the registration.” Bayer says they strongly disagree with the decision and are assessing their options.
Two Illinois agriculture organizations have issued statements in regards to this week's federal court ruling on the sale and use of Dicamba herbicide in soybeans....
The Illinois Farm Bureau released the following statement to Regional Radio Thursday afternoon...
"On June 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that vacated the registrations of three dicamba herbicides – Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia and Corteva’s FeXapan. The ruling does not appear to address Syngenta’s Tavium.
Illinois Farm Bureau remains in communication with the U.S. EPA, Illinois Department of Agriculture, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the registrants. We will work to minimize any potential sudden disruption to Illinois farmers’ planting and growing season."
In addition, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association issued the following statement Thursday evening via their web platforms...
"IL Department of Agriculture legal counsel has looked at the US 9th Circuit Court ruling on dicamba, and believes it clearly calls for the stop of use, sale and distribution of all uses of the three products: Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan effective immediately. The Tavium registration is not affected by this ruling. We are expecting a statement from IDOA very soon but this is the situation in Illinois, and we ask for our members to abide by this determination and help communicate this serious message. More information will be forthcoming and we will communicate as soon as we have more details from IDA or US EPA on the management of product already in the supply chain. "
USDA Director Sonny Perdue Thursday called for the courts to allow farmers to go ahead and use dicamba they have purchased for this growing season.
It's expected that Bayer, and others named in the suit, will attempt to appeal the ruling.
Next week on The Show....
6/1 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
U.S. Rep Mike Bost – IL 12th Congressional District
6/1/ noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Craig Paulek – Christian County Farmer & Christian County Fair Board Member
Karl Probst – Coles County Farmer
Mindy Bunselmeyer – Executive Director @ IL FFA Center
Marvin Finfrock III – DeWitt County Farmer
Nate Prater – Golden Harvest Agronomist
Kris Reynolds – Midwest Director @ American Farmland Trust (Part 1)
Andrew Newberg – DeWitt County Farmer
Kris Reynolds – Midwest Director @ American Farmland Trust (Part 2)
Dennis Bork – Macon County Farmer
Six young and beginning farmers and farmer couples from central and southern Illinois were named FreshRoots Directors Cup honorees this week by Farm Credit Illinois.
The Directors Cup presented by the cooperative Board of Directors celebrates young and beginning farmers committed to continuous learning and intentional living for a brighter future for their farm family business and community. Honorees receive $5,000 and a commemorative keepsake.
Cooperative members were selected by a panel of seven industry representatives– including one FCI Board member – based on a combination of each applicant’s unique farm beginnings, personal and business aspirations, and passion for building a brighter future for their farm business and community.
The Directors Cup award is part of the FreshRoots young and beginning farmers program, which provides lending assistance and learning incentives to farmers up to age 40 or in their first 10 years of farming.
“Today’s newest farmers need a resilient business mind and commitment to lifelong learning – especially in today’s volatile economy,” says Eric Mosbey, FCI Board Chair. “The Board of Directors celebrates the determination these beginning farmers display while developing ground-breaking skills and practices to invest in their futures.”
“FCI delivers cooperative value and support for beginning farmers prioritizing personal growth and professional development through the FreshRoots learning incentives and lending assistance,” says Aaron Johnson, FCI president and CEO. “The Directors Cup is another tangible way FCI is Helping the Next Generation of Farm Families Succeed.”
The following beginning farmers were selected as 2020 Directors Cup honorees:
Alex Head of Blue Mound (Macon County) is a fourth generation farmer raising corn, seed corn, seed beans, non-GMO soybeans, food grade non-GMO soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, rye, and beef cattle. Head, 30, began farming in 2010 and works with his parents and brother. He manages the row crop side of the operation and keeps the books for both their grain and livestock operations. Alex is married to wife Lena.
Evan Marr of Jacksonville (Morgan County) is a fourth generation corn, soybean, and cattle farmer. Marr, 26, began farming in 2014 and works with his father, uncle, and brother as the farm’s data management and technology lead. He also owns Elite Ag Sales – an ag equipment, crop health, and seed products business also offering custom farming operations – co-owns a trucking entity, and runs a cow-calf operation.
Mike Nelson of Paxton (Ford County) is a fifth generation corn and soybean farmer. Nelson, 34, began farming in 2013, is the sole proprietor of his own operation, and partners with his father for equipment and labor. He and his wife Amanda have one son.
Matthew and Melanie Schmitz of Valmeyer (Monroe County) are fifth generation corn, soybean, cattle, and hay farmers. Matthew is a full-time farmer and Melanie is an accountant at Bunge while serving as the farm manager and marketer. They actively farm with Melanie’s father and uncle and are currently transitioning ownership from both sets of parents and Melanie’s uncle. Matthew, 35, and Melanie, 32, began farming in 2008 and have two sons.
Andy and Monica Schumacher of Sigel (Cumberland County) are fourth generation corn, soybean, wheat, hog, and cattle farmers. Andy is a full-time farmer and custom operator. Monica is an accountant at Midland State Bank and for the farm. They farm with Andy’s father and will transfer complete ownership of the operation by the end of the year. Andy, 34, and Monica, 32, began farming in 2009 and have one daughter.
