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Serving: IL
Defenbaugh family cuts ribbon for hog barn
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Tabitha and Kevin Defenbaugh, with their children, cut a ribbon to open their new 2,496-head wean-to-finish pig barn outside of Blackstone, Ill.

Quick Take: Defenbaugh farm open house, U of I research results and more

Defenbaugh family opens new pig facility. University of Illinois publishes field trial results, offers FAST Training. Farm Credit Illinois, Compeer Financial offer scholarships.

Defenbaughs host open house near Blackstone, Ill.

Kevin and Tabitha Defenbaugh recently built a 2,496-head pig barn outside of Blackstone, Ill. The local community was invited to the barn for an open house and meal to celebrate the addition to the farm on Jan. 8. The Defenbaughs offered tours, and a porkburger meal was provided by the Illinois Pork Producers Association. 

The Defenbaughs have two young children and say they built the barn to better prepare their farm for the future. They say the hog enterprise diversifies their crop operation, and they want to give their kids the chance to grow up around livestock.

The Illinois Pork Producers and the Illinois Livestock Development Group have sponsored these open houses over the past few years because they give visitors an inside look at a modern pig barn before the pigs move in.  

Illinois Extension publishes 2018 field research results

A team of Extension researchers from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences has published its 2018 field research results related to crop pests and diseases in Illinois.

The report, Applied Research Results on Field Crop Pest and Disease Control, includes evaluations of plant varieties, management practices, and products for insects, nematodes and diseases in corn and soybeans, as well as results of statewide pest surveys.

Report author Nathan Kleczewski, a plant pathologist and Extension specialist in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I, says the report serves multiple purposes.

“It is a repository for applied disease and pest management studies and data. Too often, we see applied research trials go unpublished for various reasons, or data disappear into the ether,” he says.

The report also contains insect control evaluations for western corn rootworm and Japanese beetles, headed up by Nick Seiter, an entomologist in the Department of Crop Sciences.

“These are two of the most important pests of field crops in Illinois, so I think this information will be valuable to many producers,” he says.

The team plans to release an annual report each year.

FAST Training 2019

Looking to get a better grip on Microsoft Excel and the Farm Analysis Solution Tools spreadsheets developed by ag economists at the University of Illinois? U of I Extension is offering several one-day FAST Training workshops to do just that. 

The training session is designed to help farmers better figure potential return scenarios for 2019, perform financial analysis, and assemble cash-flow statements using FAST. According to Extension specialists, this will help farmers meet stricter standards by lenders.

You can register for any of the events online.

Feb. 13 U of I Extension in Jacksonville
Feb. 28 U of I Extension in Champaign
March 5 U of I Extension in Freeport
March 7 U of I Extension in Breese

Farm Credit Illinois offers scholarships, grants

High school seniors pursuing a career in agriculture are invited to apply for a $2,000 Farm Credit Illinois ag scholarship. Thirty scholarships will be given in 2019, with two recipients designated as “diversity in agriculture” scholars.

Recipients will be selected based on a combination of academic achievement, participation and leadership in school and community organizations, and the applicant’s commitment to an agricultural career. Applicants must be high school seniors enrolling in a college or university during the 2019 fall semester to pursue an agriculture-related academic major and career.

Applicants must reside in — or immediate family must farm in — one of 60 central and southern counties in Illinois served by FCI. Recipients will receive $1,000 for the fall 2019 semester and $1,000 for fall 2021.

Farm Credit Illinois is also giving 50 $500 Community Improvement Grants to 4-H clubs and FFA chapters that are bringing positive change to their local community. Clubs should choose a project that delivers tangible value with a visible outcome.

Online applications for the scholarship and grant programs are available at and must be submitted by March 1. In lieu of an essay, students will create a 30- to 45-second video capturing their passion for agriculture. For more information, email

Compeer offers scholarship money

The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America, Compeer Financial’s corporate giving program, is offering scholarships to 120 students this year. High school seniors from a rural background or pursuing postsecondary education in an agricultural field are encouraged to apply between now and March 15.

Each scholarship recipient will receive $1,500 to offset educational expenses. Qualified applicants must live in one of Compeer Financial’s Illinois counties and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Recipients will be selected based on academic achievement, agricultural and community organization involvement, and essays.

“Compeer Financial aims to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America,” says John Monson, chairman of the fund’s board of trustees. “This scholarship is one important way we can contribute to rural communities and the future of the agriculture industry.”

Students can find the scholarship application at Applications can be emailed to or submitted in person at a local Compeer Financial office. Deadline is March 15.

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