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Midwest Farm&Ag VOLUME 1 NUMBER 3

Published by Rock Valley Publishing, LLC

September 24, 2015

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2 • Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

Edwards Apple Orchard opens with great enthusiasm By BDR Editor

POPLAR GROVE — The weather has begun to tease everyone with the fluctuation that means fall is coming. With the cooler temperatures creeping in and out, and the wind picking up momentum to break the changing leaves from the trees, the rush of getting in all of the fall activities is beginning. Soon, the leaves will be gone and replaced with icicles and the grass will have died under the piles of snow

being shoveled off the beaten path. Before that, everyone will get to enjoy the fall festivities including the wonders of Edwards Apple Orchard located at 7061 Centerville Road in Poplar Grove. On Friday, Aug. 28, Edwards Apple Orchard signaled the start of the fall season with their grand opening for the year. The scent of the fall wafted through the air in the scent of fresh apple cider, apple donuts, pulled pork, fudge,

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and all of the sweet, irresistible concoctions Edwards Apple Orchard offers. The desirable foods, the cute knick knacks, and the variety of activities that Edwards offers every year, drew crowds by the thousands. One Edwards Apple Orchard employee said that they served more people on opening day than anyone was expecting. “It was a pleasant surprised,” the Edwards Apple Photo by Barb Appelhans Orchard cashier said. Edwards Apple Orchard cashiers and baggers were all eager The dense crowd was a sur- to lift a helping hand for all of their customers. prise with people crowding into every space available. Cars filled the main parking lot and half of the overflow parking lot across the street by one o’clock and the employees said that the crowds had been like that all day since the doors opened at 9 a.m. Even with the cloudy weather threatening to dampen everyone’s day with pending rain, car load after car load pulled up to enjoy the wonder that is Edwards Apple Photo by Kathryn Menue Orchard. Edwards Apple Orchard received a huge crowd of people

See EDWARDS, Page 7

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Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, September 24, 2015 • 3

GPS Farmer’s Market succeeds in second year By Shelby R. Farrell Reporter

MACHESNEY PARK — People from the Machesney Park area were given a chance to go back to a simpler time with their grocery shopping at the GPS Farmer’s Market this summer. Every Thursday between May 21 and Sept. 10, the GPS Faith Community church at 10714 Second St. in Machesney Park hosted a farmers market with everything from fresh tomatoes to hand-made soaps and even locally made honey. This marked the second year for the farmer’s market, and Jennifer Hauch, the market’s manager, said attendance has almost doubled from last year. “We’ll have people that are going down the highway, and they’ll see all of the tents in the parking lot, so they’ll turn around on a service road and they’ll come back and be like, ‘What is this?’” Hauch said. “I’ll tell him it’s a farmer’s market, and everybody’s like, ‘We still do that? Oh my gosh, there’s still farmers?’ “Unfortunately we get used to running to the grocery store and getting whatever we want. We don’t look where it was made, where it was grown. It’s just that we always have watermelon all year round. We have become a world where everything we want we get.” Fortunately for the shoppers, the GPS Farmer’s Market has grown this year in not only attendance, but also in what it offers. In its second year, the market added meats among other products.

“We’re trying to encourage people to buy local, eat local,” Hauch said. “There isn’t a grocery store right around here, so by the time they drive all the way to Walmart or all the way to Valli or or Schucks, whether they drive there, they might as well stop here and grab it. Even if it’s 50 cents more, it’s worth their time.” She said although the costs may be higher, those prices are reflected in the quality of the products, and many of the produce brought to the market are handpicked that day. Ken and Elaine Gallenbeck from Funguy Farms in Pecatonica joined the market this year, and Ken said

the ability to pick their tomatoes from the vine the morning of the market, which is from 3 to 7 p.m., is part of why they joined the GPS Farmer’s Market. “We do pretty good, but it’s a hobby really,” he said. “Half of the fun is meeting different people and talking to people about growing vegetable or being organic or how do you grow a good tomato, stuff like that. We like meeting the people.” Hauch said the market is designed to be available to everyone in the community. This year the market added a Link card machine that allows them to accept SNAP benefits, which she said has had such a good reaction

from the community that they are hoping to start a new program for people with SNAP benefits called “Double the Link.” The new program would allow these people to buy $20 worth of products for $10, or $50 worth for $25. She said the market also wants to add new programs and activities for kids next year. “The whole idea of the market is to provide local, fresh produce to everyone in the community,” she said. “We don’t want it to be just for family’s with kids, or just for family’s with money. We want everyone to be able to come and get local, fresh produce because it’s healthy for you.”

