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BASF and John Deere form soybean disease-fighting incentive program

 

RALEIGH, NC & MOLINE, IL, January 31, 2013– Soybean farmers can now take advantage of a deal that combines an effective soybean fungicide with an effective way to apply it, thanks to BASFand John Deere.

Soybean growers who purchase $300 or more of Priaxorfungicide from BASF before March 15, 2013, may qualify to purchase John Deere spray nozzles between April 1 and May 31, 2013 with no payments and no-interest financing for 150 days.*

“When you think about BASF and John Deere, words like innovation, solutions, reliability and quality come to mind,” said Paul Rea, Vice President, U.S. Crop Protection, BASF. “By joining together for this special offer, we’ve formed an ideal disease-fighting program to help growers drive up their margins through unparalleled product performance and increased efficiencies.”   

Priaxorfungicide provides continuous protection against a broad spectrum of plant diseases. More than 75 trials conducted by BASF in 2010 and 2011, in the U.S., reveal that soybean acres treated with Priaxor fungicide out-yielded untreated land 87 percent of the time.

John Deere nozzles offer precision sprayer performance and accuracy. With a variety of specialized sprayers, there is a solution for every grower and every soybean acre, including the Twin-Air nozzle for high-coverage applications with on-target spraying, providing uniform coverage – perfect for low crops with complex canopies.

This enhanced and targeted coverage maximizes applications of Priaxor fungicide by distributing it evenly on soybean leaves. Once applied, Priaxor fungicide continuously delivers its chemistry throughout each leaf. This brings more consistent disease protection and post-infection disease controls, providing Plant Health benefits that can result in greater yields.

To learn more about this deal, go to http://www.BASF-Deere-Deal.basf.us.

 

About John Deere

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land - those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at http://www.JohnDeere.com.

 

About the BASF Crop Protection division

With sales of € 4.1 billion in 2011, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at http://www.agro.basf.comor follow us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/basfagro.

 

BASF – The Chemical Company

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $20 billion in 2011. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit http://www.basf.us.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at http://www.basf.com.

* Offer expires May 31, 2013. No payments and no interest, which may be prior to delivery. Offer limited to agricultural multi-use account customers who make a minimum $300 purchase of Priaxor fungicide by March 15, 2013. After the promotional period, interest charges will begin to accrue at the rate provided in the multi-use account credit agreement. Subject to John Deere Financial approval and merchant participation. Offer limited to qualifying products and minimum purchase requirements. Subject to merchant participation. See your BASF retailer for complete details. Multi-use accounts are a service of John Deere Financial, f.s.b. Available at participating BASF Authorized Retailers.

 

Always read and follow label directions.

Priaxor is a trademark of BASF.

®2013 BASF Corporation. All Rights Reserved.  APN 13-PH-0001ph-2

School Science Fair Volunteers Always Needed

School Science Fair Volunteers Always Needed

I've been a volunteer science fair judge at the Anoka-Hennepin Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fair for nearly a decade now.

It's always a fun day for me, interacting with students and finding out what they are learning via the age-old practice of inquiry. If I had not pursued a career as a journalist, I would be in a middle school science class right now, helping youth explore the science of food production. So having the opportunity to interact with students at the fair, in this minor way, gives me the chance to see what youth are up to these days in science.

District science fair. More than 800 students exhibited science fair projects at the Anoka-Hennepin STEM Fair.

Granted, some students have science projects because it is a class requirement so they have to participate to earn a grade. And some students are at the science fair because they truly enjoy learning and studying topics in greater depth.

Regardless of how they ended up at the science fair, given that our district's fair is always on a Saturday, I commend the kids for their effort and for coming out on a day that they usually sleep in. I also tell them I look forward to seeing them next year.

More than 800 students took part in the Anoka-Hennepin STEM Fair in mid-January at the Anoka High School. We had more than 300 community members and 80 National Honor Society members who volunteered as judges.

I worked with two other volunteers, and independently, we judged about a half-dozen projects. Topics ranged from the usual "Does the number of dimples on a golf ball impact its flight distance?" to the unusual "Does clothing with liquid fabric softener burn faster?"

Over the years, I've seen some innovative projects and some repeats. No matter. Students are engaged and using scientific thought to explore a hypothesis. As we all learn in life, it's not the outcome that's important. Rather, it's the journey. Same with a science fair project. You might not get the conclusion you predicted. However, you learned to look at all angles along the way.

The next step for Anoka area students is the Regional Science Fair Saturday, February 23, at St. Cloud State University. I encourage almost all of my student presenters to attend this regional fair. It is open to everyone, even if they were not chosen at the district level to advance to regionals.

