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McLean Mail

20 Under 40 Program Celebrates Illinois’ Young Farmers

A new statewide program will recognize 20 young farmers for their work in the field and beyond.

The Illinois Soybean Association, in partnership with Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Beef Association, Midwest Dairy, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Grain & Feed Association of Illinois and Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, created the “20 Under 40” program. Nominations will be accepted through March 31.

“We are looking for young farmers in Illinois whose achievements in agriculture or the community stand out from their peers — someone going beyond jobs on the farm and surpassing expectations for their age,” according to the program’s literature. “We’re seeking on-farm influencers and changemakers — those who show tremendous potential to be impactful in Illinois.

“They’re agricultural leaders, exceptional community citizens and role models for their generation and the next.”

Illinois 20 Under 40 is open to farmers of all commodities and all sizes, as long as they actively farm and live in the state of Illinois.

Qualifications include:

  • Over the age of 18 but under the age of 40 on Jan. 1, 2022
  • Has made an impact in his/her community
  • Show potential to be a leader in the Illinois Ag Industry
  • Must actively farm crops and/or livestock in Illinois
  • Completed nomination form with in-depth information regarding the nominee’s achievements and involvement within the community
  • Two completed recommendation forms

“Young farmers are our future, and no state’s future in agriculture is brighter than that of Illinois,” ISA Chairman Steve Pitstick said. “Leading the nation as No. 1 in soybean production, No. 2 in corn production, and top 10 in agriculture as a whole, Illinois is brimming with farmers of all specialties who truly operate in a league all their own.”

Winners will be announced this summer and recognized at a special end-of-year celebration.