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Help Prairie Farmer celebrate 175 yearsHelp Prairie Farmer celebrate 175 years

Prairie Farmer will publish a special anniversary issue in December and we want to include your favorite Prairie Farmer memories. Here's how you can help.

Holly Spangler

September 4, 2016

1 Min Read

It’s a big year here at Prairie Farmer headquarters: we’re celebrating 175 years of covering Illinois agriculture, and we’re doing it with a special issue in December. And we need your help!

Do you have a special farm memory that includes Prairie Farmer? A special column or story that touched your family? A Prairie Farmer photo or a story from a grandfather that means a lot to you? Share it with us, and we’ll do our best to include it in our special 175th anniversary coverage in December.

Looking back


Prairie Farmer was founded in 1841 by John Wright, who wrote that during the election season of 1840, he was met with discouragement as he coursed the prairies: “The nation was in the throes of its most turbulent, thrilling presidential campaign. The Whigs, blaming the long dominant Democrats for the prolonged depression, were staging gigantic rallies, with parades, log-cabin floats, barbecues and bottomless barrels of whiskey.”

Sound familiar, even in this election cycle? While the prairie resounded with cheers for “Tippecanoe and Tyler too!” Wright pressed the idea of a newspaper for the settlers – “one that would be as non-partisan and unpolitical as the established newspapers were fiercely and personally political.”

Wright did that and more, founding a magazine that still delivers agricultural news and information, 175 years later. It’s a fascinating history and we’re excited to bring you some of its stories this December.

Share your stories at [email protected], or mail them to 3369 E. Cucumber Hollow Rd., Marietta, IL 61459.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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