Anoka-Hennepin usually has good student turnout in St. Cloud. The district usually sends more than 100 students to the regional contest. And from the regional competition, about 30 to 40 A-H students advance to state competition. That is a wonderful opportunity for students! They get out of school for a couple days (a plus for sure in their book) and they are treated like important visitors in St. Paul with special events at the Science Museum, ongoing learning opportunities and the chance to make new friends from around the state.

Encouraging students in areas of science is so important these days. Serving as a volunteer science fair judge is one way to be a cheerleader on the sidelines.

Questions From Young Minds Can Be Amazing

I never cease to be amazed by some of the questions and requests that come my way courtesy of my crowd of grandchildren, who are growing up so fast and expanding their sphere of knowledge at an amazing rate.

An example comes from just one day this week. The phone rings and its fourth-grader Alyssa.

“Grandma can you bring me some pipe cleaners and some colored cotton balls? At least three colors?”

“Sure, Alyssa,” I say. “I can bring you those. What do you need them for?”

“I’m going to build a neuron,” she says.

Minutes later, the phone rings. It’s sixth-grader Chloe.

“Grandma, have you gone to the store for Alyssa yet? Can you get me some modeling clay? I kind of need a lot.”

“OK,” I say. “Add modeling clay, quite a lot. What are you making?”

“I’m building the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. It has dragons and cows so I either need white and green and brown or paint. OK?”

I have to confess that I haven’t given much thought to the structure of neurons or the gates of Babylon in a very, very long time. But as I obligingly made a run to Hobby Lobby, I felt pretty good about the fact that both are part of the education that my grandkids are getting, thanks to K-12 Virtual School.

And I was even happier to discover that building 3-dimensional models was their idea. The book suggested drawing but they decided they’d like something more realistic.

I hadn’t been home an hour when the next call arrived. This time it’s second-grader Jaime, reminding me that I promised to take her to an emu farm so she could get some really terrific eggs and the trip is still pending.

“I’ve been checking the calendar,” she said. “It will be Easter in just two pages and if I’m going to have those eggs decorated in time, we need to get them soon. So can we maybe go Friday?”

I’m not sure about Friday, I tell her, because Grandma has deadline soon and she’s busy writing stories for the magazine.

Jaime didn’t miss a beat.

“Well, an emu farm should be a good story,” she says. “Couldn’t you write about emus for the magazine?”

I have to concede. I haven’t written an emu farm story. It might liven up the livestock section.

So for all of you who may wonder where the heck that idea came from, now you know the rest of the story.

 

Immigration Comes to Forefront

After the election, immigration reform appeared to be an area where Democrats and Republicans could find some common ground on moving forward on a compromise. This week it again shows that energy from the White House and Senate appear to be encouraging, but the timeline is tight and partisan politics need to be abandoned.

American agriculture as we know it would not be possible without the contributions of more than 1.5 million hired workers each year. Experts believe that more than 70% of agricultural workers are undocumented, a rate higher than any other industry.

Comprehensive immigration reform efforts failed twice under the Bush administration. Obama promised in both campaigns to act, but then he didn't, even when Democrats controlled Congress his first two years.

"Gun control got in the way of a train that could have moved this year," said Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation. She noted that there is a better shot for Congress to tackle the issue in 2013 than there has been for a long time.

In remarks Jan. 29, the President chanted, "Now is the time," to address common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. Thatcher did warn the politics are up against the issue that has typically divided Republicans and Democrats. She said it may come down to whether Democrats want to "give" Republicans immigration or hold it against them.

A bipartisan proposal laid out by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chris Coons, D-Del., gives more details into the starting ground for a needed debate this year.  The Senate proposal creates an agricultural worker program and allows employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate that American workers aren't available.

To set agriculture up as a viable voice within the immigration discussion, organizations representing a broad cross-section of agricultural employers have formed the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC).

For agriculture the Senate's proposal offers the greatest starting point because of its recognition of the unique labor needs of production agriculture and the vital role that immigrant farm workers play in feeding all Americans, something strongly encouraging to the AWC.

Kristi Boswell, director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), explained that the President's proposal did not prescribe any special conditions for agriculture which is "concerning."

AWC supports the creation of a new H-2A guest worker program that is not "riddled with bureaucracy" and allows for the year-round labor force the flexibility and portability that lacks in the current program, Boswell said.

"The President's reliance on the current H-2A program is troublesome for agriculture," she said. "There have been attempts of reform in the past, but it is time for a new program, rather than fix a broken program."

