An evening or afternoon at the Corn Crib can be a fun family activity. Bring your family- old and young out to see the Normal CornBelters presented by Illinois corn farmers. Manager Brooks Carey has an exciting team evidenced by the CornBelters having the most players to play in the Frontier League All-Star Game this week.

Carey was asked by Phil Warren, the manager of the Gateway Grizzlies and the coach of the West Division All-Star team, to join the coaching staff for the All-Star Game.

The Cornbelters have seven players in the All-Star Game, and they are: Cullen Babin, Santaigo Chirino, Aaron Dudley, Sam Judah, Alan Oaks, Mike Schwartz and Tyler Shover

If you have not checked out a CornBelters game in a while we invite you to com out, it’s a lot of fun, and you can teach your family about the Illinois farmers– a vital part of our community. Check out NormalBaseball.com for information on buying tickets to the games.

1. Open Your Horizons about Corn

Did you know the Illinois Corn Growers Association maintains a high profile in the legislative arena in Springfield, Ill. and Washington, DC? Some of Illinois Corn’s efforts include distribution of educational materials such as the Captain Cornelius comic books, grocery store and service station promotions, educational exhibits at state and county fair, working with the media on issues like ethanol.

corn hop scotch

2. Meet a Farmer

Your food does not just magically appear at the grocery store, and that corn-on-the cob– a staple at family barbecues in the summer is no exception. There is a farmer behind that cob of corn. Of course, we all know that corn you eat on the cob isn’t the same corn that goes into ethanol and livestock feed. Either way, there is a farm family attached to that farmer. They live in our community and support our community, and they attend Normal CornBelters baseball games, just like you do. They know you care about how your food is raised because they are families who care about the same food they grow and eat themselves.  To find out more you can check out: www.watchusgrow.org and get answer to your questions.

3. There are other farmers besides Corn Farmers: Find out more about locally grown beef or pork.

The Normal CornBelters hold Beef Night and Pork Night. Drop by the Corn Crib and meet a livestock farmer. Did you know that livestock animals are the biggest users (via their feed) of corn in the country?

4. Get Your Kids Involved

The Normal CornBelters have a mascot to get the kids involved. Corny is an ear of corn (he is a little bit hard of hearing because he’s only one ear– yuck yuck, ok that was corny). Corny would love to attend your upcoming event including birthday parties, classroom visits and various community events.

Also along those lines, the CornBelters players are also available for events throughout the year.  Dates are filling up so be sure to book your CornBelters appearances today. You would be surprised at how affordable it is and how much it can liven up your events.

For more information: http://www.normalbaseball.com/community/appearance-request

5. How Illinois Farmers Affect Our Lives – From http://www.agr.state.il.us/about/agfacts.html

What agricultural goods are produced in Illinois?

Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and swine. The state’s climate and varied soil types enable farmers to grow and raise many other agricultural commodities, including cattle, wheat, oats, sorghum, hay, sheep, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Illinois also produces several specialty crops, such as buckwheat, horseradish, ostriches, fish and Christmas trees.

What are the characteristics of a typical Illinois farm?

Illinois’ 76,000 farms cover more than 28 million acres — nearly 80 percent of the state’s total land area. The large number of farms, coupled with the diversity of commodities produced, makes it difficult to describe a typical operation. However, statistics provide some indication about what it means to farm in Illinois.

The average size of an Illinois farm including hobby farms is 368 acres. Most farm acreage is devoted to grain, mainly corn and soybeans. Nearly 10 percent of Illinois farms have swine. Beef cows are found on about 23 percent of farms, while about 3 percent have dairy cows. Some farms produce specialty crops and livestock, including alfalfa, canola, nursery products, emus and fish. Many farming operations also support recreational activities such as hunting and fishing.

How does agriculture benefit Illinois’ economy?

Marketing of Illinois’ agricultural commodities generates more than $9 billion annually. Corn accounts for nearly 40 percent of that total. Marketing of soybeans contributes about one-third, with the combined marketings of livestock, dairy and poultry generating about 23 percent.

Billions more dollars flow into the state’s economy from ag-related industries, such as farm machinery manufacturing, agricultural real estate, and production and sale of value-added food products. Rural Illinois benefits principally from agricultural production, while agricultural processing and manufacturing strengthen urban economies.

Mike Rains

Community Public Relations Manager, Normal CornBelters

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