GROWING YOUR ROOTS • Meet Farm Bureau Director Lynn Black

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Turkeys, fall tillage and fertilizer application, Christmas shopping, and colder weather are some of the top things that come to mind when I think about the month of November. Unfortunately, this November looks a little different than most with COVID-19 still causing challenges. If you’ve started thinking ahead about Christmas shopping, we have a few things to offer at the Farm Bureau office. 

Forest Hill Scoop shovels are fully stocked and ready to make someone a great gift.  These shovels are made in the USA with five times the heel strength of a typical shovel. They come in two sizes, 30 or 36-inch heights.  We are also accepting candy and nut orders as a scholarship fundraiser. The Nutman Company has 40 options to choose from in nine-ounce packages; visit our website or give us a call if you would like to place an order. Orders with payment are due Nov. 23 to the Farm Bureau office and will be delivered the second week of December. We also have Golden Prairie Popcorn for sale in the office.

Our member spotlight this month features a Montgomery County Farm Bureau Board member. Lynn Black of Hillsboro Township has served as a director for the past five years and has been involved with farming for as long as he can remember. Born and raised in Moultrie County near Gays, Lynn moved to Montgomery County after college. 

“I was born and raised up in Moultrie County, kind of the southeast corner near a little town called Gays, Illinois. I was raised on a farm and lived there until I left home to go to college and then got a job at Jack Rundquist’s farm near Butler when I got out of college. I started farming with Ross Lay about five years after that. I now live just west of the radio station in the northwest corner of Hillsboro Township.” 

Lynn and his wife Jane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August and they have three grown children and five grandchildren. Fortunately, this fall made for an easy harvest and Lynn said they had good crops and he’s thankful for the nice weather we’ve had. In recent weeks they’ve been ripping cornstalks, sowing wheat and waiting for the weather to change to allow for anhydrous application. 

As Lynn stated, he’s been farming with Ross Lay in the area for a number of years.  Throughout those years, farming has changed and continues to change all of the time. So, that prompted me to ask, “What has changed the most since you first started farming?” The answer: equipment. 

“Oh, it’s phenomenal. I always think of the farmers that never saw a mechanical corn picker in their lifetime, if they came back now, would just be amazed. When I started I was just a boy. I started on a Farmall H with a Two Bottom Trip Row Plow and nobody knew anything about tractor cabs or dual wheels, at least not in our neighborhood. 

Of course, all of the electronic precision farming guidance–it’s just so much more electronic now than it was even 15 years ago. Now when the technicians come out to work on something the first thing they do is get out the laptop computer. Nobody knew what that was when I started. Things have gotten way more powerful and way bigger and more comfortable and easier to run. The mechanical side of things is so much better than it was when I was growing up; now most of the problems are with the computers and the air conditioners. The mechanical stuff sure can break down but the machinery is very reliable.” 

Lynn has enjoyed his time serving on the Farm Bureau Board and said the most enjoyable part has been meeting and working with farmers from different parts of the county. He’s been able to discuss important issues and visit with board members about their farming operations. If you’re not already, Lynn recommends becoming a member and getting involved in the organization. 

“I think it’s important to be a part of a united voice and it strengthens the whole organization whenever there’s more activity. It adds to our influence with governmental agencies from the local level all the way up to the national level. It helps connect you with other farmers and leaders in agriculture, and there’s a lot of other benefits, but I think the bigger picture is just getting to be part of a united voice for agriculture.” 

If you would like to join our organization, give us a call at the office or visit our website.  Thanks for reading and don’t forget to stop by the office and pick up your 2021 calendar if you haven’t done so already. Happy Thanksgiving!

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