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Wyffels to rock FPS opening ceremoniesWyffels to rock FPS opening ceremonies

Wyffels Hybrids is again sponsoring opening ceremonies each day of the Farm Progress Show, featuring a live performance by local native Eric Burgett.

Holly Spangler

August 19, 2021

2 Min Read
aerial view of main gate at Farm Progress Show
ROCK ON: Sponsored by Wyffels Hybrids, the opening ceremonies start at 7:30 a.m., and gates open at 8 a.m. Local star Eric Burgett will sing a variety of country cover songs. Holly Spangler

Listen in for the sweet sounds of country music as you roll into the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., this year, thanks to Wyffels Hybrids. Wyffels is again sponsoring opening ceremonies each day of the show, featuring a live performance on stage by local native Eric Burgett.

The celebration starts at 7:30 a.m., and gates open at 8 a.m. each day of the show, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Burgett will sing a variety of country cover songs, and he’ll perform the national anthem just before 8 a.m. — amid plenty of flying flags.

Burgett grew up on his family’s farm near Latham, Ill., and has opened for musical artists such as Chris Stapleton, Rodney Atkins, Lee Brice and Phil Vassar.

The Wyffels team always comes up with something creative to share with Farm Progress Show visitors as they arrive, and this year the celebration has even more purpose: During 2021, the company is celebrating 75 years of business as an independent, family-owned seed company.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support from our customers,” says John Wyffels, Wyffels Hybrids president. “We’re thankful for their continued loyalty, and we look forward to celebrating this milestone with them and all corn growers in the central Corn Belt.”

After the opening ceremonies, head back to the Wyffels exhibit on the corner of Central Avenue and Fourth Street, where team members will continue the celebration with fun activities throughout the day.

Aid to service members

Wyffels is continuing its commitment to “Serving Those Who Served,” the initiative the company kicked off two years ago to help provide homes for veterans.

Wyffels has designated two hybrids as special STWS hybrids, and $1 from every bag sold goes to Homes for Our Troops, an organization that builds and donates custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans.

Last year, the organization built homes for Sgt. Nathan Shumaker in Missouri, and for Marine Staff Sgt. Dominic Fernandez in Minnesota. A third home is scheduled for completion this year for Marine Lance Cpl. Robby McCardle in Wisconsin.

Read their stories at wyffels.com/STWS, and look for the STWS trailer at the Wyffels booth.

“As a U.S. farm-family-owned company, we understand the value of independence,” Wyffels says. “These homes help to restore some of the independence our veterans lost so they can focus on their families, communities and future.”

For more information about the 2021 Farm Progress Show, see FarmProgressShow.com.

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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