Young Farmers Committee Meets

The Young Farmers Committee met at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, and was led by Corey Brandau at Austin Brown’s machine shed with the following members present: Austin Brown, Corey Brandau, Kevin Ardaugh, RJ Nugent, Jarrad Mulderink, Courtney Sowa, Kyle Johnson, Tammy Halterman and Mark Schneidewind.

Corey introduced Tammy, and she reported that last week they had a state meeting with the Young Leaders committee and discussed several areas for possible change. Tammy was seeking input for our group as to what suggestions we also had to offer. The group provided Tammy with several ideas and suggestions that she will be taking back to the state, including that after young farmers when they get older, Will County offers opportunities for involvement and encourages getting involved in other committees at the Farm Bureau (local agriculture and local politics). The idea is to improve local agriculture and they feel that they are getting the necessary exposure from this committee to move forward when that time arrives and we have seen local ag programs created and started up again through local involvement.

The committee then reviewed the pedal pull circuit which they approved with requests received back in November as time frames are now finalized. The 4H Foundation event held February 18th was good, and the number of kids was pretty good. Family Fun Night is set for July 13th; Threshermen’s Show is set for July 22nd; Symerton Home Coming is set for August 20th; the Will County Fair is set for August 26th; and Chasing Cans for Cancer is set for September 2nd. Corey reported that Dralle Chevy purchased the pedal pull event at the FFA auction and plans to use it for the Peotone Christmas in the Village which is set for December 9th with an approximate 10 a.m. start time in the facilities at Dralle Chevrolet. We have had to place 3 requests on hold as the time frames conflicts with other events, and it would be 3 weekends in a row for some.

The Focus on Youth is in the papers and judging will occur in June. They had a nice time at their event to Top Golf in February; the retirement party for Luke Baskerville, Corey Brandau and Ryan Nugent is set for Saturday, September 9th, with more details to follow. Corey reported that we will cook for the PrimeTimers for their picnic on August 2nd.

The group spent the next 25 minutes on the golf outing and are keeping fees the same for the 3rd straight year as they raised them in 2021. The flyers will be developed after the meeting tonight and will be out the first part of April. They approved the games for the event, the raffles and are still working on 2 ideas for the live auction. Ryan will still chair for the 2023 year, but we will need to find a replacement for him for 2024.

The group reviewed sponsor fees and they will also keep that the same and will go back to Green Garden Country Club. Raffle tickets can currently be purchased for the 1/2 beef and the gun auctions through the office now. They will do a live auction currently for two 1/2 hogs and will work on 2 other items. Goodie bags are in as well as the sleeves of golf balls and tees. They will see if the video carts will have hole sponsors on them but want to keep the signs being placed at each hole as many use that for picture opportunities. Cost to golf is $125 per person and early bird deadlines were set. Registration will be 10 a.m., with shot gun start at 11 a.m. Set-up 9 a.m. The Women for Family Farms will assist working raffles, holes 4 and 16 and with registration. They will also continue to have the bucket raffles. They need to talk to Dralle on the vehicle hole in one and other hole sponsors in the next few months.

Corey reported on the annual meeting, and all enjoyed the bingo game night theme and ice cream social. The group then spent 20 minutes to finalize the Ag Olympics as it is set for Saturday, July 8th, at the JJC Weitendorf Ag facility. They have changed 2 events to work better with the age groups of the clubs and to help with not hauling all the tires as that is extremely hard. They reviewed the changes and made a few adjustments based on making things clearer. The slip ‘n slides are back which will make many 4Hers happy.

They will host a trap shoot this summer at Mike Robbins Farm. The FFA Acquaintance is much later this year because of requests from the two schools. Working from home continues to be a challenge with setting programs and COVID is still having many companies not allowing tours yet. They have the event set for Friday, April 28th, but need to possibly change the schedule to accommodate a change after all was in place with one of the stops because of people working from home making mistakes and double booking items.

Corey reported that the 2023 harvest dinner is now set at a new host’s farm of Kevin and Molly Gorman for health professionals and teachers on Friday, September 8th. The event is by invitation only. The committee then spent 20 minutes on the Ag Expo, and they have machinery booked coming in. They will not talk on machinery this year but will focus on wheat and will have a demo for students to grind whole wheat into flour. They are trying to determine if they need to add 3 more grinders as there are 700 students participating. They need to have 2 more speakers to assist.

Pesticide applicators testing is set for March 23rd and will be held only one day locally. Corey discussed the idea of participating in planter rides for the legislator to focus on congress with the farm bill up for negotiations. They reviewed and discussed several legislative issues at the state level including navigable waters legislation and solar issues created during the veto session.

The Young Farmers set their next meeting for June 22nd at 7 p.m. back at Austin’s machine shed.


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