YOUR TUESDAY FRONT PAGE IS INSIDE
Outside the box Charities try unique ways to bring in funds/A1
A few good men Gender gap of school teachers continues to widen/C5
Herald&Review TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
The finishing touches
The Farm Progress Show, the nation’s largest outdoor farm show, begins its threeday run today in Decatur. The show is being held through Thursday at Progress City USA, adjacent to Richland Community College. Show times are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 13 to 17. Free shuttles are offered from Hickory Point Mall in Forsyth and the Decatur Public Transit System’s trolley will be making runs from its center, 353 E. William St., in downtown Decatur.
Greater presence Pat Quinn was able to slip through the streets of Progress City as lieutenant governor in 2007 going mainly unnoticed. What a difQuinn ference two years make for Quinn who has since taken over as governor. When he returns to the Farm Progress Show as planned today, he’s sure to draw considerable more attention. Quinn is among numerous visiting local, state and national lawmakers. Read about Quinn’s visit in Wednesday’s Herald & Review.
Crews scramble to make sure gates are ready to open By CHRIS LUSVARDI H&R Staff Writer
ECATUR — With an ideal week of weather in the forecast, the Farm Progress Show is set to get underway at 8 a.m. today.
Workers scurried Monday to finish everything up in time for the show but all the work promises to be done as it has in the past in time for the thousands of expected visitors. With many of the major exhibitors in place earlier than norIF YOU GO mal, the last day For those wantof preparation ing to get to the went fairly Farm Progress smooth. Show as it starts, “I’m looking forthe opening cereward to opening mony begins at the gates at 8:01 7:55 a.m. today and watching the marking the return crowd come to Decatur. The through,” said Touchstone EnerMatt Jungmann, gy Cooperatives the show’s managhot-air balloon is er. “That’s what all scheduled to fly this work is for.” overhead. Among other Don’t forget to activities as trucks bring non-perishcontinued to haul able food items for in the final pieces the Genuity Brand to their displays, Food Drive that some exhibitors benefits Decatur were polishing food pantries. equipment, testing microphones for presentations and making sure their electrical systems worked. Jungmann is hoping with more comfortable weather during the show, visitors can focus on learning all they can from the 600 exhibitors on hand.
Herald & Review photos/Stephen Haas
TOP: Dave Lucas of Paris uses a trimmer to clear a path between rows of soybeans at the Great Heart Seed display at Progress City USA in Decatur. ABOVE LEFT: Andy Kuenstler of Auburn puts the finishing touches on signage at the Beck’s Hybrids display. ABOVE RIGHT: Dan Roush of Roush Trucking of Esmond attaches strapes for a crane to lift a section of a Mathews Co. grain dryer from a truck.
Perfect attendance record
Online updates Those who communicate via Internet messaging sites can meet in person at the Farm Progress Show. Ag Talk, Twitter and Facebook users are among those who can receive wristbands at the Visitor Hospitality Tent that can be used to identify other users of those sites. It’s one of the ways social media has made its way into the show. The Farm Progress Show has a Facebook page to keep those interested updated and the show has been a popular topic of tweets throughout the summer.
H&R online Keep up with the latest news from the show as Herald & Review reporters will be tweeting. In addition, Stu Ellis will be providing daily video updates from the show. Visit www.herald-review.com for all the news.
Decatur farmer hasn’t missed a year’s show in more than 40 years By ARLENE MANNLEIN H&R Staff Writer
Herald & Review/Kelly J. Huff
Arnie Bork of rural Oakley holds up a toy replica of a MasseyHarris tractor, just like the one he drove when he started farming. Bork, who hasn’t missed a Farm Progress Show since 1967, is excited about this year’s event.
DECATUR — Arnold Bork’s attendance record at Farm Progress Shows rivals that of his favorite entertainer at the show, the late Captain Stubby who had a 50-year run with the event prior to his death in 2004. Bork of rural Decatur hasn’t
Progress City greens up for show Organizer hopes to have everything being recycled By CHRIS LUSVARDI H&R Staff Writer
DECATUR — Luis Perez envisions a time when everything at the Farm Progress Show can be reused except for the bathroom waste. While recycling efforts haven’t yet reached that point, they have greatly expanded since the first Farm Progress Show in Decatur in 2005. In 2007, 8,286 pounds of material, including plastic
R E CY C L I N G Some of the places materials that are recycled at the Farm Progress Show go: AREA SCHOOLS: lumber. MIDWEST FIBER: cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans. DECATUR CONCRETE: subsoil clay dirt. DECATUR WOOD PRODUCTS: wood pallets. CPI ENTERPRISES: glass bottles. bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and mixed paper, were collected for recycling. “We plan to have even
more recycling,” said Perez, the recycling coordinator for the Macon County Solid Waste Management Department. “We’re trying to throw out as little as possible. It doesn’t benefit anybody if it goes to a landfill.” In addition to recycling, the solid waste department now oversees the collection, disposal and transportation of all waste from the show and country music concert Wednesday. Getting all the waste collection containers in place is a project Perez has been overseeing during the set-up for this year’s show.