While many people think of produce when they think of a farmer’s market, people can find homemade soaps, crafts The GPS Farmer’s Market closes for the season on Sept. 10 and even an information booth for a non-profit organization with a “stock up” sale. at the GPS Farmer’s Market in Machesney Park. Shelby R. Farrell photos

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Twice a month, the GPS Farmer’s Market hosted activities to bring the whole family to the farmer’s market.

Food trucks also joined the market, along with live music at every market starting at 5 p.m. and an activity twice a month, such as giving out free corn and tomato plants to kids, a bike night and a poker run. At the last two GPS Farmer’s Markets this year, which are on Sept. 3 and Sept. 10, the market will also have flu shots from Walgreens. Hauch invited all of the people who sold crafts at the market throughout the season to the Sept. 3 market, and on Sept. 10, the market it’s having a “stock up” sale where people can buy enough to last through the winter.

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4 • Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

19th Annual Prairie Days Parade 2015 rides through Clinton All photos by Mary Ann Inman

Keith and Marie Ritha team of Blue Percheransmel drove the and “Pat.” Riding in the named “Pete” Stateline Red Hat Ladiewagon are the honored to serve as Pa s, They were rade Marshals.

Ginny Hoff of Stoughton rode her 17-yearold Tennessee Walker horse “Romeo” and led her pony “Aladdin.” The crowd was pleased because they were allowed to interact with the Hoff and her horses.

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e last Parade took plac The Prairie Day town Clinton. Shown from weekend in down ration Committee here, the Regist mz, Ann Pikolek, Evie left - Mary Lou Ni nes Lee. Gunderson and Ag

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Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, September 24, 2015 • 5

Local resident wins Illinois 4-H Foundation scholarship BELVIDERE — Eight Illinois 4-H members were selected from a pool of 90 applicants to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Illinois 4-H Foundation. The presentations were made during the Illinois 4-H Foundation Recognition Event held Saturday, Aug. 15 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The Legacy of Leadership Scholarship is based on lifelong 4-H accomplishments, leadership, community service and educational goals of Illinois 4-H members. A ninth $1,000 scholarship, the Illinois 4-H Livestock Scholarship, was awarded to a 4-H member for outstanding work in the livestock project area. The winners include Rhiannon Branch of Luka in Marion County, Thaddeus Hughes of Shirley in McLean County, Emily Irwin of Belvidere in Boone County, Kevin Kappenman of Decatur in Macon County, Angelica Lebron of Bolingbrook in Will County, Cameron Parks of Bloomington in McLean County, Morgan Rich of Mackinaw in Woodford County, and Anthony Warmack of Marseilles in Grundy County. Katie Miller of Cambridge in Henry County was the recipient of the livestock scholarship which is sponsored by LA-CO Industries. The Legacy of Leadership scholarships were provided by generous donations from Lila Jeanne Eichelberger, Farm Credit Illinois, Keith Parr, Tim and Belinda Carey, Kevin Carey, Dorsey Dee Murray, the Nellie R. McCannon Trust, Nann Armstrong, and the Legacy of Leadership Endowment said Angie Barnard, director of the Illinois 4-H Foundation. Branch is a 10-year member of the Showstrings 4-H Club and the Omega Shamrocks 4-H Club, as well as a member of the Marion County Livestock Judging Team where she was a member of the first place national livestock judging team. She was a National 4-H Congress delegate. She is attending Kaskaskia College toward a degree in Agricultural Communications.