Jill and Chad Vonder Haar of Saint Rose (Clinton County) are third and fourth generation farmers, respectively. They raise corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, hay, beef, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, and eggs. Many products are sold directly to consumers via their Main Street Pastures farm store. Jill is a full-time farm manager and operator and Chad owns an automotive reconditioning business and works on the farm part-time. They manage the farm themselves with help from extended family during busy times. Jill, 40, and Chad, 40, began farming in 2008 and have three daughters and one son.
Profiles of each Directors Cup honoree can be found at www.farmcreditIL.com/freshroots.
About Farm Credit Illinois
Farm Credit Illinois is a farmer-owned and directed agricultural cooperative serving the southern 60 counties of Illinois with competitive and flexible financing, crop insurance expertise, and Rural 1st® lending for rural life. Farm Credit Illinois manages a $4.5 billion loan portfolio, sells 1.36 million acres of crop insurance coverage, and employs 230 staff based in the Mahomet headquarters and 14 regional office locations. The Association delivered additional cooperative value by returning $28 million of cash patronage to member-owners in 2020. The U.S. Farm Credit System supports rural communities, farm families, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow.
Next week on The Show....
5/25 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Jenny Jackson – Communications Director @ IL Pork Producers
5/25 noon (12:20p & 4:25p on WHOW)
Matt Bennett – Bennett Consulting & AgMarket.net
Eric Snodgrass – Chief Atmospheric Scientist w/ Nutrien Ag Solutions
Ken Ferrie – Crop Tech Consulting & Farm Journal Agronomist
Adam Nielsen – National Legislative Director @ IL Farm Bureau
Lucas Roney – Moultrie County Farmer
Kyle Meece – Agronomy Manager @ United Prairie
Tom Heironymous – DeWitt County Farmer
Danny Himes – LG Seeds in Shelby, Christian, Montgomery, & Sangamon
Gary Schnitkey – Farm Management Specialist @ U of I
Next week on The Show...
5/18 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Chad Kalaher – Field Agronomist W/ Beck's Hybrids
5/18 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Jake Lieb – Piatt County Farmer & Bison Producer
Paul Butler – Macon County Farmer
Jerry Toohill – Stone Seed in Dewitt, Macon, Piatt, & Logan
David Murphy – Peoria & Marshall County Farmer
Jennifer Fink & Tim Stock – Macon County Farm Bureau
Matt Jungmann – National Events Manager w/ Farm Progress
Austin Rincker – Shelby County Farmer
Randy Toohill – DeWitt County Farmer
Shaun Tyson – Logan County Cattle & Mt Pulaski Grocery Co-op
Next week on The Show...
5/11 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Karl Setzer – Commodities Risk Analyst w/ Agrivisor
5/11 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Brian Schaumburg – McLean County Farmer
David Brown – Macon County Farmer
Lisa Diaz – Director of Illinois 4H @ U of I
Mark Gebhards – Director of Governmental Affairs & Commodities @ ILFB
Allison Reinecke – Manager of DeWitt County Farm Bureau
David Dorn Jr – Christian County Farmer
Jenny Jackson – Communications Director @ IL Pork Producers
Andy Bolsen – Moutlrie Co Farmer & Piatt Co Fair Board Member
John Klemm – DeWitt County Farmer
Farm Credit Illinois announced a $100,000 gift to be shared by the four Feeding Illinois food banks serving the southern 60 counties of Illinois today.
$50,000 of the total gift supports the Eastern Illinois Foodbank as it faces unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift will be matched with the agriculture community challenge “Harvest for Hunger” campaign by Steven and Betsy Mills of Monticello.
“The rural communities we serve are experiencing significant hardships” says Eric Mosbey, FCI Board chair. “This gift supports the important work of the Feeding Illinois food bank network as a growing number of families depend on their services for food security.”
“Even as the reliance on food banks increases, the overall food supply chain faces extraordinary challenges,” notes Wes Durbin, FCI Board vice chair. “The enormous stress – mostly at the processor level – is causing fresh food to be disposed of or destroyed on the farm and can’t get to those in need.”
“The needs of our neighbors demand we grow, and this gift from Farm Credit Illinois could not come at a better time,” says Jim Hires, Eastern Illinois Foodbank president & CEO. “Through the Mills Agricultural Match, Farm Credit’s $50,000 donation will be doubled, which brings us closer to our vision of expansion. We are grateful for their gift because it will carry us into the future and ensure we are a vital resource in eastern Illinois for years to come.”
“We are taking action to support our neighbors throughout rural Illinois,” states Aaron Johnson, FCI president & CEO. “The food supply chain and families everywhere are strained due to COVID-19. By keeping a resilient attitude and supporting each other, we can overcome these challenges together.”
Along with this gift to food banks, FCI is celebrating the frontline workers involved in the food supply chain with a social media campaign. Every link – from farmer, to processor, trucker, grocer, food bank, and restaurant – is critical to getting food on tables and #KeepingUsFed.
