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Serving: IL
packages of ground pork in a box Illinois Pork Producers Association
100,263 POUNDS: In 2019, the Illinois Pork Producers Association together with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board donated over 100,000 pounds of ground pork to state food banks.

Quick Take: Pork donations, upcoming forums and more

Commodity groups donate pork. Farm legacy and double-crop seminars coming up. Growmark names essay winner. Griggsville farmer writes a book and more.

Pork, corn producers donate 100,263 pounds of ground pork

The Illinois Pork Producers Association and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board donated 100,263 pounds of ground pork to food banks throughout the state in 2019 on behalf of the Pork Power program.

Since its inception in 2008, Pork Power has donated over 721,000 pounds of pork to families throughout Illinois. Farmers and partnering commodity groups contribute to the program year-round to help feed hungry neighbors.

In the months of November and December alone, over 53,000 pounds were delivered to the regional food banks in Illinois as part of the end-of-year giving campaign. Compeer Financial also contributed to the year-end donations.

“To be able to work with our fellow pig farmers to feed hungry people and use more pork benefits everyone. This is a win-win program that we all feel good about,” says Roger Sy, ICMB chairman.

Food banks receiving pork in 2019 were: Greater Chicago Food Depository in Chicago; Northern Illinois Food Bank in St. Charles, Ill.; Peoria Area Food Bank in Peoria, Ill.; River Bend Foodbank in Davenport, Iowa; Central Illinois Foodbank in Springfield, Ill.; Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana, Ill.; St. Louis Area Foodbank in St. Louis; Tri-State Foodbank in Evansville, Ind.; and Midwest Foodbank in Bloomington, Ill.

IPPA encourages pig farmers to participate in the program by covering the processing fees of their donated pigs. Farmers can go to ilpork.com to learn more about the donation process. This program would not be possible without the help of local packers and processors across the state.

Farm Legacy seminars set for February

With estimates as high as half of U.S. farmers operating without an estate plan, Illinois Farm Bureau and Country Financial are set to provide Farm Legacy seminars to aid them.

The two organizations will host three farm legacy information meetings in February. The seminars will provide attendees with the tools and support essential to legacy planning.

Each meeting will include a keynote presentation by Ron Hanson, agribusiness professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Hanson has received 31 university and national awards throughout his 46-year agribusiness teaching and advising career. Following his talk, farm legacy planning support will be offered by Country Planning Support Manager Joe Buhrmann.

Meetings are set to take place in northern, central and southern Illinois. The two-hour seminars will each begin at 5 p.m. with dinner. Dates and locations are as follows:

  • Feb. 25. Hickory Grove Banquet and Conference Center at 1127 N. Seventh St. in Rochelle
  • Feb. 26. I-Hotel and Conference Center at 1900 S. First St. in Champaign
  • Feb. 27. Kokopelli Golf Club at 1527 Champions Drive in Marion

Wheat association plans double-crop meeting

The Illinois Wheat Association and the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program are again co-sponsoring a double-crop farmers forum on Jan. 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, located at 222 Potomac Blvd. in Mount Vernon.

Registration takes place from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and conference presentations begin at 9 a.m. The Illinois Wheat Association annual meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m.

Phil Needham of Needham Ag Technologies will talk about double-crop management at the forum, while Pope Commodities will talk about marketing strategies. The wheat yield contest winners panel is also on the agenda, as is a talk with USDA Risk Management Agency representatives. The full conference agenda is posted online.

Registration includes lunch and is $25 per IWA/ISA member and $40 per nonmember. Registration fees will be collected at the event.

Growmark announces essay winner

Brooke Tompkins Brooke Tompkins of Smithboro, Ill., has been named the Illinois winner of the 2020 Growmark essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was to describe the “Farmer of the Future” and the tools they need to be successful.

In her contest entry, Tompkins wrote: “The farmer of the future must be adaptable; willing to embrace and utilize new technology available in order to be successful.”

Tompkins is a student at Mulberry Grove High School and a member of the Mulberry Grove FFA Chapter. Her FFA advisor is Matt Elam.