“ Wi t h o u t 4-H, I would have never found my passion in life,” Branch said. “It is through my 4-H projects EMILY IRWIN that I learned to communicate and advocate for agriculture.” Hughes is a nine-year member of the Linden Lead’em 4-H Club and the Team Metal Cow Robotics 4-H Club where he focus his project work in the area of science, engineering and technology. He was a National 4-H Congress delegate. He is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering to add to his vast computer engineering experience. “The leadership and teaching experiences afforded me insight into what gets people into technology and what makes for a fun challenge,” Hughes said. “With my leadership and drive, we have taken our community’s STEM education into the modern era and beyond.” Irwin is an 11-year member of the Udder 4-H Club and has added the National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Dairy Conference to her list of accomplishments. She attends Kaskaskia College where she is on the dairy judging team and plans to complete a four-year degree in Ag Business or Ag Communications. “I credit 4-H with helping me develop critical skills including public speaking, teamwork, and responsibility which will help in my future career,” Irwin said. “Being involved in 4-H and working on my family’s dairy farm have been the reasons I have been able to learn and achieve so much.” Kappenman is an 11-year member of the Long Creek Critters 4-H Club and the Macon County Ambassadors. He plans to study Biomedical Engineering as a pre-med student at the University of Minnesota. “4-H has always prevailed as a dominant molding tool for my life,” Kappenman said. “The ability of youth to lead other youth

by example is an important one to the development of character and many other important traits.” Lebron is a seven-year member of the 4-H 4-JOY Club where she is taking 23 4-H projects this year. She was an Illinois delegate to National 4-H Conference. She plans to major in history and minor in political science in college. “I strongly believe that if you want to make a change that will impact the next generation,” Lebron said, “you must know history.” Parks is a 10-year member of the Home Spun 4-H Club and the Stylistics 4-H Club, as well as a member of the air rifle, archery and shotgun Shooting Sports 4-H Clubs of McLean County. He was a National 4-H Congress delegate. When he completes his associate’s degree in science, he plans to earn a bachelor degree, majoring in music performance and fashion design. “Over the years I have begun to see that almost everything I do and have done has been influenced by my participation in 4-H,” Parks said. “It has also allowed me to learn many skills, but it has also challenged me to be creative and to risk thinking outside of the box.” Rich is a 10-year member of the Go-Getters 4-H Club and was

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a National 4-H Congress delegate. She plans to attend Greenville College and major in digital media with a focus on film. “I want to be able to make movies and televisionT that inspire people and really makes them think,” Rich said. “I hope that one day someone can point to my work and say that I helped to inspire them to follow their dreams and pursue the career they truly want.” Warmack is the 10-year member of the Homes Cool Kids 4-H Club where he takes 18 different 4-H projects. He plans to attend community college, then transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree in natural resources, before pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Illinois. “My most important 4-H accomplishments are the ones which can’t be traced to any particular award or position held,” Warmack said. “My most significant accomplishments stem from an idea that I learned in 4-H; that you don’t have to be in a position of power in order to lead or help people.” Miller is a 10-year member of the Cambridge Champs 4-H Club and plans to attend Black Hawk College studying ag science before pursuing a bachelor degree in ag business. “I know 4-H is a great oppor-

tunity for youth,” Miller said, “and I would like to help the youth of my community become involved.” About 4-H Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming. About Illinois 4-H Foundation The Illinois 4-H Foundation’s mission is to build relationship to generate financial resources for Illinois 4-H. Funding from individual donors, our Illinois 4-H Project Partners, companies, and friends of Illinois 4-H help the Foundation support statewide programming initiatives along with scholarships, assistance to National events, grant opportunities, Teens as Teachers and assists us in filling funding gaps. For Further Information please contact Illinois 4-H Foundation Director Angie Barnard at (217) 333-9295 or Assistant dean and Director of 4-H Youth Development Dr. Lisa Diaz at (217) 3330910 or Extension Media Communications Specialist Judy Mae Bingman at (217) 300-2113.

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6 • Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

Scenes from the 2015 Thresheree All photos by Mary Ann Inman

Shown here are a restored International Flatbed Truck and F14 Tractor.

Shown here are just some of the many displayed antique tractor brands and models.

