30 Days of Farms & Families

My Generation

A preview and a kickoff! It's a whole month of paying attention to what's great in agriculture.

Published on: October 31, 2011
Modern agriculture is the victim of many a misconception these days, but among the biggest: we're some kind of corporate conglomerate. In fact, a survey by the Illinois Farm Families coalition revealed that consumers think fewer than half of all Illinois farms are owned by families – just 46%, while consumers guessed 54% were corporate-owned. (Maybe you remember hearing that some even thought the seed corn signs meant the field was owned by Pioneer?! Ha!)

The truth? 95% of the farms in Illinois are owned and run by farmers. This may not be surprising to farmers – because we live it – but the sad truth is, that's new information to a lot of consumers.

So, the plan here is to spend the next month celebrating what's good in Illinois agriculture: 30 Days of Farms & Families. Every day, a new young farm family. Each from Illinois, each with a story to tell. Every day, a family I have gotten to know in my 13 years reporting on Illinois agriculture. A little like last year's Thanks & Giving, but this year: young salt-of-the-earth, hardworking farm families.

They have a story worth telling, and so, for the next month, I'll be telling it here. And if you have non-farm friends to share the link with each day, please do so. Let's spread the word about what's really happening on Illinois farms. Because nobody knows that story better than the farmers of Illinois.

30 Days of Farm & Families
Day 1: The Webels
Day 2: The Mies Family
Day 3: The Thomases
Day 4: The Stewarts
Day 5: The Weavers
Day 6: The Hawkinsons
Day 7: The Kortes
Day 8: The Walters
Day 9: The Schillings
Day 10: The Martins
Day 11: The Pratts
Day 12: The Bowmans
Day 13: The Pollards
Day 14: The Wachtels
Day 15: The Strodes
Day 16: The Buntings
Day 17: The Andras Family
Day 18: The Liefers
Day 19: The Purvis Family
Day 20: The Jones Family
Day 21: The Smith Family
Day 22: The Buhrows
Day 23: The Elmores
Day 24: The O'Briens
Day 25: Sean Arians
Day 26: The Bremmers
Day 27: The Halpins
Day 28: The Ropps
Day 29: The Currys
Day 30: The Hinderliters