Boswell explained that there has been significant increased H-2A enforcement, but as heard from those in the industry, it is difficult to operate and creates a "musical chairs of workforce" with documented shortages of not only legal workforce but actual employees.   

Timeline

With things moving "very expeditiously" Boswell expects more definitive bill language out by March.

Depending on how budget discussions go, Boswell said Congress could begin to tackle reform in the first six to nine months of the year.

It is expected that the Senate will move forward on its proposal, and the President intends to let the Senate play out their proposal before he gives any more language or gets more detailed beyond his framework announced Jan. 29.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction on immigration, has planned a hearing on the issue in February.

On the House side, there are private discussions going on, however, Boswell said nothing formal has been released.

Coalition's work

Boswell said the coalition is working with Sen. Rubio and another co-sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) on details of the agricultural components of the immigration bill.

While acknowledging that the AWC group is not united on every issue, comprehensive immigration reform is not likely to happen without agriculture, and that labor issues affect all of agriculture, not just fruits and vegetables but also livestock and nursery.

The only legal means to hire temporary ag workers is the H-2A program, which is beset with problems. Only 4% of the farm labor market is comprised of H-2A visa-holders. One significant part of the AWC proposes that applications for a new Agricultural Worker Visa Program would go through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, rather than through the Department of Labor (DOL), though DOL would continue to handle enforcement.

The new visa program would provide flexibility to both employees and employers by including two options: one for at-will employees, who can move from employer to employer without a contractual commitment (allowing workers to follow harvests for different crops), and one for contract employees to commit to working for an employer for a fixed period of time.

The AWC proposed agriculture worker program would provide visas for up to 11 months for “at will” employees or a year for contract employees, with employees required to spend a period of time in their home countries at regular intervals. The proposal also supports an “adjustment of status for experienced but unauthorized agricultural workers” living in the U.S.

"We have an unprecedented opportunity now that Democrats and Republicans are having a serious conversation about the critical need for immigration reform--an opportunity that cannot be wasted," said Tom Nassif, president and chief executive officer of Western Growers. "Agricultural employers have come together as never before in lock-step and agreement about a workable proposal that will serve the needs of farmers, workers and the American people. The time for immigration reform is now."

Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer of National Milk Producers Federation, added after seven years of hard but fruitless work on the issue, dairy farmers have a rare opportunity in 2013 to achieve a comprehensive solution to the immigration policy challenge. 

 

Fodder for Thought

Drought Planning Top Job Is Critical Rainfall Dates

 

As drought lingers across much of our nation, the importance and necessity of having a drought plan in place should be increasingly obvious for ranch optimization.

As I discussed last week there are several key components in planning and preparation for drought.

Of these components, critical rainfall dates are the absolute core information needed. The dates and rainfall amounts you decide upon will become the trigger points of a drought plan by which management decisions will be made.

An important aspect to note is the necessity for commitment and dedication to these dates. Straying from or postponing action undermines potential success.

It is important to know what to expect relative to "normal conditions" (if they even exist anymore). Data recorded from tracking precipitation with the use of rain gauges placed strategically across the ranch can be used to determine trigger amounts relative to critical dates. In addition, precipitation data gained from sources like SNOTEL and the Western Regional Climate can be used in some cases.

Critical rainfall dates will be set by linking precipitation patterns and amounts with plant growth windows for dominant forage species in pastures. During these plant growth windows precipitation and soil moisture are most vital just prior to and during the growth period.

For example, in the northern to central Great Plains annual forage production is dominated by mixtures of short- and mid-grasses. The growth-curve window for these grass types is correlated with total precipitation during May and June. Therefore, critical rainfall dates would be set for during this time period and monitoring of rainfall amounts and available forage would be necessary.

It is necessary to understand dates will sometimes be earlier for cool-season forages and later for warm season forages. However, pasture forage species composition will ultimately determine this. Pastures with mixtures of cool- and warm-season forages will require a different approach.

Having a general idea of dominant forage types and species will assist producers in better pinpointing critical rainfall dates for their ranch. Information of plant growth-curves for many range sites can be self developed or may be available through the National Resources Conservation Service’s Web Soil Survey.

Commonly two or three critical rainfall will be determined for a ranch. These dates will serve as triggers for your drought plan of action. These actions could include increasing rest periods, combining herds, or destocking a set percentage of animals to decrease forage demand to meet available resources.

If you know and adhere to your critical rainfall date plans and combine that with a solid understanding of precipitation patterns and forage growth cycles you should be able to make effective and timely management decisions.

