St. Francis Foundation Hosts Family Farm Event In Litchfield


The annual Farm Family Event was held Wednesday, March 20, in the auditorium at Lincoln Land Community College Litchfield campus.

During the event, Anita and Jack Rundquist, a husband and wife team, were presented with the St. Isidore Friend of Agriculture Award. 

Eric Helgen, who presented them with the award, said, "Their farming history spans six generations, over 165 years. Evergreen Farm, just north of Butler, has been the home of this year's honorees since 1948, when the couple married that year after having met while in college at the University of Illinois."

Anita served as a trustee of Illinois College for 22 years, where she served on the board's agricultural committee and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree. She was also a 4-H leader for almost 50 years.

"In 2014, the couple was honored by the University of Illinois as the Illinois Farm Family of the year. Today, Jack, 95 years young, and Anita, 94, like to say that they didn't retire from farming, rather they just got tired. They are pleased that their son, John K. Rundquist and their grandson, John Turner Rundquist, now carry on their family farm tradition," Helgen said.

Upon accepting the award, Jack said, "St. Isidore was a farmer and farm worker, a true friend of the farmer."

The Rundquists were hit in December 2018 by the tornado that moved through the area. "We were very fortunate during the tornado. We are extremely happy  with everyone who helped us out after the storm," he said. "Today is a wonderful day because it is the first day of spring."

During his acceptance speech he said, "I also accept this award, not only for me, but for my wife. And, we will put this award in our office as soon as we are able to move back into our home."

The Rundquists are the parents of five children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

In the course of the event, Erik Hyam of Silver Lake Law Group, also presented the Special Recognition Award on behalf of the HSHS St. Francis Foundation.

"He said, "This award recipient is selected by the agriculture committee of the HSHS St. Francis Foundation, and is chosen based on the individual or organization, giving one's time or monetary contributions for the betterment of our community. This year, we are pleased to present this award to the Arthur L. Fogelman Trust."

Hyam went on to say that in 1956, the Fogelman Trust was established in Mr. Fogelman's will. The revenue from three farms generate the income that was designed to benefit Litchfield High School students. To date, the trust has provided 2,644 scholarships, valued at $3.4 million.

The Litchfield Community School District is the trustee of the Fogelman Trust, and Principal Doug Hoster and Guidance Counselor Chris Headrick accepted the award.

Attendees also enjoyed breakfast, which was provided by Litchfield Family Practice Center. They also heard from David Pritchard, CPA , CMAA of Kerber, Eck and Braeckel LLP in Litchfield, Dan McCormack, vice president of philanthropy of Hospital Sisters Health System, and Matt Roberts, Ph.D. of the Kernmantle Group.

Door prizes were also given out at the end of the program. Prizes included four box seats to the Cardinals vs. Marlins game, which will take place on June 18, compliments of Kerber, Eck and Braeckel LLP; a $50 gift certificate to the Ariston Cafe; a $50 gift certificate to Jubelt's Restaurant and Bakery in Litchfield; and fire extinguisher.


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