As the contest winner, Tompkins will receive a $500 award from Growmark at the Illinois FFA Convention in Springfield in June. The Mulberry Grove FFA Chapter will receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Hannah Haney, Harrisburg FFA, Harrisburg; Kutler Kitch, West Prairie FFA, Blandinsville; Emma Kuhns, Altamont FFA, Mason; and Felicity Schaffer, Fisher FFA, Fisher.

This is the 27th year for the program, sponsored by the Growmark System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills and learn about current issues in agriculture.

Griggsville farmer authors book

Griggsville, Ill., farmer Phil Bradshaw has farmed for more than 55 years, and now he’s sharing stories in his new book, “Your Food — My Adventure.”

With stories ranging from driving a small MG car to Mexico City in 1959 to going to the Summit of Americas in 2009, this book celebrates a way of life, highlights the advancement of farming and reflects on Bradshaw’s efforts advocating for agriculture.

Bradshaw’s book recounts numerous journeys while serving as a leader and policymaker, traveling to more than 53 countries, and meeting seven U.S. presidents along the way. In 1978, Bradshaw was a member of the U.S. Agriculture Trade Mission to China.

“Lots of misinformation about food and farming exists today, I hope this book can help sort out the chaff from the wheat and help readers be a better, more-informed consumer,” Bradshaw says.

Bradshaw’s list of credentials includes serving as president of three major state and three national agricultural organizations, as well as serving on advisory committees and boards for six U.S. secretaries of Agriculture. 

You can buy his memoir on amazon.com. Books are also available for purchase at Farmer National Bank of Griggsville, at all three branch locations in Illinois: 108 W. Quincy St. in Griggsville, 201 W. Washington St. in Pittsfield and 220 Pittsfield Road in Mount Sterling.

Mosaic announces Harvest Heroes winners

This fall, The Mosaic Co. hosted a contest called Harvest Heroes through its MicroEssentials fertilizer brand. Growers across the country were invited to nominate their heroes to acknowledge those who go above and beyond to make the harvest season successful.

Mosaic recently announced 10 winners of the contest, three of whom are from Illinois. They received a voicemail recording from “This Morning in Agribusiness” host Max Armstrong, as well as a prize package.

Randy Arends of Melvin. He was nominated by his wife of 37 years. She shared: “I am nominating him not for the extraordinary but in his faithfulness in the ordinary. He is an amazing father to our son, Steve, who is a survivor of a traumatic brain injury resulting from a car crash that killed our other son, Greg, 16 years ago. Randy is Steve’s main caregiver as well as a wonderful farmer. And makes participation in our farm possible for Steve.”

Spencer Sage of Champaign. He was nominated because he helped family members in their times of need. His nominator said: “Spencer stepped up when my brother had a heart transplant and I had back surgery. Spencer and my son-in-law took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and did most of all the farming with very limited help. Both of us are doing better now, but both of the boys kept this family farm together and running great! If not for them, this farm would have failed!”

Kevin Wolf from Franklin Grove. He was nominated by his daughter Megan. She wrote: “From a very young age, all I remember is his dedication to our family farm. He works full time outside the farm and spends every other moment in the field. We go to bed and he is out there, and when we wake up, he is already up and getting it all done. He is the hardest-working person I have ever known.”

NRCS announces conservation cropping seminars

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is hosting three conservation cropping seminars around Illinois this month.

Speakers and special guests include Hans Kok, Indiana soil health consultant; Bryan Young, Purdue University weed and chemistry professor; and Rick and Aaron Clark, Illinois conservation farmers.

“These meetings can introduce farmers to the information, the scientific research and testimonial evidence they need to take steps in transforming their own farm operations,” says state conservationist Ivan Dozier.

Register online at ccswcd.com, or call the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District at 217-352-3536.

Each seminar includes lunch and costs $20. The events start at 8 a.m. and end before 4 p.m.

  • Jan. 21. The DoubleTree Hotel at 222 Potomac Blvd. in Mount Vernon; contact Gary at 618-980-0117. 
  • Jan. 22. The DoubleTree Hotel at 10 Brickyard Drive in Bloomington; contact Marty at 309-634-6243.
  • Jan. 23. Hickory Grove Conference Center At 1127 N. Seventh St. in Rochelle; contact Joe at 815-786-4373.
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