To learn more about understanding and identifying critical rainfall dates the National Drought Mitigation Center’s (NDMI) ‘Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch’ website serves as an invaluable resource for ranchers seeking information on drought planning

In addition, NDMI will be offering a series of monthly webinars starting this week focused on keeping producers apprised of current drought status and discussing specific drought-related topics or tools such as land monitoring, setting critical dates, developing a grazing strategy, and using a drought calculator to assist in stocking decisions. Information on registration for the webinar series can be found here.

Cotton prices stronger than analysts had expected

Continued strong demand coupled with diminishing stocks outside China should continue to support cotton prices in the 80-cent range, says Dr. O. A. Cleveland, Jr., economics professor emeritus at Mississippi State University, who spoke at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation's annual commodity conference.

Strong Meat Exports Provide Strong Returns

Strong Meat Exports Provide Strong Returns

"Everyone in this room is an international business person," said Greg Haines, U.S. Meat Export Federation assistant vice president of international marketing and programs, as he addressed farmers at the annual Ag Expo Monday in Mankato.

Haines had the facts to back his statement:

-In 2012, 27% of U.S. hog production went for export—the equivalent of one in four hogs.

-By leveraging efforts from state, international and third-party marketing programs, for every $1 that farmers kick in for export marketing, they receive a $40 return.

-Over a 10-year period, from 2000-2010, USMEF has helped the growth of pork exports by 30%.

Strong Meat Exports Provide Strong Returns

-Exporting low-value cuts (which have high value overseas) has added $56 in value to each hog in the US.

-Exporting has added $212 per head to US beef.

Haines talked about marketing pork in Japan, where US exports account for 19% of that country's pork supply. Japan provides 53% of its own pork. Japanese consumers prefer branded products and that is reflected by marketing efforts of pork processors. There are more than 400 pork brands in Japan.

"The Japanese love brands and trust them," he said.

Accordingly, Minnesota and US processors add value to their products by doing the same—giving them a brand identity and giving customers the opportunity to sample products in grocery stores and other venues.

USMEF is a nonprofit trade association that works to create new opportunities and develop existing international markets for U.S. beef, pork, lamb and veal. Headquartered in Denver, USMEF has offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Mexico City, Monterrey and Brussels. USMEF also has special market representatives covering China, the Middle East, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Wildlife Conference To Focus On Conservation

Wildlife Conference To Focus On Conservation

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is calling their 2013 Wildlife Diversity Conference "A Conservation State of Mind." It will be held Mar. 13, at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus.

The keynote speaker will be Steve Pollick, retired outdoors editor for the Toledo Blade. Pollick, who has traveled extensively as a writer and reporter, will discuss how Ohio compares to other parts of the world in "Made in Ohio: A Conservation Choice."

Wildlife Conference To Focus On Conservation

Other topics to be discussed at the conference include the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, ticks expanding their range, certified volunteer naturalist programs, aquatic algae and its impact on wildlife, bats and white-nose syndrome, eastern box turtles and social media participation by public agencies.

The Wildlife Diversity Conference continues to grow. The first conference was held in 1985 with 40 people in attendance. Approximately 1,000 people attended last year's daylong event. Representatives from a range of conservation and natural resource organizations, including the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, Ohio Biological Survey and Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, will offer displays and answer questions at this year's event.

The fourth Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, featuring a black-capped chickadee, is available for purchase to conference attendees. Those who pre-register online for the conference may purchase this collectible stamp at a discounted price of $12, which is a 20 percent savings. Details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp are available at wildohiostamp.com.

Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to support endangered and threatened native species, habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.

The conference is sponsored by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and is open to the public. Doors open for registration at 8 a.m., and the conference runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m People may register online at wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Registration before Feb. 26 costs $25 and the cost will be $35 after that date. A reduced-price student registration is also available for $10.

Michigan Beef Herds At A Crossroads

Michigan Beef Herds At A Crossroads

The strong competition for farmland and the increased profitability of raising corn, soybeans and other crops is causing many beef cow/calf herd owners in Michigan to ponder their future.

To address the issue of turning cow/calf pastures into cropland , the Michigan State University beef team will offer "Feeding Michigan's Beef Cow Herd in 2013 and Beyond," a two-part Michigan State University Extension series, at three locations in Michigan. The series will address various feed alternatives for beef cow/calf herds and look at the economics of each.

Michigan Beef Herds At A Crossroads

"When a grain farmer will offer $100 per acre or more to rent the land to raise corn or soybeans, it is hard for a cow/calf producer to ignore the offer," says Jerry Lindquist, MSU Extension educator. "There is less risk for the landowner in renting, the return is almost the same, and the owner is not tied to the farm daily to keep a management eye on animals. Because of this, plows were turning under pastureland and hayfields across Michigan this fall with the intent of chasing $7 corn next spring."