missed a Farm Progress Show since 1967. And 2009 will be no exception. His first Farm Progress Show was in 1954 when Camden, Ind., was the site. That was only the second Farm Progress Show. Bork remembers those early shows were only one day long, though they, too, were midweek events. And during those early Farm Progress years, if he didn’t attend, his father, the late Amel Bork, did. They believed in supporting agricultural events, he said.
“If you were interested in agriculture, you went,” Bork said. Those first few years he attended, there were fire demonstrations. Firefighters would come out and burn off an area and demonstrate their skills at putting out fires, he said. “That would conclude the day,” Bork said. “When I was farming, I’d look at the machinery and pick up whatever literature I could.”
KEEP IT SAFE
Herald & Review/Kelly J. Huff
GSI Inc. employees Mike Houran and James McFarland put the finishing touches on one of the permanent cooling stations at Progress City USA for the 2009 Farm Progress Show. The 30-foot-round steel structure is a distinct gold color, so visitors can easily recognize it.
2 FARM PROGRESS SHOW
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
First responders keep safety in mind It may not be hot, but weather still poses health threat By ANNIE GETSINGER H&R Staff Writer
As Farm Progress Show exhibitors put the finishing touches on their tents and displays Monday evening, Bill Wood was hard at work, too, making coffee for his crew of EMS responders and providers. Wood, coordinator of emergency medical services at St. Mary’s Hospital, is in charge of medical services for the show and “chief coffee maker” for his team, he joked. With a sweltering 2007 show still in recent memory, those out at the site seemed to relish the breeze, but attendees shouldn’t let the beautiful weather leave them unprepared, Wood said. “This can be deceiving,” he said, gesturing to the flags flapping above the medical tent on the far northeast side of the event, as temperatures lingered about 68 degrees. Wood said that although they won’t be enduring the heat they did two years ago, exhibitors and attendees will still need to be on guard regarding health and safety. Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids and take the opportunity to get out of the elements in one of this year’s many shelters and covered exhibits, he advised. Anyone on medication should make it a priority to get out of the sun periodically, he added. “People have got to worry about windburn,” Wood said. “They think about sunburn,
but they’ve also got to think about windburn.” He said foot blisters from trekking around the show are another concern. “They need to do good foot care; make sure they wash their feet at night after they get back to the hotel or home,” Wood advised. “They need to take time and give their foot a good massage and look at it and see if they’re starting to develop a blister or anything.” At any moment during the show, Wood’s team, roving throughout the grounds and stationed at various first aid tents noted in the show program, will have about 20 people. Responders from Decatur Ambulance, the Decatur and Argenta-Oreana fire departments and St. Mary’s Hospital, including emergency room physician Dr. Jose Reyes and several nurses, are ready to deal with any medical needs that arise, Wood said. Since setting up last Thursday, the team already has dealt with a cardiac emergency, a head injury and some cuts and scrapes resulting from setup. “This is an industry, and people get hurt,” he said. One thing he’d really like to do at Farm Progress this year? “I want to deliver a baby,” Wood said, reiterating a statement he made in an article in the show program. “I just think it would be so cool if we got to deliver a baby out here this year.” A cornfield might be a far cry from a cabbage patch, but Wood said he’s ready for whatever arises these next few days. firstname.lastname@example.org|421-6968
Herald & Review/Kelly J. Huff
Macon County Recycling Coordinator Luis Perez helps direct the unloading of trash Dumpsters at the site of the 2009 Farm Progress Show. Area Disposal is providing the units to help collect trash and recyclables.
