GROWING YOUR ROOTS • New Column From Farm Bureau

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Greetings! This is the first of–hopefully–many columns that grow your roots in Farm Bureau and local agriculture. 

If we haven’t met, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Katie Wilson and I serve as the Manager for Montgomery County Farm Bureau (MCFB). I’ve been serving the organization in this capacity for approximately two and a half years. I’m a native of Montgomery County and currently reside in South Litchfield Township with my husband, John, and our four-legged kids. 

For this first column, let’s get to know Farm Bureau in Montgomery County. We are a membership organization that’s been around since 1917.  We are proud to provide services to over 2,700 members. Our mission, and the mission of Illinois Farm Bureau, is to “improve the economic well-being of agriculture and enrich the quality of farm family life.”  Our board of directors is comprised of 18 farmers representing each township in the county. They govern the work of MCFB.  We also have active Young Leaders and Women’s Committees that focus on community service, advocating for agriculture, and networking. 

Montgomery County agriculture is diverse. Our farmers grow corn and soybeans, wheat and alfalfa, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, and fruits and vegetables–and I’ve probably missed a few things! I hope to connect you to the farmers who raise these crops and animals and highlight the agriculture industry in our local communities. Farm Bureau also offers programs of interest to our non-farming members, and I hope to shed light on those things as well. 

2020 has been a strange year to try to navigate through as a new manager. As soon as I thought I was starting to get things figured out, COVID-19 struck and almost everything “normal” went out the window. We were saddened to cancel our July Member Appreciation Meals, and we are now faced with the decision of how to conduct our annual meeting in November. Only time will tell what the future holds and we hope to continue serving our members through this unprecedented period. 

As I wrap up this first column, it seems appropriate to include a local crop report from our membership.  While some farmers had a rough start this spring, recent rains have really helped the crops in this area. 

Today we’ll hear from Montgomery County Farm Bureau President, Jay Niemann. Jay has served as president of the Farm Bureau board for the past seven years and resides in South Litchfield Township: “The crops in South Litchfield Township are looking great at this time, considering some crops were planted during the dry, hot spell we were experiencing just a few days before the recent rain events. Much of the corn crop that was replanted has nearly caught up to the rest of the acres. Several farmers in the area are applying fungicides. The soybean crop is thriving in various stages and many fields have had herbicide applications completed while others are waiting for weed pressures from the recent rains.” 

And that completes the first edition of Growing Your Roots. Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy what’s left of the month of July!

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