First Ag Day to be celebrated in Logan County

[MARCH 15, 2000]  Have you ever wondered what becomes of all the corn and soybeans grown in Logan County, or why acceptance of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is such a widely debated issue? Soon, you will have an opportunity to find out firsthand from your neighbors who earn their living in agriculture.


The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the first Agriculture Day in Logan County. The Logan County Ag Day 2000 breakfast will be held Wednesday, March 22, in conjunction with National Agriculture Week, March 19-25.

A 7 a.m. breakfast at the Knights of Columbus Hall will feature foods and food ingredients that are currently produced in Logan County. Later, guests will learn how the agricultural and business communities are coming together to promote greater understanding of agricultural issues. Also, a new scholarship will be announced for Logan County students who are planning a career in agriculture or agribusiness.

Keynote speaker Larry Keene, director of value enhanced products at Growmark, will discuss the role biotechnology plays in developing new, nutritionally enhanced corn and soybeans that farmers in Logan County will soon be able to grow.

[Larry Keene]

In his position with the FS system, Keene is responsible for evaluating value enhanced products in order to form relationships with major buyers of technology, major grain companies and food processors and gain contracts for farmers throughout the trade area. He is also responsible for formulating a strategic plan so that the FS system is positioned to help members as new value enhanced products come into the market.



Keene received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., and worked in sales for Hallmark Cards, Inc., and in management with the Missouri Farmers Association before joining Growmark in 1985. He has held various positions in crops and seed divisions and assumed his current responsibilities with FS in 1999.

Ag producers from throughout the county are expected to attend the Ag Day event. Joining them will be agribusiness professionals, local business leaders and local elected officials. Also scheduled to attend are Rep. John Turner, Sen. Robert Madigan and a representative from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

"Participants are not limited to this group," says Marty Ahrends, chairperson of the event. "Anyone who wants to learn more about current ag issues or discover the great things that biotechnology will be bringing to the dinner table is welcome to attend. However, you must have a ticket to eat breakfast." Tickets are free and are available on a first come, first serve basis by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 735-2385 or the Logan County Farm Bureau at 732-7326.

Costs for the event and the Logan County Ag Day Scholarship are covered by the sponsorship of several local businesses. They include the following: Logan County Farm Bureau, Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Logan Mutual Insurance, Logan County Bank, Graue Chevrolet, Ag Land FS, Inc., Union Planters Bank, East Lincoln Farmers Grain, Parker-Grieme Insurance, Jim Xamis Ford, Woody Jones State Farm Insurance, Country Companies Insurance, State Bank of Illinois and Illinois Bank.



4-H legislative connection

[MARCH 13, 2000]  Over 2,000 4-H members and their families took a crash course in state lawmaking during the 4-H Legislative Connection 2000 at the state capitol on Thursday, March 2. Four-H youth across Illinois who received Superior Award ratings at the Illinois State Fair last August were invited to display their projects and rub elbows with their Illinois legislators. The 4-H’ers took part in legislative workshops, toured the capitol complex and met with their legislators during the event.


Four-H projects were on display in a showcase of "The Best of the Best." A midday rally in the capitol rotunda saluted the Illinois 4-H program and its impact on youth.

Logan County 4-H members who took part in this event include Katelyn Beavers, Cloverdale 4-H; Andrew Fulton, Chester 4-H; Staci Hieronymus and Jeff Jones, Atlanta Town & Country 4-H; Rachel Thomas, Atlanta Ag 4-H; Scott Ubbenga, Hartem Clovers 4-H; and Kent White, Beason Ag 4-H.

To learn more about the 4-H program in Logan County, contact the 4-H office by e-mail at or by phone at 732-8289.



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