Farm-to-Farm 5K/Fun Run, March Madness and Scholarships – This Week at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau

Join the fun at Farm-to-Farm 5K/Fun Run
bruce-johnsonExcitement is building for the inaugural Farm-to-Farm 5K and Fun Run coming up on Saturday April 1, and we encourage you to join us for a morning of family fun. The event will start and end at Kent Farms, 12662 N Christian Hollow Road, Winslow and will cover a scenic, rolling 3.1-mile course showcasing agriculture in Stephenson County. There will be lots of displays, farm equipment, a petting zoo and kids’ activities, and we’ll have great shirts, finisher medals, swag bags and refreshments. We’ll have prizes for a wide range of age group winners as well as the overall top male and female finisher, and we even have stroller classes. March 20 is the early registration deadline, and signups after that date until race day may not be guaranteed a shirt. We’ve been getting a terrific sponsorship response from area businesses, and our Young Leaders group coordinating the event is very excited for a successful day. Registration information can be downloaded at, register online at or call (815) 232-3186 for more info. You don’t have to be an accomplished runner to have a good time for a great cause, so mark your calendar and join us!

Another outstanding Beef Banquet
A crowd of around 140 enjoyed another excellent Stephenson County Beef Association Annual Banquet on March 9 at the Farm Bureau, including the delicious prime rib dinner by H&H Port-a-Café and the tasty pies from Vicki Mulder and Christina’s Bakery. SCBA President Don Brown led the program and introduced Illinois Beef Association President Mike Martz, who shared comments from the state level. Also in attendance was Taryn Adcock, IBA Director of Outreach and Promotions, and Justin Rahn, IBA District 1 Checkoff Director (Don Brown also serves in this capacity). Our featured speaker was agricultural advocate Kim Bremmer from Greenwood Wisconsin, who shared a passionate and insightful appeal to be diligent in telling our story about modern agriculture and food production. Kim has been a fearless and focused ag ambassador in every setting, and she shared many great perspectives on our business. We thank the many sponsors who generously supported this event through cash donations and door prizes, and we look forward to another great program next year!

Ag Awareness Lunch & Learn
Our second installment of our four-part Ag Awareness Lunch and Learn Series featured a great presentation by Steve Moest and his daughter Becca highlighting their extensive High Plains Pork swine enterprise. They shared the many changes in the business and the ever-changing scope of operations in today’s market, and the audience gained some great perspective into today’s pork production systems.
The second half of the program was presented by Linda Olson, Director of Consumer Communications for the Illinois Farm Bureau, who shared information on the emergence and impact of the Illinois Farm Families movement to address consumer concerns about food and farming practices. Linda has been keenly involved in many innovative efforts to reach consumers and have dialogues about their concerns, and those efforts continue to evolve on many levels.

We encourage you to join us for our final two sessions – Tuesday March 21 will feature Meier Land and Cattle and Famous Fossil Vineyard and Winery, and the final session on March 28 will showcase Scheidairy Farms and Adkins Energy Ethanol/Biodiesel. Call (815) 232-3186 to reserve your spot – lunch is at 11:45 and the program runs 12-1 p.m.

Multiple trip preview program
We have scheduled a preview program with Tri-State Travel on Tuesday April 11 to present details on three upcoming trips co-sponsored by area Farm Bureaus. We’ll start the evening at 7 p.m. with a presentation on our March 17-26, 2018 “San Antonio and More” trip, followed by a preview at 7:30 p.m. on the August 15-19, 2018 “North Woods Adventure” excursion. For those who might have missed the previous session, we’ll wrap up the night around 8:00 p.m. with a look at our November 16-20, 2017 “Branson Christmas” trip which is filling its two busses quickly. Brochures on all three trips can be viewed at and you can call (815) 232-3186 for more information.

Madness is underway!
March Madness is in full swing as the high school basketball tourneys have been happening for several weeks and the college game launched its month of excitement last week as well. I’ve enjoyed some great games on TV already and look forward to many more. I especially love the spirit and sense of community in the smaller classes of the high school tourney, where rallying around the sports teams brings a unique sense of community and cohesiveness. I felt that up close when I attended the Pearl City vs. Eastland games on January 27, with the boy’s game going to the final buzzer filled with intensity.

SCFB Foundation scholarship applications available
The Stephenson County Farm Bureau Foundation has posted the application forms for its 2017-18 academic year scholarships, available at or at the Farm Bureau office. We will be offering up to four $500 Ag Studies grants to high school seniors who are dependents of SCFB members and graduating from an area high school with plans to continue their education in an ag-related discipline. For college students with at least 30 credit hours earned, we will be offering up to six $500 Ag Studies scholarships, up to six $500 General scholarships, and up to two $500 Non-Traditional Student stipends (along with up to three $500 Ag Studies grants funded by the Stephenson County Pork Producers). Application deadlines are April 14 for the high school scholarships and May 31 for the college grants.

Bruce Johnson is the Manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau

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