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Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, September 24, 2015 • 7

• EDWARDS

Continued from page 2 With all of the commotion occurring at Edwards, it was easy to see why everyone wanted to come opening day. Edwards had plenty of food to sample, soothing country music played with a soft violin in the background that tugged on your heart strings, kids could explore the animal pens, or play on the immense play ground, tours could be taken on wagons, and good conversation could be found everywhere you turned. Much fun is still to be had by all until Thanksgiving when Edwards closes its doors until the 2016 fall season. Edwards is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Photo by Barb Appelhans

The donut kitchen crew was all smiles on opening day at Edwards Apple Orchard on Friday, Aug. 28.

Emerging Agricultural Leaders selected for 2016 Farm Bureau Institute MADISON — Fifteen emerging agricultural leaders have been selected to participate in the Farm Bureau Institute. The year-long leadership training program’s mission is to develop strong and effective agricultural leaders. “Today’s farmers and agriculturists must take the lead to be advocates for their farms and agribusinesses. The Institute gives participants the skills and confidence necessary to lead the future of farming and agriculture in their county Farm Bureau, local community and beyond,” said Wendy Kannel, Farm Bureau’s Director of Training and Leadership Development. Members of the 2016 Farm Bureau Institute class include: Lauren Brey, Sturgeon Bay;

Taliah Danzinger, Durand; Brianna Ditzenberger, Dane; Kristy Erickson, Clintonville; Trent Erickson, Viroqua; Matt Graff, Waupun; Derek Husmoen, Arcadia; Emily Rose Johnson, Janesville; Ryan Klussendorf, Medford; Kenneth Levzow, Rio; Derek Sedlacek, Mishicot; Leslie Svacina, Deer Park; Jill Uhe, Janesville; Tammy Wiedenbeck, Lancaster; Melissa Yates, Merrill. The Institute consists of five multi-day sessions which provide hands-on learning on issues important to agriculture, development of leadership and speaking skills, interaction with Farm Bureau and governmental leaders and staff at the state and national levels and networking with other participants.

The first session begins in January and focuses on public speaking, etiquette, emotional intelligence and personality types. Subsequent sessions focus on media and advocacy training, running effective meetings, the structure and function of Farm Bureau, being a creative leader, the workings of local and state government and future national and international ag issues. The class capstone event is a joint trip with the WFBF Board of Directors to Washington, D.C. in June, 2017. Farm Bureau members interested in applying for 2017 Institute class may contact Wendy Kannel at 608.828.5719 or email her at wkannel@wfbf.com.

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8 • Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

Auction of a lifetime brings those from far and wide By Doug Schroder Staff Editor

STATELINE — When Meridian Implement owner Dennis Gearhart decided to sell off his nearly 50-year collection of tractors and farm implements, he knew it would be quite an undertaking. Luckily for him he had his family and employees to help out. They spent months preparing for the auction by getting things all catalogued and then finally moved out onto the business grounds for display before the auction. Family members even came in from Iowa in the days before the auction to be there for this once in a lifetime event, so it sort of became a family reunion for the Gearharts also. I was able to catch up with Dennis’ son, Mike, on the Friday before the sale, and he showed me around and talked about some of the items for sale. There were many items that were in good running shape, but there were also the items from the bone yard that would provide parts or a project for someone willing to take on such a task. “We wanted to do this now,

rather than at a later time when we might not all be here to see it,” Mike stated as we walked amongst the sale items. Besides having tractors and tractor parts for sale, there was also a nice collection of vintage snowmobiles and garden tractors. In addition there were some horse drawn implements up for auction. Altogether there were over 350 items for sale. One item in particular caught my eye. It was a John Deere implement of some sort. When I asked about it Mike said he’d have to get Dennis to answer that question. As it turned out the implement was a power plant made for the Amish in the 1940’s. The power plant was built with steel wheels. The Amish wouldn’t buy it if it had rubber tires. This fact was confirmed at the sale on Saturday as some Amish farmers from Platteville, Wis., were checking out the power plant. When asked which item was first in his collection, Dennis replied with, “Oh, I’m not sure.” When the auction day came on Saturday people started pouring in before the auction started at

