With the end of the year almost here, let’s take a look back at some of the top local ag stories of 2018 from The Central Illinois Farm Network.
Nearly 300 farmers showed up at a training session in Bloomington last January to receive certification to spray certain herbicides. Completion of the dicamba training allowed growers to apply products known as Xtendimax, FeXapan and Engenia. These products are now restricted use pesticides, according to Jack Marshall, technical service representative for BASF.
Bill Kallas has seen many changes during his 45 years of selling farm equipment, from the tractors farmers use to the farmers themselves. The salesman for Kelly-Sauder-Rupiper John Deere in Pontiac marked the milestone by reflecting on his time in the industry. Kallas retired from KSR in the spring.
A longtime volunteer who served on the Livingston County Farm Bureau Board for more than 30 years was remembered for her love of farming. Rosie Duffy passed away at the age of 90. Duffy was recognized for her contributions to the Ag in the Classroom fundraiser and received the Volunteer of the Year award in Livingston County back in 2007.
An agriculture instructor at Joliet Junior College known as someone passionate about the industry and the students he taught also passed away this year. Bill Johnson was completing his 50th year teaching at the school. Johnson was hired by JJC in 1968 and was instrumental in starting the JJC ag production curriculum.
An area auctioneer marked 40 years in the business and is still going strong. Bill Kruse was a livestock buyer in the late 1970s when he wanted to do something else like auctioneering. His business mushroomed from there as he later moved to Gibson City in 1984 where he took on an insurance agency and real estate business.
A new state-of-the-art country grain elevator emerged above the corn and soybean fields of northern McLean County. An open house and dedication ceremony for the new Prairie Central Cooperative elevator west of Chenoa was held in August. The idea for the facility was years, if not decades, old as the co-op board of directors and patrons saw a need for additional storage capacity.
There were many more deserving stories for our annual year in review but unfortunately, we don’t have the room to include them all. I wish you nothing but the best in 2019. Happy New Year!
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