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, email@example.com
Writer: Samantha Koon, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Champaign, IL, May 1, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Illinois will offer financial and technical assistance to livestock producers for animal mortality disposal, resulting from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance for the Emergency Animal Mortality Management practice is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
“NRCS is not recommending or advocating for the depopulation of livestock. I hope we can find alternatives that allow our agricultural food chain to remain intact. However, we realize these are difficult times and if a producer is left with no other option, we want to provide practices that will lessen the negative environmental impacts,” says State Conservationist Ivan Dozier.
Dozier announced the first application deadline is close of business Friday, May 8, 2020. Additional application deadlines will occur every two weeks after May 8th until further notice. Learn more at www.farmers.gov/coronavirus. The Emergency Animal Mortality Management practice includes several options for the proper disposal of animal carcasses.
Producers who face livestock depopulation can submit an EQIP application, form CCC-1200, to their local NRCS field office. To receive assistance, both an application and Approved Early Start Waiver must be filed with the local NRCS field office prior to disposal of animal carcasses.
For more information, please contact your local NRCS office or visit www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.