10 a.m. People came from far away places such as Grant and Marshall, Mich.; Skippak, Penn.; Rye, Colo; Holley, NY; and Troy, Ohio. All in all there was just over 420 registered bidders, with over 450 cars in the parking lot and an additional 50 trucks with trailers and semis parked at Roy Gayle. The auction was also online with bids coming in from far away places like Sweden and Belgium. Within the US online bids came in from Texas, California, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. The sale got over at a little after 3 p.m. Dennis and his family members watched the sale the whole time and were happy to Doug Schroder photo see the happy bidders go home Auctioneers call out bids during Dennis Gearhart’s auction at with their newly acquired items. Meridian Implement on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Courtesy photo

Dennis Gearhart (seated on tractor) is surrounded by family, some of which traveled from Iowa, to take part in the sale of Dennis’ 50-year collection of tractors and farm implements. This group shot was taken before the sale started.

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Extension to host ‘Selling Eggs in Illinois’ workshop BELVIDERE — Lots of people have started keeping backyard poultry in the past few years, and the biggest reason is for farm-fresh eggs from their own happy chickens. However, it’s easy to get carried away and end up with more birds, and thus more eggs, than your family can eat. So, more and more folks with a surplus of eggs are wondering whether they should start a small egg business. “It’s certainly possible,” says Andy Larson, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator. “Farm-fresh eggs are

nutritious, delicious, and indemand. However, depending on how and where you want to sell those eggs, there may be a lot more to it than just hanging a sign at the end of the driveway.” Join Andy Larson for a workshop for aspiring Illinois egg producers and learn about: • The state and county regulations/licenses for egg sales in Illinois • Good practices for washing, candling, grading, and packing eggs • The financial feasibility of starting a small egg business The workshop will be

held on Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Boone County Extension meeting room, 205 Cadillac Ct., Suite 5, in Belvidere. The cost of the workshop is $10 per person. To register for the workshop, or to find more information, visit web.extension. illinois.edu/bdo or call the Boone County Extension office at (815) 544-3710. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Boone County Extension office at (815) 544-3710.


Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, September 24, 2015 • 9

Rockton farmer explains the importance of soil conservation By Emily Hanlin Winnebago Boone Farm Bureau Intern

ROCKTON — On Wednesday of this past week, Aug. 28, 2015, a rule newly issued by the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and the Army Corps of Engineers explaining “Water of the U.S.” (WOTUS) officially went into effect. This implements the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) authority on privately owned land including land that is used for farming. This new rule going into effect has caused some uproar in the agricultural community. However, it is important to stress that farmers had and continue to possess one common goal, to care for the land the best they can. Gary Shedd, a member of the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau, and his wife Cheryl Ann have a lot of experience in agriculture. They operate a mid-

size family farm in Rockton, Ill. The Shedds are firm believers in caring for the land that provides them with so much. Shedd has experimented with different ways to keep their land happy, and they have come down to a solution: stewardship is very important. Stewardship is a core value of the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau. Gary’s story will show you how farmers are concerned with stewardship on their own farms. “What we know now that we did not know 50 years ago is that the soil is very much alive” said Shedd. “The microbes in the soil are vital to the health of the plant as well as the soil. It is the farmer’s responsibility to ensure that these microbes are healthy. That is what stewardship is, taking care of the land.” In the 1950s-’60s, the Shedd Farm would moldboard plow everything, disk and cultivate every acre and pray that

the weather pattern would not cause heavy soil erosion. A moldboard plow was a big advancement in agriculture in these times. It not only cut furrows with a share but turned the soil as well. Since then, Science has come a long way and Technology has allowed us to focus on more important aspects such as protecting our land. There is a common misconception that farmland acts like a natural concrete: when rain falls, it all runs off the field and into the ditches, waterways, and rivers, which causes flooding. Thirty years ago, that may have been the case. But now, farming is a science that attempts to meet the yearly challenges of too hot and dry, or too wet and cold. One of the ways that farmers attempt to meet this challenge is to progress in tillage practices. “We are lucky to live in an area that can produce so much

grain,” said Shedd “My grain does not just go to feed cattle, but is used in ethanol, corn chips, and baking supplies that people use every day. If we treat our land like concrete, we will not be able provide these goods to people.” Tillage is the preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Different varieties work better for different types of soil. The soil on Shedd’s land ranges from flood plains to gently sloping open space, to rock outcroppings and sand. Each soil presents its own challenge and requires different management methods. Recently, the Shedd’s have moved to vertical tillage, a practice that allows the soil to interact with the leftover plant matter without exposing the soil to the harsh elements. Vertical tillage penetrates the soil four inches deep and it mixes

