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Quick Take: ILSoyStories, carbon dollars and more

Soybean farmers take to YouTube, bid now for beef scholarships, more carbon farming dollars in select counties, and new UI regenerative group to meet.

Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer Senior Editor

March 11, 2021

3 Min Read
SOY SERIES: The Illinois Soybean Association has created a video series on Illinois soybean farmers.Courtesy Illinois Soybean Association


Check out your favorite soybean farmer on YouTube

The Illinois Soybean Association is rolling out a new video docuseries call ILSoyStories to celebrate the farm families that have helped Illinois lead the nation in soybean production. Look for these four Illinois farm families on ISA’s YouTube channel:

You can also check out these farmers and more on social media by searching for the hashtag, #EveryFarmerHasAStory. ISA is looking for more unique farming stories to share; email yours to [email protected].


Silent auction: Bid on Illinois Beef Foundation items

Bidding is live for the Illinois Beef Foundation Silent Auction, which went online this year as the Illinois Beef Expo switched dates and locations to March 13-14 at Peoria Expo Gardens. Look for 38 items on the online platform, including books, paintings, gift baskets, semen, gift certificates and more. All proceeds benefit Illinois beef industry scholarships for young people. Bidding is open March 10-13, and you can access the auction at Show Cattle Connection. If you have trouble bidding or creating an account, call 614-403-0726.


Carbon reduction dollars available to select counties

Farmers in several counties in northern Illinois are eligible for conservation funding through the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF), in partnership with the Illinois Soybean Association. You may be eligible if you can generate verifiable carbon reductions and water quality improvements. In 2021, eligible Illinois counties include Bureau, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry and Will, targeting 20,000 acres of new conservation practice adoption. They hope to expand to more than 100,000 acres across Iowa, Ohio and Illinois this year.

Related: Nutrien details carbon farming plan

According to ISA’s Michael Gill, SWOF pays farmers who transition to on-farm conservation practices (such as no-till and cover crops) that help sequester carbon and improve water quality. How to verify that? They use a combination of environmental modeling, in-field monitoring and remote sensing. Funding comes from a mix of public and private partners who purchase those water quality and carbon outcomes. Visit to learn more, or contact your Nutrien Ag Solutions representative.


Illinois regenerative ag meeting April 9

A new group, the Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative is holding its second public meeting and invites stakeholders to join for an online Zoom discussion April 9. IRAI was launched in October at the University of Illinois and has support from Fresh Taste. IRAI is a partnership between the U of I Department of Crop Sciences; College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Extension; and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment.

Their goal is to create a home for regenerative agriculture research, education and outreach. Organizers want to gather stakeholders to help create “agriculture and food systems resilient to climate change, improve soil and water quality, support healthy communities, and enhance food security.” Wanting to facilitate ongoing conversations, they hope farmers will join the April 9 online discussion, where they’ll answer questions and discuss a variety of topics. Registration via Zoom is open at this link.






About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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