GREEN Continued from Page 1 Many days, he’s at the site before sunrise. “It’s not as simple as just dropping off a box,” Perez said. “It’s impossible to unload with all the vendors. We can’t block one of the companies setting up for the show.” Clinton-based Area Disposal Service Inc. crews dropped off the large containers outside the Progress City USA grounds before moving them into place around the site. Cindy Laegeler, chief operating officer of Progress City, supports efforts to make the site as green as possible. “That’s the best thing that can happen to the show,” Laegeler said. “It’s better for our landfills.” The way waste is collected during the farm show is in line with other green-friendly efforts taking place at Richland Community College, Laegeler said. “It’s something we’ve been doing at Richland,” Laegeler said. “This is what we as a nation need to be doing.” Teams from Macon Resources Inc., which provides work training for the developmentally disabled, are responsible for setting up the individual garbage cans throughout the site and emptying them during the show. They did the same things at the show in 2007. “Our primary function will be to ensure that the site is kept clean, and it’s spick and span after everything is gone,” said Dreux Lewandowski, executive director of Macon Resources. “In terms of intensity, this one is big. Everybody here is like you can see the tension.” Teams of at least eight people will be rotating throughout the show, sometimes putting in 12-hour days to get all the work done, Lewandowski said. Macon County government
leaders have been supportive of the efforts to expand the recycling and waste hauling at the Farm Progress Show. “We said run with it,” said Jay Dunn, Macon County Board chairman. “Do the best you can, and they’ve really done a great job.” Being involved with the Farm Progress Show is part of the county’s efforts to expand its waste collection and recycling program throughout the year, Dunn said. “We’re trying to get some more companies and businesses in Macon County to use the Veolia landfill versus the DeWitt landfill or the Christian County landfill,” Dunn said. “We hope to keep expanding it. Hopefully, we can get some nice-looking downtown containers for recycling and get the businesses to kind of adopt them and take care of them.” Perez said the department was given $7,000 by the Macon County Board for recycling containers at the show. He was told to spend as much time as needed out at the site. With all the materials being recycled, including newly added glass bottles, pallets, scrap wood and waste soil, Perez said the program benefits more places in the community. It took 2 tons of cardboard to put up just one building on site, Perez said. Fortunately, he said, all of that was recycled. “It just isn’t our department,” Perez said. “It’s local companies that are benefitting from waste recycling at the show.” The more uses that are being found help as Perez moves toward his goal of having almost everything at the show recycled. Food could be composted on site, he said. “Food waste is then composted into fertilizer,” Perez said. “It could then be used to grow the food sold at the show. That’s really completing the circle.” email@example.com|421-7972
Herald & Review photos/Kelly J. Huff
The streets of Progress City USA are coming to life as vendors arrive with their products for the 2009 Farm Progress Show.
FINISH Continued from Page 1 Many exhibitors use the Farm Progress Show as a launching place for new products, increasing interest in the show over the years. “That speaks to the growth of the event,” Jungmann said. “People are coming from around the world. John Deere, for example, will unveil a new tractor that people can come for the first time to see it.” Richland Community College is ready to play host to the show and its exhibitors for the third time. As the finishing touches were put on the show site Monday evening, a group of community and business leaders were given a tour and saw inside Richland’s newly built Center for Sustainability and Innovation. “They have never done anything as magnificent as they’ve done for this show,” Richland President Gayle Saunders said of the exhibitors. “They’re expecting record crowds this year, and it’s an opportunity for companies to show off their new technology.” Saunders hopes to see a lot of Richland students at the show, seeing up close the opportunities they could become a part of in the future. The college wants to show everyone, not just its students, what it has to offer in terms of green projects such as the new center, which has a rotunda shaped like a grain bin and a more than 150-foot tall wind turbine steps away. “We want to get students ready for new green jobs,” Saunders said. “The natural resources in this area are just perfect. They’re all here, too.” Saunders said she couldn’t have asked for better weather come Farm Progress time. The weather hasn’t fully cooperated throughout the summer as the heat for the most part stayed away. More heat would have helped the crops slated for the field demonstrations grow even more. “We will be having field demos this year,” said Mark Lovig, the show’s operations manager. “It’s probably the only corn within 300 miles ready to be combined, and we’re darned lucky to have it. We’re not going to combine it all because of the cool weather.” Jungmann said it’s also a little wet for all the fields to be finished at this point. The show runs through Thursday. firstname.lastname@example.org|421-7972
Dan Wayt with Brock bins peels away protective sheets to reveal the company’s logo, which will make up their service counter.