the dry matter on top into the soil. “Vertical tillage allows water movement into the soil through the vertical slots so the soil can retain more water,” said Shedd. He knows there are benefits to other methods of tillage, such as deep tillage, depending on the condition of the soil. “But, he has found that for him vertical tillage is making a big difference. His hope is that this practice will work towards building a sustainable agro-ecosystem. To do that requires an understanding of science. “In the end, our goal is to produce a clean healthy grain for our consumers,” said Shedd “Current statistics show that the average farmer feeds around 150 people per year. By 2050, we have to be able to feed 300 people. So not only do we have to feed the world, but we also have to remember our responsibility as stewards of our land.”

Farms to Visit on the 2015 Boone County Farm Stroll – Sunday, Oct. 4 BOONE COUNTY — Have you ever wondered how local orchards produce such delicious apples? Or how grapes become wine? Or how raw wool turns into your favorite pair of socks? Or where all those beautiful vegetables at the farmers market are actually grown? We have a free, family friendly event to satisfy your local food cravings and curiosities! On Sunday, Oct. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., University of Illinois Extension will host the second Boone County Farm Stroll, a self-guided driving tour of a dozen highly-diversified family farms, all open to the public on one big day! There will be farm tours, demonstrations, and of course fresh local food sampling and sales. The farms participating in this year’s Farm Stroll are detailed below. These farms raise vegetables, flowers, apples, bees, sheep, wine grapes, sweet corn, pumpkins, trees, chickens, berries, and so much more! Just choose which farms you want to see and create your own route using the map and brochure provided. The Stroll is free, but bring some cash to stock up on local, farm-fresh products! Follow Boone County Farm Stroll on Facebook for up-tothe-minute information, brochures maps, and spotlight features on each farm: https:// www.facebook.com/booneco-

farmstroll. Or contact University of Illinois Extension at (815) 544-3710 with any additional questions you may have. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact your local Extension office. Alpaca Pines – Poplar Grove Cute suri and huacaya alpacas that produce fiber for yarn, bags, gloves, hats, socks, and finger puppets! We also have dairy cows and calves. Angelic Organics Learning Center – Caledonia Pasture-raised milk goats, Scottish Highland cattle, organic vegetables, and buildings made with straw bales and whole trees. Learn about all the educational programs we offer! Aves Dairy Pure Prairie Cheese – Belvidere 100-year-old family dairy farm with Holstein cows. Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers turn our milk into Prairie Pure Cheese. Milking begins at 4 p.m.!

Beaver Creek Gardens – Poplar Grove Small, organic CSA farm producing fruit, vegetables, eggs, and flowers for our local subscribers. We save seeds, grow our own fertility, and recycle everything Mother Nature gives us! Illinois Wool & Fiber Mill – Belvidere Learn how we take raw animal fiber and skirt, wash, card, pin-draft, spin, dye, blend, and spin to yarn! Check out the warm, comfortable products in our Compleat Sheep Shoppe. Kinnikinnick Farm – Caledonia Certified organic farm specializing in heirloom vegetables and Italian varieties for chefs and farmers market customers. Plan an extended farm visit in our elegantly rustic FeatherDown Farm tents. McEachran Homestead Winery – Caledonia Cold-climate grape and season fruit wines made on-site at

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Boone County’s only winery. Stop in for a tasting, and learn how we prune, tend, and nurture our vineyards. Nature’s Best Trees (And Bees!) – Poplar Grove Family farm selling fresh-cut Christmas trees for 20+ years! Also home to productive bee hives and a honey barn where we produce our Tolerance HoneyTM. Susie’s Garden Patch – Garden Prairie Family owned and operated, we are the only U-pick fruit and vegetable farm in Boone County! Visit our farm stand, and learn about integrated pest management, as well as growing in high tunnels. Trogg’s Hollow – Poplar Grove

Chemical-free, bio-intensive, urban-style farm producing unique vegetables and herbs for CSA subscribers. Stop by for a wagon ride and meet the birds and goats! Valley Orchard – Cherry Valley Family-owned orchard with 5,000 apple trees! We make 100% pure cider, cider donuts, pies, and other goodies. We also grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and currants. Willow Glen Alpaca Farm – Capron Lots of alpacas! We sell alpacas and alpaca products, as well as providing both breeding and boarding services. Spinning demos and alpaca fiber activities for the kids!

