Q: What is the Illinois Top 20 under 40 Farmers program?  

Ron Kindred (RK): The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) and its partners are honored to continue the Illinois 20 Under 40 recognition program in 2023. The program celebrates 20 young farmers under 40 for their work in the agricultural community and beyond.  

Q: Who are ISA’s collaborators on this program? 

RK: ISA, along with partners at John Deere, Asgrow, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Beef Association, Midwest Dairy, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Grain & Feed Association of Illinois, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, and Illinois Farm Bureau, is excited for the second year of this program.  

Q: Why celebrate young farmers and their contributions to their communities and the world?  

RK: Young farmers are our future, and no state’s future in agriculture is brighter than that of Illinois. In 2022, Illinois soybean farmers raised 677.25 million bushels on 10.75 million harvested acres with an average yield of 63 bushels per acre, making Illinois the No. 1 soybean-producing state for the eighth year.  

Illinois is consistently one of the top 10 agriculture-producing states in soybeans, cattle/calves, corn, soybeans, dairy products/milk, broilers, hogs, specialty crops, poultry and eggs, wheat, and hay.   

Q: What are you looking for in your “Top 20?”  

RK: Illinois is brimming with farmers of all specialties who operate in a league all their own. We are looking for young farmers in Illinois whose achievements in the agriculture community stand out from their peers. Someone in the early years of their farming career who goes above and beyond on their farm, community, and the industry.  

Q: What are the qualifications for nomination?  

RK: The program is open to farmers of all commodities and farm sizes. Candidates must actively farm and live in the state of Illinois. The ideal candidate is an agricultural leader, exceptional community citizen, and role model for current and future generations of agriculturalists.  

Q: What does this program mean to you?  

RK: I’ve dedicated my entire life and career to feeding and fueling the world. We are transitioning to the next generation on our family farm, so I understand the dynamics of sharing my experiences by working together daily. How we do everything on the farm has dramatically evolved since I began my farming career. This program celebrates how far we’ve come in farming and how far future generations will go.  

Q: How do we nominate someone?  

RK: To nominate someone, or apply yourself, visit IL20UNDER40.com by March 31, 2023 

Published On: February 22, 2023Categories: Latest News, UncategorizedTags: ,

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