This year approximately 200 guests attended the breakfast catered
by the college’s food service program.
The morning began with guests signing in at the front door, then
being invited to work around the outside of the room visiting with
the many local businesses who had tables set up, manned with
representatives ready to talk about their products and services.
Each table offered lots of free items for guests to grab up as they
chatted with vendors.
A large buffet breakfast was served and then Chamber Director Cathy
Wilhite moved into the program for the day. She opened by issuing
many ‘thanks’ to the various vendors who were on hand who were also
sponsors of the breakfast, then acknowledged the Lincoln College,
the Chamber Board of Directors, Chamber Ag Scholarship Committee,
the Chamber staff and others who had contributed to the success of
Wilhite also acknowledged the presence of the incoming Lincoln
Mayor, Seth Goodman, members of the Lincoln City Council and members
of the Logan County Board.
coverage of Wilhite’s opening remarks)
This year the guest speaker was Illinois Director of Agriculture
Raymond Poe. Poe took the podium expressing his appreciation for the
agricultural community in Logan County. He touched on several topics
including the fact that today there is a demand for agricultural
education because there are more jobs available in the field than
those who are qualified to fill them. He gave kudos to the Chamber
for recognizing the importance of agricultural education, and the
effort the Chamber makes to promote agricultural career choices
through the scholarship program.
coverage of Raymond Poe’s speech)
After Poe finished, Betsy Pech, former Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor at
Hartsburg-Emden High School, and current chair of the Chamber Ag
Scholarship Committee, spoke. Pech commented about the dedication of
the American farmer, using herself as an example. She said her
passions were her faith, her family, her cows, and agriculture. She
went on to say that her commitments were similar to those of all
Pech went on to recognize the number of FFA members who were in the
room, asking all those members to stand and be acknowledged. She
went on to name the various agriculture teachers/FFA advisors in
Logan County and spoke about their dedication to their students and
to the programs they lead.
With this being the final Ag Breakfast John Fulton will attend as
the Logan County Extension Director, Pech took a few moments to
acknowledge Fulton who is retiring at the end of March. She also
noted that Fulton’s wife Sherry is with the DeWitt County Extension
and she too will be retiring.
Before moving on to the scholarship presentations, Pech took a
moment to acknowledge Kent and Sara Kleinschmidt who were named 2017
Master Farmers by Prairie Farmer Magazine. The Kleinschmidt’s are
farmers in the Emden area. The popular farm magazine named four
Master Famers this year with the others including Joel Kooistra of
McHenry County, Allen Entwistle of Sangamon County and Tracy Jones
of DeKalb County.
This year there were three scholarship
recipients. Pech introduced each one who then came forward to accept
their certificates and scholarship award, then had their photo take
with Director Poe.
[to top of second column]
Ashley Zinser is the daughter of Craig and Tammy Zinser and will
be a graduate of Hartsburg-Emden High this spring. She plans to
further her education majoring in Agriculture Business.
Skye Kretzinger is the daughter of Joseph and Tiffany Kretzinger of
Mount Pulaski. She will graduate from Mount Pulaski High School this
spring and will pursue a degree in agriculture.
Reagen Tibbs will graduate from Lincoln Community High School this
spring. He plans to further his education pursuing a degree in
Political Science with an emphasis on Ag Communications. Reagen is
the son of Scott and Vanessa Tibbs of Middletown.
After the photo with Poe, each of the recipients offered up a few
comments for the audience.
Each of the three recipients came forward and thanked the Chamber
for the scholarship award. They also added a few personal comments.
Tibbs talked about his choice of major in political science. He said
that he did intend to go forward with a political career where he
would represent the farming industry to the best of his ability. He
concluded thanking his family members and his LCHS Ag teacher and
Zinser noted that she is a student at Hartsburg-Emden, is active in
FFA as well as 4-H and is a member of this year’s Lincoln Land CEO
program. Zinzer is also very active in many other organizations
within her high school. She also included many thanks to family
members as well as her Ag teachers and FFA advisor.
Kretzinger talked about her school involvement at Mount Pulaski High
School and FFA. She talked about how FFA had impacted her.
As the day came to an end, the winners of last year’s ‘Great
Predictor’ contest were announced by Andrew Alton of Farm Credit
Pech returned to the podium to speak about the need for assistance
in the western states that have lost so much due to wildfires. She
noted that human lives had been lost, but also thousands of head of
cattle had been lost on ranches in the path of the fire. She noted
that at this time of the year, many of those animals were cow-calf
combinations, meaning that two generations of livestock are gone,
and the ranchers will have a hard go of it having lost two seasons
of a ‘crop.” She talked about the need for hay for the coming year
for the animals that have survived, and the loss of thousands of
acres of pasture ground as well as farm buildings. She encouraged
everyone in the room to consider sending financial support to the
western ranchers, noting that as farmers they are united, and are
all in it together.
The day ended with drawing by Lincoln College President Dr. David
Gerlach conducting a drawing for six door prizes from the names of
those who had attended the breakfast. After the drawings, Wilhite
dismissed the group for the day, thanking everyone for attending.