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10 • Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

U of I Extension celebrates Winnebago Caledonia farmer makes new start after move County 4-H Hall of Fame inductee daughter were at the house ties with the Winnebago County 4-H & Extension Foundation. M a r y Ann has served as a 4-H show superintenMARY ANN dent, assistARENSON ed with the 4-H horse show, and oversaw the 4-H cat show for many years. “Mary Ann is a wonderful volunteer on whom you can always depend,” said Stacy Cwiklo, U of I Extension 4-H program coordinator. “She always tries to find the best in the 4-H youth and encourages them to do their best whenever possible. We are very pleased to nominate Mary Ann for this outstanding award.” The Illinois 4-H Foundation

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established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Nominations for the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame are made by University of Illinois Extension staff. Each inductee received a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion. The Illinois 4-H Foundation raises private funds that are invested in Illinois 4-H programs that provide meaningful, positive development experiences for Illinois youth to develop leadership, citizenship, and life skills. To learn more, visit www.4hfoundation.illinois. edu. About 4-H: The Illinois 4-H program strives to help youth learn skills for living. 4-H programs are offered in every county in Illinois through University of Illinois Extension. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 250,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups, as well as through short-term programming. 4-H is a community of seven million young people around the world learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. For more information about the 4-H program in Winnebago County, contact University of Illinois Extension at (815) 9864357 or visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw/

CALEDONIA — Curt Greenlee of Caledonia, knows the term “start fresh” all too well. The Greenlee family farm has been in the family for seven generations. The original property, located on highway 173 across from Rock Cut State Park, was purchased in 1853. However, that property has been displaced by development. The land that the Greenlee family had established on was bought from them and they were forced to find land in other areas. “For the last 20 years that we lived there we knew we were close to town and the writing was on the wall. We always knew it would happen” said Greenlee. They knew they couldn’t make any moves towards expanding because of the situation they were put in. “We continued to feed cattle,” said Greenlee, “but didn’t put a lot of money into the infrastructure because we knew our time was limited in those places. We just kept on plugging along. It was small and outdated but we couldn’t justify putting a lot of money into it if we weren’t going to be around much longer.” The state widened Highway 173 and used eminent domain on the Greenlee property. “I remember my wife and

and they came in one day to seal our well. We knew our time was getting close but we didn’t know it was going to happen that day,” said Greenlee, “My wife hurried up and ran water. She filled up what she could inside the house but they didn’t give us any warning.” Greenlee’s family stayed there as long as they could but was eventually forced out and had to rent an apartment in Rockford. He ended up buying land from his father to try and start the farmstead over. Within the last eight years of living on their new property, five miles away from their original property, the Greenlees have built a new house and two machine sheds to store their equipment. “We came from a typical farmstead, whether or not we will ever put a grain set up or start feeding cattle again, I don’t know,” said Greenlee. “As of now, I don’t have any intention of that.” Despite the move, the Greenlees have not down sized their amount of farmland at all. They actually farm a little more than what they did in the past. Curt and his family have overcome some of the biggest struggles a farmer can face. However, they still stay true to the ideas and purposes of their descendants, those that farmed long before them: to be the best producers they can be.