Dave Mallum and Cheryl Forslund with Xylem Ltd. finish some landscaping on the blocks at the show.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2009
FARM PROGRESS SHOW 3
Grass class Farmers get to see, learn about planting a new crop for energy By CHRIS LUSVARDI H&R Staff Writer
DECATUR — During the Farm Progress Show, farmers will be able to educate themselves about what some see as becoming a key future part of farming. An energy-grass education area for the first time is planned along a partial 12th Street of Progress City USA. Daily presentations are planned, along with a chance to see the progress of perennial energy grasses that were first planted in 2007. “It really is the progress of farming,” said Gary Letterly, University of Illinois Extension Christian County natural resources educator. “This makes it a more comprehensive Farm Progress Show. It’s a location for folks to come see different aspects and satisfy what curiosity they may have about producing bioen-
ATTEND Continued from Page 1 In 1960, Bork took over the farm his father started south of Oakley in 1924, a farm where he and his wife, Carol, live today. In 1967, the Borks took their camper with them to a show for the first time. “Camping in the cornfields,” Carol Bork said. “That is really camping.” What draws Arnold Bork back for every show is a combination of things, he said. He enjoys wandering through the exhibits, still picking up literature and information, and witnessing field demonstrations. He likes seeing the machinery and having it demonstrated in the fields. And, yes, it’s an understatement to say things have changed. “If you have trouble programming a VCR, you might have a problem with those tractors,” he said of the new equipment being shown. He also likes visiting crop testing plots. “The idea is people will see (the plantings). You get to get your product before your audience,” he explained. When the Farm Progress Show was near Dalton City in 1991, the Borks were there to help the Macon County 4-H program earn money selling beverages. That year was cold, rainy and muddy, he remembered. Carol Bork agreed, adding, “It took me a long time to warm up after that.” The first time the show was at its current Decatur site, the couple volunteered with the University of Illinois Extension Macon County, as they are this year. “We’ll be out there all three days,” Carol Bork said. “We’re going to be in the Extension tent, probably wrapping sandwiches or maybe waiting on people at the counter.” After their volunteer shift comes free time to wander the show. One thing Arnold Bork is certain to do is look for an addition to his toy tractor collection. “I usually buy a (toy) tractor every year,” he said. Among others, he already has a model of the tractor with which he started farming, a model of the first tractor he ever bought and one of the first tractors he ever drove. “I was 7 or 8 years old,” he recalled, as he turned that memory in his hands. “I couldn’t even reach the clutch.” Carol Bork said she does-
ergy crops and how it might be a part of their future farm.” Opening up a profitable market for farmers is one of the things supporters of the energy grasses want to talk about during the show. “We want to talk to fulltime farmers who would like to plant energy grasses,” said Steve John, Decatur-based Agricultural Watershed Institute executive director. “People will find a lot of interesting things if they come out.” Smaller scale farmers might be interested in a growing a few acres of the grasses to heat their own houses, John said. By the 2011 Farm Progress Show, John said they hope to have the area filled with commercial exhibitors. For now, the focus is on establishing a market and developing farmers’ interest, John said. “This is something people can start doing today,” John said. “There has to be a market for the grass.” Miscanthus is the tall growing grass that will catch many people’s attention. The miscanthus at the Farm Progress Show was first
planted in 2007, followed by rounds in 2008 and earlier this year. It isn’t harvested in the first year, but the miscanthus from 2007 is more than 10 feet tall and is ready to go.
Letterly will also have information about corn maize, which has a lot of potential uses, including animal feed, sugars, cellulosic ethanol, gasification and burning in a furnace.
“I don’t know if many people have done that other than with corn stover,” Letterly said of burning corn maize in furnaces. “It has tremendous diversity in what it can be used for.”
Equipment used to plant the crops such as miscanthus will be on display, adding to what can be seen at the exhibit. email@example.com|421-7972
Lessons from 4-H Arnold Bork started his connection to 4-H in 1943 as a member of the Bois D’Arc group, where his father was a leader and his mother a co-leader. And it’s also 4-H, where Arnold and Carol Bork served as leaders for 25 years, that brought them at least two other life adventures: flying and skiing. During a Sale of Champions at the Decatur-Macon County Fair several years ago, there was a chance in a silent auction to bid for a hot-air balloon ride. Arnold Bork placed a bid and won the ride as a gift for Carol Bork’s birthday. “We floated across our farm,” he recalled, enjoying the ride. So, in turn, Carol Bork bought him a flying lesson for his birthday. One was all it took. So far, he has passed four parts of the pilot’s examination process and continues to learn and fly today. “It was the same way with skiing: another 4-H story,” he said. “Neither one of us had ever skied.” But they were supposed to sponsor a 4-H ski trip. “We figured we’d better know what we were doing,” he said. So ski lessons it was, even though, he added, “I was past 51.” And even without 4-Hers in tow, the Borks still ski, returning to the same ski site in Colorado for the last 17 years. They also continue to be active with helping 4-H. During the Farm Progress Show this year, they’ll be volunteering each morning with those manning the food booth organized by the Macon County 4-H and Extension Foundation.
n’t have the same record of attendance as her husband, frequently staying home with their five children and the farm. “I had never been to one before I married Arnold. I just went because he wanted me to,” she said, but she never lacked finding things of interest. “I love to watch people. We all had something in common,” she said. “We all had a farm background.”
