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Serving: IL
people looking under hood of Case IH tractor Courtesy of Case IH
PREPARING A WORKFORCE: The diesel technology program at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., received a free tractor from Case IH as part of the company’s efforts to help train new workers for its dealer network.

Quick Take: Case IH, webinars and Farm Corps

Case IH donates tractor to Parkland College. ISA and Farmdoc offer free webinars. Farm Corps pairs unemployed veterans with farms. MAGIE 2020 canceled.

Case IH donates tractor to Parkland College

Case IH recently donated tractors to three technical schools, including Parkland Community College in Champaign, Ill. The tractor will be used as a training aid for the diesel technology program. Each school that received a tractor is partnered with a local Case IH dealer and has a program to train students to repair agricultural equipment. The tractor models that were donated — a Puma 170, Optum 270 and Optum 300 — have a retail value of more than $500,000 in total. “Programs and partnerships like these are instrumental in helping our dealer network hire excellent technicians,” says J.E. Cadle, Case IH marketing manager for Maxxum, Puma and Optum tractors. “There is always a demand for technicians, and we are excited to take this opportunity to supply future generations with important firsthand learning opportunities and experience.”

ISA offers new webinar series

The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program is offering eight webinars from July 8 through Aug. 5 in partnership with Illinois Farm Business Farm Management and the University of Illinois Farmdoc team. Interested farmers can register online. Topics include farm management, planning succession, breakeven points and marketing, farm labor, tax law, local and global markets, and owner and leasing structures. ISA Director of Ag Innovations Linda Kull hopes this online webinar series will provide farmers the necessary resources to compete and grow in today’s marketplace. “With everything currently happening in the farm economy, how a family farm manages and plans their business now will determine how they thrive into the future,” she says.

Farmdoc holds June 30 grain stock webinar

The Farmdoc team at University of Illinois is planning a webinar on June 30 to review grain stocks and acreage reports from USDA. It’s scheduled for 2 to 3 p.m. central time. Scott Irwin and Todd Hubbs from U of I’s Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics will consider balance sheet and price implications for both old and new crops of corn and soybeans. USDA’s estimate of June 1 stocks of corn and soybeans will provide a clearer picture of total 2019-20 marketing-year consumption, ending stocks and price prospects. The magnitude of planting acreage will clarify prospects for the size of the 2020 corn and soybean crops, with implications for 2020-21 balance sheets. Registration is free; however, preregistration via the Farmdoc website is required.

IFB partners to help form Farm Corps

The Illinois Farm Bureau has joined with a veterans’ coalition to form Farm Corps, which pairs furloughed or unemployed veterans with work opportunities with farmers across Illinois. Farm Corps is now available on the Illinois Farmer Veteran Coalition website. If you are an Illinois farmer looking for workers, post your job on FarmCorps so organizers can connect you with veterans and furloughed service workers looking for agriculture opportunities. Or, if you are a service member or veteran looking for a job, visit the job postings portion of the website to see the latest Illinois farm labor and agriculture work opportunities across the state. U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill. of the 12th district, the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Illinois, the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois AgrAbility developed the program. It’s also supported by the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Illinois office of USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

IFB submits monarch project data to national database

The Illinois Farm Bureau recently submitted data to the Illinois Monarch Project for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Monarch Conservation Database. The information included a variety of more than 200 efforts toward education and conservation of the monarch butterfly in Illinois. Information about U.S. monarch habitat, along with population surveys, will be reviewed by federal environmental agencies ahead of the U.S. FWS Endangered Species Act listing decision regarding the monarch this winter. The most recent overwintering population of monarch butterflies in Mexico decreased 53% from 2018-19 to 2019-20. “The report IFB submitted helps provide the federal government with hard facts and data about what is going on across the state, so that as they work to manage conservation efforts of the monarch butterfly, they can make informed decisions,” says Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of environmental policy. The IFB board has allocated more than $110,000 toward research of pollinator and monarch butterfly habitat in agricultural landscapes. IFB has also connected researchers to farmers for in-field research, outreach and extension. Learn more about IFB’s pollinator work on its website.

MAGIE 2020 canceled

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association is canceling its MAGIE 2020 trade show. The Midwest Ag Industries Expo was scheduled for Aug. 26-27 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, Ill. COVID-19 makes the “ride and drive” experience impossible with the requirement that people stand 6 feet apart, explains a press release from IFCA describing why the show was canceled. Along with curtailed travel policies enacted by companies who exhibit, the release says the circumstances “makes it too difficult to have the type of MAGIE show we all expect and enjoy.” Without MAGIE, IFCA is facing reduced revenues for the year and will have to reduce spending to meet budgetary requirements. MAGIE 2021 is scheduled for Aug. 25-26 at the McLean County Fairgrounds and will be the 40th MAGIE show. IFCA is planning for exhibitors and members to send short MAGIE videos that could feature products that would have been at the 2020 show. They will feature these videos in August through IFCA’s social media outlets.

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