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Serving: IL
gypsy moth caterpillars on leaves Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org
OPEN HOUSE: Learn about a proposed gypsy moth treatment plan involving organic bacteria and mating disruptors from the Illinois Department of Agriculture at five open houses in March.

Quick Take: Gypsy moths, ag scholarships for women and more

Events will educate public on gypsy moth strategy. Agri-Women offers scholarships. EQIP is taking applications. Illinois Pork elects new board members.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will hold five open houses in early March to explain the proposed gypsy moth treatment plans for northern Illinois.

  • March 2, 3 to 6 p.m. Oswego Public Library, 32 Jefferson St., Oswego. Call 630-978-1205 with questions.
  • March 3, 3 to 6 p.m. New Lenox Public Library, 120 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox. Call 815-485-2605 with questions.
  • March 4, 1 to 4 p.m. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Call 630-968-0074 with questions.
  • March 5, 3 to 6 p.m. Oregon Public Library, 300 Jefferson St., Oregon. Call 815-732-2724 with questions.
  • March 10, 3 to 6 p.m. Plainfield Public Library, 15025 S. Illinois St., Plainfield. Call 815-436-6639 with questions.

The gypsy moth is a nonnative pest that feasts on more than 250 species of trees and shrubs, but its preferred food source is oak leaves. Large populations are capable of stripping plants bare, leaving them vulnerable to other diseases and pests. Severe defoliation can also cause tree death.

Infested sites would be treated with applications of Btk, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, a naturally occurring bacteria used by gardeners. Btk is not harmful to people, pets or wildlife.

The Btk product is Valent Foray 48B organic. It would be applied by helicopter in mid-May, with a second application within two weeks. The mating disruption product, Splat GM-Organic, would be applied by airplane in late June.

The gypsy month program is funded cooperatively through the U.S. Forest Service, Slow the Spread Foundation and IDOA. Illinois has been involved with the Slow the Spread Foundation since its inception in 2000.

The presentation schedule and map of treatment sites are available on Facebook and at illinois.gov.

Scholarships available to women in ag

The Illinois Agri-Women organization is offering several scholarships directed at women studying in agriculture.

The group offers a $1,500 agricultural education scholarship for ag education majors finishing their degree in the next year.

Illinois Agri-Women offers two $1,000 WCFA Agent of Change scholarships. These are for students who have attended at least one Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Conference. One scholarship is for a high school senior and one for a current graduate student.

The organization also offers 20 $1,000 WCFA Agent of Change scholarships to current college students. An anonymous foundation sponsor will provide matching scholarship funds for donations from 2020 WCFA new or current company sponsors.

Students who wish to be considered for this scholarship should sign up to volunteer for WCFA and attend the professional development meeting the night before the March 6 WCFA annual event. Current college students who attend both the March 5 Illinois Agri-Women Professional Development Event and volunteer for the March 6 WCFA are eligible to apply.

Deadline for submission of an online application is March 31.  Find scholarship information and applications at womenchangingthefaceofagriculture.com or illinoisagriwomen.org.

Illinois EQIP application deadlines set

The Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service has established two application deadlines for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The deadlines are March 20 and April 17.

Funds can cover everything from structures to stop gully erosion to cover crops. In addition to conservation practices, EQIP funds the development of plans such as comprehensive nutrient management plans, grazing plans, drainage water management plans and more. Producers interested in EQIP should submit a signed application to their local NRCS field office. Applications submitted by March 20 and April 17 will be evaluated by NRCS staff for the funding period submitted. 

For information on EQIP, contact your local NRCS field office or visit the NRCS website.

IPPA elects new board seats

During the 2020 Illinois Pork Producers Association annual meeting, the delegate body elected four new members to the board of directors. The IPPA board consists of six district representatives, 12 at-large positions and representatives from the following organizations: Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Purebred Council, National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council.

Farmer Cheryl Walsh, Princeville, was recently elected to an at-large position. Walsh is a fourth-generation farmer in Peoria County where she is part owner in Cowser Inc., her family farm. They have a breed-to-wean operation housing over 2,200 sows, and raise row crops and some beef cattle.

Research manager Katie Brown, Morrisonville, now fills an at-large director position. She is a senior research manager with The Maschhoffs. Brown previously served as both a county and state pork ambassador and volunteers on multiple IPPA committees. Along with raising pigs on her family’s fifth-generation farm in Montgomery County, she and her husband grow row crops on their own farm in Christian County.

Veterinarian Rachel Schulte, Oakford, is filling an at-large director position. She is a swine veterinarian with Carthage Veterinary Services, where she services farmers in both Illinois and Indiana. Schulte has had the opportunity to present on the topic of biosecurity in China. Her husband also works in the pork industry and raises crossbred and Yorkshire show pigs. 

Station manager AJ Kilfoil, Monmouth, is the new allied industry representative. He is a station manager for Lynch Livestock at the Monmouth location. Kilfoil was raised on a purebred Hampshire breeding stock farm in central Indiana and continues that tradition here in Illinois with his family.

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