Farm Credit Illinois is a farmer-owned and directed agricultural cooperative serving the southern 60 counties of Illinois with competitive and flexible financing, crop insurance expertise, and Rural 1st® lending for rural life. Farm Credit Illinois manages a $4.5 billion loan portfolio, sells 1.36 million acres of crop insurance coverage, and employs 230 staff based in the Mahomet headquarters and 14 regional office locations. The U.S. Farm Credit System supports rural communities, farm families, and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow.
A long running, annual Piatt County event has been canceled for 2020.
The Piatt County Fair Board met this week, and decided to cancel the annual Piatt County Fair in Cerro Gordo. This year's event was to be held June 18th thru the 21st.
Andy Bolsen organizes the annual antique tractor pull, and also serves on the Piatt County Fair Board. He says public health concerns due to corona virus, as well as financial concerns have led to the cancellation.
Bolsen believes safety has to be the biggest factor in holding any event. He notes the majority of the fair's volunteers fall in the at-risk age group. In addition, he notes fairs and festivals have to weigh the possibility of not having the public feel safe enough to attend an event.
Bolsen says there is a bright spot to the cancellation. The Piatt County Fair Board is going to use the year off to do additional work on the fairgrounds.
The Piatt County Fair is latest in several fairs and festivals to be canceled amid the corona virus pandemic. Monticello's annual Freedom Fest also announced its cancellation this week.
URBANA, Ill. – As Illinois residents contemplate the impact of the coronavirus health pandemic on summer plans, University of Illinois Extension has released updated guidelines for Extension sponsored events and activities. The new guidelines continue to focus on the safety of event participants while recognizing that these activities support the health and vitality of communities across Illinois.
Following the direction of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the University of Illinois, Extension has developed a phased approach to deciding about event formats for summer 2020 and beyond. The timeline provides structure and certainty to staff, program attendees, 4-H members and their families, partner organizations, and the public.
In-person events sponsored by Illinois Extension through July 5 have been canceled or transitioned to an online delivery format. Decisions about events beyond July 5 will be publicly communicated by the first day of the month before.
- Today: events through July 5 cancelled or transitioned to an online format
- June 1: decision shared regarding July 6 – July 31 events
- July 1: decision shared regarding August 1-15 events
- July 15: decision shared regarding August 16-31 events
- August 1: decision shared regarding September 1-30 events
Additionally, all Illinois Extension camps, including day and overnight camps, are canceled through August 15.
“Our mission is to support the welfare of families, communities, and small businesses across the state,” says Shelly Nickols-Richardson, associate dean and director of Illinois Extension. “Tough decisions today protect the safety and well-being of our Illinois families going forward, so that we can all safely return to the work of sustaining our communities and economy as soon as we can.”
Extension’s updated event policy provides clarity for summer 4-H shows and exhibitions. All 4-H general project and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through July 5 will move online to a virtual exhibition platform called FairEntry. Decisions about 4-H shows scheduled for July 6-31 will be announced by June 1. This solution provides clarity for Extension staff, 4-H members, and volunteers that will allow them to move forward with plans for summer events, scheduled to begin in just over a month.
“4-H shows play a critical role in the 4-H model and we wanted to avoid canceling them outright,” says Lisa Diaz, Illinois Extension assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H. “Over the past several weeks, we evaluated a variety of alternatives so that a contingency plan would be ready if in-person events weren’t an option. We are confident that virtual exhibitions through FairEntry are the best solution for allowing 4-H members to participate in this important activity, even during the incredibly unusual circumstances created by the current public health situation.”
4-H members will upload photos and other materials to the virtual platform as evidence of the skills and knowledge gained while working on their projects. The system allows judges to review each project and provide vital learning feedback for exhibitors. The virtual system also allows judges to select the top exhibits, including those that qualify for exhibition at the Illinois State Fair.
Illinois 4-H staff are updating project guidelines, developing support documentation for the new system, and creating training resources for volunteer judges and 4-H exhibitors.
More information about 4-H shows is available in a detailed set of frequently asked questions. 4-H members will receive guidance from staff and club leaders about how to use the new system and how to prepare for a successful virtual project exhibition, Diaz says.
Source: Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Samantha Koon, email@example.com
On The Show next week....
5/4 am (6:40a & 1:07p on WHOW)
Matt Bennett – Shelby Co Farmer & Commodities Broker
5/4 noon (12:20p & 4:35p on WHOW)
Jim Reed – Piatt Co Farmer & IL Corn Marketing Board
Dave Steward – DeWitt County Farmer
Terry Yoder – Owner of Moweaqua Packing Plant
Jason Geis – Technical Field Rep w/ BASF
Scott Durbin – Christian County Farmer
Derek Martin – Logan County Farmer
Doug Harlan – County Dir @ U of I Ext in Dewitt, Macon, Piatt
Travis Meteer – U of I Extension Beef Specialist
Jeff Brown – Macon/Christian County Farmer