Lindquist believes there is still a bright future for Michigan beef producers. Feeder calf producers will have to make changes in their operations to realize more profits, but the future looks promising over the next few years for those that do.

"First, we must realize that some of that pasture and hay land is not suited for tillage," Lindquist says. "Some of it is sloped and highly erodible, and some of it is on very wet, untilled soils. Those acres are best kept in sod."

To register for "Feeding Michigan's Beef Cow Herd in 2013 and Beyond," visit bit.ly/feedbeef2013 or contact beef team member Phil Durst at (989) 345-0692 or Jerry Lindquist at (231) 832-6139.

Sessions run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates at:
Feb. 11 and 18, Kettunen Center, Tustin, Mich.
Feb. 12 and 19, Gratiot/Isabella RESD Administrative Bldg., Ithaca, Mich.
Feb. 13 and 20, MDARD Center, Atlanta, Mich. 

A live Internet webinar feed will also be available to producers across the state.

Six Awarded With Friend Of Illinois County Fair Awards

Six Awarded With Friend Of Illinois County Fair Awards

The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs presented their coveted “Friend of Illinois County Fair” award to George Pollock, of Schuyler County Fair;  John (Jack) and Laurel Ratcliffe of the Boone County Fair;  John Whitney of Thomson and Bill and Linda McKinney of Hughes Spring, Texas.

Each year the IAAF recognizes individuals who are outstanding Illinois county fair supporters, volunteer workers or innovators in the industry that are respected by their colleagues and peers at their annual convention in Springfield.

George Pollock
Pollock is the President of the Schuyler County Fair in Rushville. This was the 53rd state convention he has attended since 1961.

Illinois Association Of Ag Fairs Awards Six With Friend Of Illinois County Fair Awards

Pollock began his love affair with the Schuyler County Fair as a youngster showing livestock.  As farmers, raising cattle and producing grain, Pollock and wife Donna, have incorporated the fair into their daily routine.  His entire family shares this passion.  He officially started serving on the Schuyler County Fair Board in 1970.  Currently he is the Speed Superintendent for the harness racing-program and is President of the Fair.

His dedication to the improvements and maintenance of the 69 acre fairgrounds is unbelievable.  He has spent countless hours and energy on the physical plant alone.

John (Jack) and Laurel Ratcliffe
Jack has been on the fair board for 39 years and has been Vice-President of the Association for 22 years.  The Boone County Fair boasts one of the largest truck and tractor pulls in the State, due in part to Jack’s leadership as track and entertainment chairman.

For over 40 years, Laurel has managed the Grange Food Stand Complex and serves as Gate 6 superintendent.  She is Jack’s “gal Friday” behind the scenes and takes care of all the book and computer work, contracts and office duties.  Her hours begin at 4 a.m. and end late at night. 

With the invaluable assistance of volunteers, they work together on building maintenance, keeping the grounds manicured, painting, spraying and repairing.  They’re dedicated to maintaining a local family fair, where everyone is welcome to enjoy all the events and activities.

John Whitney
Whitney has printed the IAAF’s newsletter, “Tent Talk”, for more than 25 years.  Ed Abbott, a former Secretary-Treasurer of the IAAF, contracted Whitney in 1987.  They selected a graphic designer, Marie Coldwell, to design, help layout, title and copy style.  The first issue was mailed out to over 2,300 fair board members in the state in December of 1987. 

With a balance of photos and printed material, the newsletter has won numerous honors.  It was “Best Newsletter among State and Provincial Associations in North American” numerous times and selected at the International Association of Fair and Expositions competition in Las Vegas six times.  In 2010, Whitney judged Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant and has firsthand knowledge of the process of selecting queens, whose pictures he has printed for years.

Bill and Linda McKinney
The McKinney’s are second generation concessionaires.  They are known by every County Fair in over six states as the best place to get a corndog and lemonade shake up.  Together, with their children and grandchildren they are providing professional, friendly service to the fairgoer.

For over fifty years, the McKinney’s have instilled their work ethic, and willingness to work with each and every County Fair or event they work for the sponsor.  They actively participate in improving the event and share ideas on ways to help grow.  They readily sponsor programs for kids like D.A.R.E. and “How to grow a corndog” along with sponsorship for County Fairs, the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs, the International Association of Fair and Expositions and at numerous other State Conventions.  They never attend an event where they don’t donate a door prize, sponsor an activity or contribute in some way to enhance their program.