Herald & Review photos/Kelly J. Huff
Mandy McFarlan, an employee of Total Appearance, reaches for the back window of a tractor she and the rest of the crew are cleaning for the 2009 Farm Progress Show at Progress City USA. The dozen woman crew travels around the country cleaning machinery for indoor and outdoor farm shows. They have more than 200 pieces of farm machinery to get ready before today’s opening and to keep clean during the show.
Carnies of clean Crew travels country making sure equipment is ready to show By CHRIS LUSVARDI H&R Staff Writer
DECATUR — Keeping the massive amount of agricultural equipment at the Farm Progress Show sparkling clean is no easy task. It takes teams of professionals from various businesses to get it all done. “Everything needs to be fingerprinted and cleaned,” said Lonnie Philbrick, a crew member from Total Appearance Exhibit Services based in Prescott, Ariz. “It’s a fun business.” Philbrick has been doing the work for about 10 years, but this is her first time at the Farm Progress Show in
W H O WA S C A P TA I N S T U B B Y Captain Stubby, whose nonstage name was Tom Fouts, was country humor columnist for the Prairie Farmer and other magazines. He formed the country comedy group, Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers, regular radio guests for the WLS Barn Dance. He died in 2004, not long after entertaining for the 50th year at the Farm Progress Show. Arnold Bork said during his term as president of the Staley Retirees Association, he
Herald & Review/Kelly J. Huff
Stephen John, the Agricultural Watershed Institute executive director, along with research associate David Larrick and administrative assistant Phyllis Doswell, look through the 2009 planting of switch grass at Progress City USA. The plot will be part of three years of plantings and growth of the energy grasses.
often told Captain Stubby stories. “We would watch Captain Stubby and then we would eat lunch,” recalled Carol Bork. And, by the way, Bork still counts himself as one of Captain Stubby’s biggest fans. “He was my hero. I got to know him really well,” he said. He added that without Captain Stubby, “To me, the show has never been the same.” Sources: wlshistory.com, prairiefarmer.com
Lonnie Philbrick, an employee of Total Appearance, works her way out of a tractor cab after cleaning it. Decatur. Philbrick, who lives in San Diego, arrived in Decatur last week and will stay through the show. She enjoyed seeing corn outside her hotel room window. “We came in last night and seeing a field of corn and looking out to see how it’s
beautiful,” Philbrick said about her impression of the area. Total Appearance sends crews to farm shows throughout the country. After she leaves Decatur, her team’s next stop is Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Neb. The job allows Philbrick a
chance to travel all over the country, spending much of her time on the road. “We’re kind of like carnies,” Philbrick said. Farm Progress Show exhibitors have 200 to 300 pieces of equipment to be cleaned that Total Appearance is responsible for, and the team consists of about a dozen members, Philbrick said. She enjoys climbing and the exercise it takes to clean all the pieces of farm equipment. Being outdoors in the fresh air is a bonus, Philbrick said. Rain means the equipment needs more cleaning, she said. “That makes a huge difference for us,” Philbrick said. The business, which started in the trunk of its owner’s Pinto, has developed into what it is today and is family operated, Philbrick said. firstname.lastname@example.org|421-7972
BRIEFS Concert tickets on sale Tickets for the Darryl Worley concert Wednesday at Progress City USA are still on sale for $10 at www.progress city.us. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., Rock of Ages will play at 6:30 p.m., and Worley will take the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets can be bought from the box office the day of the concert for $15 starting at 3 p.m.
20,000 meals to serve So how does one go about
preparing to serve an estimated 20,000 people over 3 days? For the University of Illinois Extension Macon County’s Amy Leman, the answer is keep it simple. The menu offered at the Macon County 4H and Extension food court will include some of the most popular items from previous shows, including pork chops, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and barbecue. Leman said volunteers are prepared to serve as many as 1,200 pork chops in an hour. “We’ve learned from past experiences,” said Bea Hall, a
longtime 4-H volunteer. Homemade Ice Cream from A B C and D Ice Cream in Mount Pulaski will be available. Breakfast items include biscuits and gravy and muffins. The food court will have about 100 volunteers per day.
Schools to compete Before football season begins, visitors to the Farm Progress Show will be able to show their school spirit by cheering for one of seven uni-
versities planning to compete in a tractor-pull contest. It will be held on the northwest corner of the show grounds near the seed plots at 10 a.m. today. The universities of Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Kentucky, as well as Purdue, Iowa State and Southern Illinois universities, plan to have teams. The goal is to build the best ¼-scale pulling tractor. For those who miss the competition, the Illini Pullers will have be giving demonstrations throughout the event.
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