Conservation Legacy Awards Deadline Extended to Sept. 15

Don’t miss the opportunity to share your farm's conservation story.  Submit your application for the Conservation Legacy Award.  The program showcases U.S. soybean farm management practices that are both environmentally friendly and profitable.  Three regional winners and one national winner will be selected. All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible.  Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, farmstead protection and conservation and environmental management.  The deadline to submit an application has just been extended until Sept. 15, 2016.  More information on past winners and how to submit your application are available here.

“Soy in the City” Makes Big Impression

The ISA checkoff program's Soy in the City initiative this summer engaged more than 10 state and federal legislators in betterment projects, which included an 800-pound pork donation to a Chicago Heights food bank, a 1,500 supply of soy candle-making materials to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences and a mural created with three gallons of soy paint at a south Chicago elementary school.  Chicago consumers learned about the different ways soy impacts the city through a social media campaign that garnered 15,000 likes, comments and shares.  And, nearly one million millennial commuters potentially saw a digital ad buy in downtown Chicago that highlighted the use of soybeans in biodiesel, a renewable fuel powering some of the local city and school buses.  To see other ways the small bean had a big impact on Chicago this summer, check out #SoyintheCity on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Feeding Livestock Fuels Local Economy

Illinois soybeans provide quality protein for the livestock and poultry that strengthen our local economies.  The ISA checkoff program supported interactive Animal Agriculture Value Map shows how raising livestock and poultry, manufacturing feed and processing meat and dairy benefits Illinois counties.  Animal agriculture creates local demand for soybean meal.  Keeping the industry in Illinois multiplies the value of that soybean meal.  Check out the map to see how the top soybean customer feeds local economies.

Illinois Farm Families Gets Fresh Look

Illinois Farm Families unveiled its new branding and launched its new-and-improved site to include consumers in even more conversations about food and farming.  The site features new farmer faces and experts and encourages visitors to explore different topics through a variety of viewpoints.  Throughout the year, the site will concentrate on hot topic issues based on consumer relevancy, and will feature farmers who will share how and why they make choices on their individual farms.  Social media, blog posts, infographics and other information and materials will support each hot topic.

CTIC Schedules Water Quality Workshop

Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) and agriculture consultants are invited to attend the Edge of Field Systems for Improved Productivity and Water Quality workshop presented by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC).  The free workshop will feature three speakers that will give presentations from their perspectives about edge-of-field practices.  The workshop is Sept. 13-14 at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., with 6.5 continuing education units (CEUs) available. Register here.

CBMP Fall 2016 Newsletter Available

The fall newsletter from the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP) is now available.  Featured articles include online tools for farmers, cover crops, what was learned in 2016, managing phosphorus and more.  Find the newsletter online here.

ILSoyAdvisor Podcast Features Buffer Strips

Steve Baker, president of Springfield Plastics, Inc., explains the different types of buffer strips and how they help improve water quality.  Listen to the podcast here.

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Tweet of the Week

Ivan Dozier with @NRCS_Illinois talks about building up organic matter in this podcast: #ILSoy