top of page

View from the Cab: Ag tradition continues

Last week's McLean County Chamber Ag Awareness Breakfast in Bloomington.

By: Kent Casson

Hats off to the McLean County Chamber of Commerce for keeping a local ag tradition alive.

The Ag Awareness Breakfast is held each March to recognize our state’s biggest industry and our FFA youth. Last week’s event was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington and included ag professionals from throughout the area.

Congratulations to all of the FFA Service Award winners: Kaleb Southern of Blue Ridge, Caden Hodel of El Paso-Gridley, Paul Toohill of LeRoy, Payton Wiltz of Lexington, Evan Kraft of Normal, Kaylee Coyne of Normal West, Brooke Rogers of Olympia, Annalyn Harper of Ridgeview and James Clark of Tri-Valley.

FFA chapters in attendance included LeRoy, Normal Community, Normal West, Lexington, Tri-Valley and Olympia.

Kristen Meyers from Tri-Valley was the John Maitland Grant recipient. Currently in its 20th year, the John Maitland Agriculture Awareness Fund celebrates students and teachers in our communities working to incorporate ag into lesson plans, classrooms and youth learning experiences.

Funds are invested through the local McLean County Extension Foundation with the University of Illinois Foundation. The grant is made possible by contributions from the Maitland family and funds collected from an annual “pass the hat” campaign are used to fund the next year’s winners of the Ag Awareness Grant.

The McLean County Chamber’s website notes that agriculture awareness is one of the top issues facing the area. Many local students believe food comes from a store – not a farm.

“The agriculture population lacks impact in the voting booth, so the need to educate our youth about agriculture is more important than ever,” notes the Chamber.

Ag plays a critical role in the success of area communities as every U.S. household benefits from the work of farmers and those in the ag industry.

Donations can be made to the McLean County Extension Service Foundation at

Happy National Agriculture Week! How are you celebrating? If you ate anything today, you are automatically connected to agriculture and food production. It is a time to celebrate America’s farmers as we look ahead to another spring planting season which isn’t too far off.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic
bottom of page