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www.HeartLandsConservancy.org

What’s Inside

A Quarterly Publication of HeartLands Conservancy

Armin H. Weilbacher, Sr. and his wife, Rose Ann (pictured at left) raised nine children on a family farm in rural Monroe County, just outside of Waterloo. When the children were growing up, days were spent farming the land, milking cows and rolling bales of hay.

Let’s Pull Together......................... 2 Invader Alert - Honeysuckle......... 3 People and Places......................4-5

With so many memories, it was no surprise that all nine siblings wanted to carry on the family legacy by protecting the land forever. And they did just that, executing three agricultural easements with HeartLands Conservancy in December.

Farm Protection Program............. 7 Sponsorship................................7-8 Upcoming Events.......................7-8 Green Leaf Awards.....................BC Field to Fork................................BC

“We want to see it all together for future generations to come,” said Ed Weilbacher, one of the nine siblings. “We felt it should be one unit and while we won’t live forever, this helps to ensure the land is protected from an agricultural point of view and whoever owns it in the future, it will stay in tact.”

Directors Robert J. Hilgenbrink, Chair IL Green Economy Network

Dennis (Denny) Kirkham (Land Owner) Charles Meier Illinois State Representative Robert Nelson Nelson & Nelson Ron O’Connor O’Connor & Partners Cliff Schuette Schuette Seed Company Justin Siegel Deli Star Corporation

Winter 2015

Historic Land Easements Forever Protect Weilbacher Properties

Land Easements.................... IFC, 2

Frank O. Miles, Vice Chair Madison County Community Development Lester Harnetiaux, Secretary Bond County Realtors Ronda Latina, Treasurer Environmental Operations, Inc. William Boardman Firehouse Contracting, LLC Ronald J. Foster, Jr. Schoen, Walton, Telken & Foster

The largest easement is on a 718-acre property owned by Rockhouse LLC (a corporation owned by the nine children), while two other easements of 211 acres and 104 acres respectively, are on property owned by Don Weilbacher, another of the siblings. All three farms are adjacent and encompass a diverse terrain of forest, pasture, river, and agricultural farmland. In total, 1,033 acres were protected. The family farm has been in the Weilbacher family dating back to 1959, when Armin Sr. bought the land, although the family, which was living on another farm in Columbia, didn’t move to the Waterloo location until 1963. In 2009, the family celebrated its 50-year anniversary of buying the farm. Above: Armin H. Weilbacher, Sr. and his wife, Rose Ann. Below: Eight of the nine Weilbacher children in front of their family farm’s historic barn in rural Waterloo. Picture taken in the Fall, 2014.

“The easement is a tribute to my parents,” said Ed. “And it was very important to me and my brothers and sisters to ensure the lands are permanently protected. There was absolutely no other way to make this happen.”

“Our entire family grew up on this farm and all nine kids contributed daily, working in the fields and with the livestock,” said Don Weilbacher. “We had family meals inside the farmhouse, rolled hay together and ice skated on the frozen creeks in the winter time with neighbors and friends. There are a lot of memories here.” Land easement discussions amongst the Weilbacher children started years ago, but they didn’t act on it until last year. An anonymous donor gave a gift to HeartLands Conservancy to enhance its Farmland Protection Program, which allowed the non-profit to wave a stewardship fee and this got the entire family re-engaged. (Cont. pg. 2)

Commonfields_Winter2015  
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