MACHINERY AUCTION

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY — The Illinois 4-H Foundation annually recognizes one 4-H volunteer per county for exemplary service to the Illinois 4-H program as a Hall of Fame winner. This year, more than 800 supporters watched the induction of 70 new members into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame, the largest inductee class to date. This year marks the 11-year anniversary of the award and the ceremony was held Saturday, Aug. 15, on the Director of Agriculture’s lawn on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The Winnebago County 4-H program congratulates Mary Ann Arenson as she was honored as one of this year’s inductees. Mary Ann has been a club leader for more than 42 years with the Stars, Stripes & Clovers 4-H Club in Pecatonica. During this time, she was also very active helping with events and activi-


Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing / Thursday, September 24, 2015 • 11

Ag in the Classroom program announces essay topic, book of the year

Country Pride Meats “Fresh from our farm to your table” Full ‘Old Fashioned’ Retail Counter

MADISON — Maple syrup flows through this year’s book of the year and essay contest from Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program. “Sugarbush Spring” by Marsha Wilson Chall is the 2016 Book of the Year. “Tell us about proHomemade beefsticks, sausage & beef jerky ducing maple syrup in Wisconsin” is the topic of the annual essay contest. Try our wide selection of delicious homemade brats! “The book of the year and essay topic will Try our wide selection of delicious homemade brats! allow us to educate students about Wisconsin’s maple syrup industry by highlighting the proCheck us out on Facebook. cess, technology and traditions of making this sweet treat,” said Wendy Kannel, Ag in the 109 Church St. • Clinton, WI 53525 • 608-676-4181 Classroom Coordinator. Hours: M-F 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. “We will again link the book, the accompanying lessons, various Wisconsin educational resources, and other Ag in the Classroom lessons NEWSPAPER RE into resources for teachers, students and volun133LPI minimum re teers to use in promoting and preparing essays.” Essay submissions must be 100 to 300 words in length and will be judged on content, grammar, spelling and neatness. All contest rules, lesson plans and Come Visit Alpaca Pines! sample classroom activities Alpaca Days 2015! Free Event! are located at wisagclassroom. Sat., Sept. 26 & Sun., Sept. 27 from 10am-5pm org or by contacting Kannel at 608.828.5719 or wkannel@ -Daily Demonstrations! -Feed and Play with the Alpacas! wfbf.com. Participating stu-Purchase Yarn, Socks, Hats, Raw Fiber and More! dents and schools need to sub-Learn Interesting Facts About Alpacas! mit essays by April 1 to their -Kids Can Make Crafts for a Small Fee! Bob & Vicki Donley -Coley’s Cooler Ice Cream Truck appearance 11-2pm both days! 21756 Beaverton Rd county Farm Bureau essay TEST DRIVE IL 61065 coordinator. A list of coordinaAlso Join Us for the Annual Farm Stroll! Poplar Grove, TODAY 815-621-8116 tors is available at wisagclassOctober 4 from 10-5pm. AlpacaPines@yahoo.com www.AlpacaPines.com room.org. More Information is Available on Our Facebook Page A state winner will be selected from nine district winners in May by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Women’s Committee. Each district winner will receive a classroom presentation in May for their Broadmoor 27/50 homeroom or class. 212257 The contest is sponsored by VISIT YOUR LOCAL DEALER Insight FS, We Energies and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Place Dealer Imprint H 200 Allen Street, Clinton Bonded ILNorth License #104-015456 Foundation. Last year, nearly 11528 2nd Street, Machesney Park, IL • (815) 633-2299 (Place your dealer informatio 1459 McKinley Ave., Belvidere, IL • (815) 547-4100 2,900 students participated in 608-676-4515 Insured www.tractortown.net the contest. www.simplicitymfg.com In this year’s Book of the Year selection, “Sugarbush Bonded TEST DRIVEIL License #104-015456 Spring” introduces young readInsured ers to the process of taking TODAY sap and making it into maple syrup. The hardcover books come with an activity/lesson Belvidere, IL plan packet that teachers, students and home school parents Belvidere, IL can use to enhance the reading experience. Book order Residential Roofing Experts forms are found at www.wisagclassroom.org under “Order Forms”. Ag in the Classroom is • Specializing In Barn Roofs designed to help students in • Leak Repairs • Tear-Offs & Re-Roofs kindergarten through high school to understand the impor• Shingles • Cedar Shake • Flat Roofs tance of agriculture. It is coordinated by the Wisconsin Farm • Decra Steel Roofs Bureau Federation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and by a grant FBroadmoor 27/50 REE from the Wisconsin DepartESTIMATES! ment of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. VISIT YOUR LOCAL DEALER

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12 • Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Midwest Farm and Ag - Rock Valley Publishing

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