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cereal rye
RESEARCHING LOSS: Tactics for controlling nutrient loss include planting cover crops such as cereal rye before cash crops and leaving filter strips of grass around ephemeral waterways.

Quick Take: Conservation field day, mental health first aid and more

Learn more about SIUC's conservation field day, Carle's Mental Health First Aid class, Corteva contest finalists, milk board directors and IPPA scholarship winners.

SIU field day to exhibit conservation research

The Illinois Farm Bureau, together with the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, will host a field day June 26 to showcase ongoing conservation research efforts at the university.

“SIUC researchers and Illinois farmers proudly work hand in hand to implement and enhance the state’s conservation efforts,” says Karen Midden, interim dean of SIUC’s College of Agriculture. “The bottom line is we need to continue working together as farmers, educators, stakeholders and many others to best address challenges. We also need to spread the word that it is an exciting time for young people to choose one of the many diverse educational and career paths in agriculture.”

The field day, which will be held at SIUC University Farms, will cover topics including:

Water quality. Impacts of cover crops, saturated buffers, and water and sediment control basins on water quality

Emissions. Influence of tillage and cover crops on soil nitrous oxide emissions

Wheat. Research involving weed suppression in soybeans using wheat

Policy. Recent developments in environmental policy and how they impact Illinois farmers

“Over the past five years, Illinois Farm Bureau has supported work to further research and implementation of NLRS [Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy] practices. This field day will bring those two priorities together, allowing farmers a chance to showcase their efforts and get an up-close look at new conservation practices,” says Richard Guebert, president of IFB.

The field day will begin at 9 a.m. with a general welcome and conclude with lunch and student poster demonstrations at noon. The event is free, and lunch will be provided, but preregistration is preferred at

Mental Health First Aid class for agriculture available

Carle Rural Health and Farm Safety is hosting a Mental Health First Aid course on July 30. This eight-hour training course gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.

“Farmers in Illinois are experiencing tremendous stress, often without access to appropriate resources,” says Amy Rademaker, Carle Rural Health and Farm Safety coordinator. “Our goal is to train individuals to support farmers in Mental Health First Aid.”

Training starts at 8 a.m. at the Farm Bureau auditorium, at 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign. It costs $10 per person. Register online at or call 217-365-5460.

Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan to guide them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

“Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis,” Rademaker says.

Farmer finalists announced in Power to Do More Contest

Ten farmer finalists are now competing in the Power to Do More Contest by Corteva Agriscience. The grand prize is a $10,000 donation from Corteva corn herbicides to the winner’s chosen local nonprofit organization.

Hundreds of farmers submitted entries. Corteva says the 10 finalists showed creativity and commitment to growing a stronger community in their photo and story about the power on their farm.

The finalist with the most votes on will win. Voting is open to all and closes July 8. In addition to the grand prize, two farmers will win second-place prizes of $5,000 each for their selected nonprofit organizations.

“The hundreds of submissions we received in this year’s contest proved that farmers are some of the most creative, caring and hardworking community leaders,” says Lyndsie Kaehler, U.S. corn herbicides product manager at Corteva. “We are so proud to tell the stories of farmers who have extraordinary passion for their communities.”

The 10 finalists, representing a range of farming operations across eight states, include two from Illinois:

1. Kara Boughton of Marshall, Mich. is supporting East Jackson Elementary School.
2. Misty DeDonder of Admire, Kan., is supporting the North Lyon County FFA high school greenhouse project.
3. Lynn Heins of Rockwood, Ill., is supporting Annie’s Project, education for farm women.
4. Dave LaCrosse of Kewaunee, Wis., is supporting Peninsula Pride Farms.
5. Rhonda Leonard of Logan, Iowa, is supporting the Kellen Morrison memorial scholarship fund.
6. Scott Slepikas of Huron, S.D., is supporting the Center for Independence of Huron.
7. Darrel Springer of Oak, Neb., is supporting the Sandy Creek High School FFA.
8. Chris Staudt of Kanawha, Iowa, is supporting the Kanawha Fire Department.
9. Marsha Strom of Dahinda, Ill., is supporting the Williamsfield FFA alumni and friends.
10. Susan Zody of Kokomo, Ind., is supporting Narrow Gate Horse Ranch.

The Power to Do More Contest is in its third year of helping farming communities across the country. To vote for your favorite 2019 finalist, go to You can vote daily through July 8.

Illinois Milk Promotion Board seeks farmer-directors

The Illinois Milk Promotion Board is seeking Illinois dairy farmers to serve on its board of directors. Interested people must be active dairy farmers from either District 1 or District 3.

  • District 1 covers Carroll, DeKalb, Lee, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties.
  • District 3 covers Bond, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Greene, Jersey, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Scott, Macoupin, Madison and Montgomery counties.

IMPB is comprised completely of dairy farmers and oversees the investment of the 10-cent checkoff received from Illinois farmers’ milk checks. IMPB invests checkoff funds, totaling nearly $2 million each year, with qualified organizations which conduct research, promotion and advertising, and nutrition education programs within the state of Illinois.

Any farmer who has an interest in serving as a director should contact Tasha Bunting, manager at IMPB, at or 309-557-2993 to obtain a petition. Completed petitions must be postmarked by July 1. The election will be conducted by ballot during the month of August.

IPPA announces 2019 scholarship winners

Each year, the Illinois Pork Producers Association offers scholarships to students pursuing a higher education degree at a two- or four-year institution who have an interest in the pork industry.

This year’s recipients were selected based on activities, IPPA involvement and an essay explaining the potential impact of a foreign animal disease on the U.S.

“It gives us pride, as an association, to provide these scholarships and see the recipients become an active part of the industry,” says Alan Kollmann, chairman of the IPPA Youth Committee.

IPPA offered nine awards for the 2019-20 school year, totaling $13,500. There are three levels of award dollars: gold, silver and bronze. Funding for these scholarships is made possible through the Wilbert and Carol Keppy Foundation.

  • Gold level recipients receiving a $2,000 award are: Kacie Haag of Emington, Ill.; Seth Mitchell of Olney, Ill.; and Jaidyn Miller of Sheffield, Ill.
  • Silver level recipients receiving a $1,500 award are: Colin Stark of Pontiac, Ill.; Lauren Curry of Alpha, Ill.; and Jordynn Marcum of Gibson City, Ill.
  • Bronze level recipients receiving a $1,000 award are: Blake Dixon of Watseka, Ill.; Matthew Engnell of Andover, Ill.; and Zachary Perkins of Millbrook, Ill.

“These recipients excel in advocating for agriculture, especially the pork industry,” says Jenny Jackson, director of communications for IPPA. “They are a great representation of our association and have bright futures ahead of them.”

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