BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – June 13, 2022 – After undergoing a rigorous judging process, 20 farmers were identified as the first class of Illinois 20 Under 40 award winners.

From a corn and soybean farmer in Viola to a beef farmer in Lawrenceville, there was no shortage of variety among our 2022 winners. They’re agricultural leaders, exceptional community citizens and role models for their generation and the next. They’re upholding traditions, starting their own and helping their neighbors out along the way.

The winners are as follows:

  • Andrew Bowman, Oneida, IL
  • Andy Lenkaitis, St. Charles, IL
  • Sarah Lenkaitis, St. Charles, IL
  • Austin Rincker, Moweaqua, IL
  • Blake Luckett, Ridgway, IL
  • Blane Olson, Elkhart, IL
  • Brandon Walter, Harvard, IL
  • Cameron McClure, Lawrenceville, IL
  • Chad Bell, Viola, IL
  • Dallas Glazik, Paxton, IL
  • David Murphy, Tiskilwa, IL
  • Drew DeSutter, New Windsor, IL
  • Kenneth Mentzer, Assumption, IL
  • Kathryn Mentzer, Assumption, IL
  • Matt Rush, Fairfield, IL
  • Matthew Hulsizer, Galesburg, IL
  • Michael Nelson, Paxton, IL
  • Michael Ganschow, Walnut, IL
  • Sarah Tweet Landers, Mendota, IL
  • Tyler Schleich, Monmouth, IL

Young farmers are our future, and no state’s future in agriculture is brighter than that of Illinois. Illinois is brimming with farmers of all specialties who truly operate in a league all their own.

Following the nomination window this spring, judges sifted through more than 50 young farmer applications from across the state who were nominated for their efforts and activities to better their farming operations and communities.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to recognize exceptional Illinois young farmers in collaboration with the Illinois ag family,” says Rachel Peabody, Director of Communications at Illinois Soybean Association. “We look forward to following this first group to watch their impact in our industry and at home in their communities.”

The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program had support from the following partner organizations: Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, Illinois Grain & Feed Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association. Busey Bank and John Deere were corporate sponsors of the program.

Learn more about the 2022 Illinois 20 Under 40 award winners and the program at

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability. For more information, visit the website and


Published On: June 13, 2022Categories: Latest News, Press ReleasesTags:

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