Friday, March 19


Big attendance at Ag Day Breakfast

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[MARCH 19, 2004]  The fifth annual Ag Day Breakfast was hosted by the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee. The breakfast this morning (Friday) at the Laughlin Center on the Lincoln Christian College campus was part of celebrating National Agriculture Week. About 350 guests enjoyed a hearty farm-style breakfast, speakers and fellowship.

One of the highlights each year is the presentation of ag scholarships. Ag Committee Chairman Terry Lock presented seven students with their scholarships.

Scholarship recipients

They are as follows:

Winners of $1,000 scholarships

  • Krista Ubbenga
    Hartsburg-Emden High School senior
    Plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Major: Crop sciences with biotechnology and molecular biology
    Minor: Spanish and/or biochemistry

  • David Allspach
    Mount Pulaski High School senior
    Plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Major: Agribusiness, farm and financial management
    Minor: Crop science

  • Kyle Atteberry
    Lincoln Community High School senior
    Plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Major: Agricultural engineering
    Minor: Plans to include environmental studies in his curriculum

Winners of $500 scholarships

  • Kenneth Cowan
    Mount Pulaski High School senior
    Plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Major: Ag business and finance
    Minor: Undecided

  • Thomas Maske
    Mount Pulaski High School senior
    Plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Major: Animal science, pre-vet

  • Kory Leesman
    Hartsburg-Emden High School senior
    Plans to attend Bradley University in Peoria
    Major: Mechanical engineering
    Minor: Business

  • Bradley Stoll
    Mount Pulaski High School senior
    Plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Major: Technical systems management
    Minor: Ag business

The event supports part of the ag committee's mission, "Cultivating the relationship between agriculture and business." Business, community and ag leaders look forward to the opportunity to make new and renew acquaintances. This pre-spring date is closing in on the last opportunity for many involved in the ag industry to take their last deep breath before crops season starts.

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce President Mark Hughes, from Inland Tool, welcomed the crowd.

Lincoln Christian College and Seminary President Dr. Keith Ray gave the invocation.

New Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership Director Rob Orr, who grew up in rural Iowa in a family deep in farming, served as emcee.

Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant gave a brief report on the Lower Sangamon River Resource Conservation and Development. While the local group, which covers six counties including Logan County, is still young in organization, they have assisted with funding several projects. The committee operates with volunteers only.

Keynote speaker was futures analyst Bill Nelson from A.G. Edwards and Sons Inc. Nelson used graphs comparing world grain market statistics over the last few decades.

Nelson says China is the driving world market influence at this time. This began in the '90s when the government made a policy change and shifted their focus on agriculture. He keeps a close watch on all aspects of their markets, including surplus and export-import net trading.

Nelson says they also watch the Brazilian market, which has developed strength in the soybean market in recent years, on the production side. Brazil has focused on developing infrastructure that enables them to bring crops to the world market. Brazil also has a large supply of undeveloped land.

But he maintains that China is the major market influence to watch. If they approach U.S. averages for soybean meal consumption, mainly through amounts fed to livestock, there will be severe global shortages of soybeans and products.

In summary, the markets are in a volatile period, and the volatility may become even greater with the upcoming U.S. planting season. Currently prices have not been rationing use of commodities.

A.G. Edwards and Sons sponsored the Nelson presentation.



[to top of second column in this article]

The meal was catered by Guzzardo's. Numerous local businesses support the breakfast. See below for a list of sponsors.

The ag community also hosted a Kid's Ag Day on Wednesday (March 17). That event is sponsored each year by the Logan County Farm Bureau. ["Students celebrate agriculture"]

[Jan Youngquist, with some editing by
U of I Extension specialist John Fulton]

2004 Ag Day sponsors

Platinum sponsors

Frontier Mutual Insurance

Graue Inc.

Interstate Chevrolet

Logan County Farm Bureau

State Bank of Lincoln

Silver sponsors

Country Insurance & Financial Services

Farm Credit Services

Logan County Bank

Bronze sponsors

J.M. Abbott & Associates

Ag-Land FS

Atlanta Ag Center

Beason Ag Center

Big R

Burtonview Co-op


Central Illinois Ag

City of Lincoln

Coy's Car Corner

Cross Implement

East Lincoln Farmers Grain

Elkhart Grain

FSIA (Farmers Supporting Independent Agriculture)

Grieme Insurance Agency

Rick Hamm State Farm Insurance

Hartsburg State Bank


Hoblit Seed

Illini Bank

Lincoln Ag Center

Mike Maske Auction Service

Mitchell-Newhouse Lumber Company

Rohlfs Implement Company

Stine Seed

Union Planters Bank

Contributing sponsor

First National Bank of Mount Pulaski

Chamber Ag Committee

John Hartman, chair

Bobbi Abbott, Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce executive director

Mike Abbott, J.M. Abbott & Associates

Don Begolka, Begolka Farms

Kelly Burden, Lincoln Community High School

Bill Dickerson, Logan County Soil and Water Conservation

Jim Drew, Logan County Farm Bureau

Todd Farris, Elkhart Grain

John Hartman, Farm Credit Services

Dave Howard, Ag-Land FS

Larry Huelskoetter, Logan County producer

Mark Hunsley, Farmer's Coop Elevator

David Irwin, State Bank of Lincoln

Kevin Kurtz, Stine Seed

Terry Lock, Illini Bank

Richard Martin, Logan County producer

Betsy Pech, Hartsburg-Emden High School

Bob Pharis, Logan County producer

Art Rohrer, Logan County producer

Bill Sahs, Sahs Farms

Steve Schmidt, Central Illinois Ag

Steve Schreiner, Logan County producer

Cindy Stover, Lincoln Community High School

Maft Swinger, Farm Service Agency

Hugh Whalen, East Lincoln Farmers Grain 

Chamber Ag Committee task forces

Ag awareness -- Bill Sahs, chair

Value-added opportunities -- Larry Huelskoetter, chair

Land use and zoning -- Bill Dickerson, chair

Ag work force development -- Terry Lock, chair

Absentee landowner relations -- Larry Huelskoetter, chair

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