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Pesticide training available across Illinois

Quick Take: Look for 2024 pesticide license trainings, links to IAA scholarship applications, the latest on Women Changing the Face of Ag, a new farm family legacy workshop, and a new book on southern Illinois.

January 8, 2024

3 Min Read
A close up of TeeJet spray nozzles
LESSONS: The 2024 University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program has created six in-person events for pesticide training and testing. Holly Spangler

The University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program will host private applicator training across the state. There are six different locations and dates; each costs $45 and requires online registration. Training courses typically last 2.5 to 3.5 hours and conclude with a test.

  • Rock Island, Jan. 18

  • Carterville, Jan. 26

  • Springfield, Feb. 16

  • Peoria, Feb. 28

  • Rockford, March 5

Young women in ag: Mark your calendar

The 2024 Women Changing the Face of Agriculture career exploration event will be held at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., on March 1. Online registration is open now and closes Feb. 16.

Organized by the Illinois Agri-Women, this year’s event will emphasize entrepreneurial careers, hands-on activities and career development.

Get your scholarship essays ready

‘Tis the season to apply for scholarships! The IIA Foundation has opened its application period for more than $192,000 in scholarships, all directed to agriculture students in the 2024-25 school year. The foundation will award 110 college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 and include:

  • Promoting Careers in Agriculture Scholarship

  • Robert E. Koeller Scholarship

  • Allen and Ellen M. Blessman Scholarship

  • Prairie Farms Dairy scholarships

Fellowships are also available to support students pursuing advanced degrees in fields that directly relate to agriculture. Scholarships are awarded based on involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, academic performance, leadership experiences and an essay. Previous winners of an IAA Foundation scholarship are eligible to apply again if the individual scholarship allows.

Online applications are due Feb. 15. For more information, contact your county Farm Bureau, call the IAA Foundation at 309-557-2232, or email Jennifer Smith at [email protected].

Time to get estate plans rolling

If you know you need to formulate a succession plan but you don’t know where to start, an upcoming workshop may be just what you need. Cheryl Mitchell is hosting a Farm Legacy Family Workshop, designed to help families start conversations — without trying to sell anyone anything. Mitchell is a former farm kid who works with farm families to help guide and facilitate conversations between generations.

“The purpose of the Farm Legacy Family Workshop is to provide a dedicated time and place for your family to work together toward the successful development of your farm legacy,” Mitchell says. “We will guide you in the process of identifying your challenges and facilitate finding solutions to these obstacles.”

Mitchell says it’s often the weight of the conversation that keeps families from taking the first steps in succession planning.

“I have recognized over and over again, they know the steps to take, but they aren’t taking them because most of the time they can’t get past the ‘soft conversations.’ That’s what I do and why I’m hosting the workshop,” Mitchell explains.

The three-hour workshops are open to any interested farm families from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with two different dates and locations:

  • Jan. 31, Mahomet, Ill.

  • Feb. 1, Piper City, Ill.

Cost is $30 per person or $100 per family, payable at the door. To register, contact Mitchell at 217-369-0637 or [email protected].

Read about Illinois’ female horse jockey

“Jockey Queen” is a new book by author Roger Peach detailing the life and times of Lillian Jenkinson Holder, an early female horse-racing jockey in southern Illinois. Holder grew up on a dairy in Nebraska, and loved working with horses, ultimately racing thoroughbreds all across southern Illinois county fairs. The book details her life as she attempts to become a recognized, licensed female jockey.

“Jockey Queen: Lillian Jenkinson Holder, Horse Racing’s Fearless Lady” will be released Feb. 20, available nationally through popular booksellers, including Amazon.

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