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Serving: IL

Quick Take: Wheat tour, youth livestock opportunity and more

Holly Spangler Close up of wheat field
WHEAT FIELD: Plan to tour wheat fields and estimate yields for the 2021-22 winter wheat crop on May 24 in Belleville, Ill., as part of the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour.
Read about the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour, ILLI event, youth crop scouting competition, IBA and IFGC summer conference, and IAA Foundation scholarship winners.

Attend Southern Illinois Wheat Tour

On May 24, the Illinois Wheat Association will host the Southern Illinois Wheat Tour at the Southern Illinois University Belleville Research Center. Illinois wheat producers are invited to tour wheat fields and estimate yields for the 2021-22 winter wheat crop.

Here’s what else to expect on May 24:

  • field checks during the day with a reporting session in the afternoon
  • opportunity to view wheat variety and seed treatment trials
  • scouting results and wheat yield estimates
  • discussion of wheat development status and disease challenges by Jessica Rutkoski, SIU assistant professor
  • wheat disease expert with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service  
  • dinner and meeting

Participants should call one of the following crop scouting leaders before May 24 to verify the location from which their group will depart on the morning of the tour:

  • Siemer Milling Co.
  • Mennel Milling Co. of Illinois
  • Wehmeyer Seed Co.
  • Wabash Valley Services Co.

Individuals who wish to take samples on their own and join the groups at the Belleville center at 4 p.m. should contact the Illinois Wheat Association for yield measurement instructions to ensure consistent sampling.

All attendees must RSVP for the group dinner before May 18; call the IWA office at 309-557-3619 or email For questions or more information, visit the IWA website.

Apply for youth livestock leadership event

Do you know a young livestock producer looking to grow as a leader within the livestock sector? Tell him or her to apply for the Illinois Livestock Leadership Institute, June 20-23 in Lexington, Ky.

With sponsorship and direction from the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Midwest Dairy, ILLI provides youth with hands-on experiences, tours and network opportunities to build their paths toward a career. Plus, participants will learn about promotion, research, issues and consumer information that influences the livestock industry.

Who’s eligible:

  • must be 16 to 20 years old before the start of the ILLI trip
  • don’t have to be a livestock producer or from a livestock family
  • must have a genuine interest in agriculture and the livestock sector
  • must show a desire to learn how they can prosper the industry in the future

ILLI applications must be submitted online before May 13. The essay response will be included in application judging and scores. ILLI will contact chosen applicants within one week of the May 13 deadline.

For more information about ILLI, visit the IBA website.

Youth crop scouting opportunity

Once again, University of Illinois Extension will sponsor the Illinois Crop Scouting Competition, set for Aug. 4 at the Crop Sciences Research and Education Center in Savoy, Ill.

Interested in registering a team? Here are the details:

  • High school students in ninth through 12th grades are encouraged to participate.
  • Each school, company or club is limited to three teams.
  • Students should create teams of two to five individuals with an adult coach. The competition is designed so teams will rotate through 10 outdoor stations to test their knowledge.
  • Stations will include topics such as weed, insect and disease identification; growth stages of corn and soybean plants; pesticide application; and Integrated Pest Management.
  • Based on U of I staff judging, the top two teams will move on to the Midwestern regional competition.
  • Prizes will include $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $150 for third place.

Free online registration for teams is available until July 1. For more information about the contest, study materials and to register, visit the U of I Crop Sciences website.

IBA and IFGC to host summer conference

Are you searching for more chances to learn about the beef and forage components of the livestock industry? Look no further: the Illinois Beef Association and Illinois Forage and Grasslands Council are hosting a joint summer event June 7-8 at the Spoon River College Community Outreach Center in Macomb, Ill.

Highlights of the two-day event will include:

  • Illinois agriculture policy update
  • market outlook
  • IBA district and annual meeting
  • forage and cattlemen’s education series with topics such as selecting profitable forage varieties, heifer development, keys to raising feedstuffs and beef-cutting demonstration
  • IBA awards dinner
  • farm tour of River Oak Ranch
  • Illinois Forage Expo, including forage equipment demonstrations

IAA Foundation awards scholarships

The IAA Foundation, part of the Illinois Farm Bureau, recently announced winners of the organization’s scholarship program. The foundation will award $138,000 to 77 students across Illinois for college tuition during the 2022-23 school year.

Scholarship recipients are all pursuing careers in an agricultural field and were chosen based on academic achievements, leadership involvement, career goals and overall commitment to success.

Some winner highlights include:

  • Barbara Close of Mercer County won the Illinois Farm Bureau Legacy of Leadership Scholarship valued at $7,500.
  • Jada Davis of Champaign County, Jordyn Gelach of Montgomery County and Paige Lemenager of McLean County were all recognized as IAA Foundation Top Scholars and awarded $5,000 each.

Plus, 73 other scholarship recipients across Illinois were awarded with scholarships valued from $1,000 to $3,000.

For more information about the scholarship program or to participate as a scholarship donor, visit the IAA Foundation website.

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