Corn and Soybean Growers Meet

The corn and soybean growers met on Thursday, January 12th, at 7 p.m., with the following members present: Dan Tewes, Gordon McCoy, Al Beseke, George Beutel, Jim Robbins, Wayne Walz, John Kiefner, Gary Fritz, Larry Christiansen, Steve Malcom, Mike Newbrough and Mark Schneidewind, Will County Farm Bureau manager.

The minutes from the previous meeting were reviewed and approved by the committee. The group discussed the harvest dinner. This is on hold, as they are looking for a new host for the 2023 year. They will make the call at their March meeting as they have time yet. They all agreed that last year’s program was exceptional! Jim said they would consider it again, but we needed a different venue for one year.

The Corn and Soybean Dinner will be finalized in the next few weeks, and it was decided to set it for Monday, February 20th , at the Farm Bureau office building. They discussed program content and the meal option. They also asked who was willing to run again for the 2023-2025 position and named John Kiefner as the nomination chairman.

The committee then spent 15 minutes on the upcoming Ag Expo set for March 13-16, as they know the Ag in the Classroom group has surveyed the teachers and changes were to take place;. However, while they have some idea, the specific changes are still in the planning stages. So what they are looking to do is plan as they have in the past with speaking and format, and they will make adjustments to the packet at their March meeting.

Mark indicated that they have around 550-600 signed up so far, with an expected 200-300 more to come but the challenge is the same as in the past – finding bus availability and drivers to take the students. Dakota has been doing a nice job of addressing this, and the pizza will be back for each school.

The Illinois Corn Growers updated report was next on the agenda, and no one was able to make the annual meeting this year. However, several participated in their PAC event, and some will attend the National Commodities Conference. Some on the committee will be considering the upcoming Illinois Soybean Growers meeting on Feb 7th with meeting guest speaker, the Shark Farmer, along with a tour of their new facilities.

The Estate Planning program being held at the Farm Bureau is a more extensive program with a local attorney approved through the system and will include Country Financial Planning people. David Gallico, Tom Jean and Ragan Pattison will be the guest speakers, and a light meal will be provided. The event will begin at 6 p.m., with food and 6:30 for the program.

The Farm Bureau annual meeting is set for Jan 28th at the Will County Fairgrounds atrium with doors open at 4:30 pm, first half of the meeting at 5:30 pm, dinner at around 6:15 pm with Hog Wild catering, followed by the second half of them meeting and live auction. The online auction will begin on January 18th and run through Feb 1st, ending at 9 p.m. After the meeting will be a euchre tournament, bingo and putting a puzzle together (approx. a 6-foot puzzle). An ice cream social will be held at the end. There will also be a live auction and several raffles, as we have raffle licenses on place.

They felt a summer ag tour for elected officials was a good idea with having so many new county board members. The pesticide training applicators program will be March 23rd with two different sessions: one from 9 a.m. to noon. and the other one from 1-4 p.m. Please note: You can only register on the IDOA online site. Mark said they had talked with the instructor, and he has sent them a link that can be passed on for easier access to the registration. There is a study book that can be obtained separately, but no study time will be provided at the test site. This is in-person ONLY. The group talked about the website online challenges with testing and being thrown off; that is still an issue as several have tried it.

The FFA Auction is set for Sunday, Feb 26th, for a noon lunch with live auction to follow at the Will County Fairgrounds Atrium. The 4H Foundation fund raiser is set for Saturday, February 18th, at the atrium at new location and earlier this year. The young farmers have been asked to do a pedal pull at that event around 5 pm.

The Foundation has their scholarship applications online and they are starting to come in presently. The deadline is March 1st with value increasing to $1,500 per scholarship, and 54 will be given out in 2023. Jim reported that they are looking for an education person at SWCD, and there is an application process in place. They discussed what took place in the veto session in Springfield.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m., and they set their next meeting for March 7th at 7 p.m.

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