Where has the year gone?!?! I can’t believe it is October already.

I think we can all agree that with October comes a lot of other really great things, like the Fall! It is the best time of year, the temperatures are cooler (but it’s not freezing yet), the leaves are changing and the landscape is beautiful, and we can’t forget there is PUMPKIN SPICE FLAVORED EVERYTHING!

Fun Fact: Did you know Illinois was the number one producing state of pumpkins? Remember that next time you get your pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks.

October also has, football, bonfires, s’mores, start of hunting season, my birthday, Halloween, haunted houses, many other favorite things… and of course HARVEST TIME!

In the spirit of October, I have gone back and selected my favorite posts in October from previous years.

Here are the posts I think deserve another look. Click on each title to read the full post.


““It’s harvest time in this little town, time to bring it on in, pay the loans down.”  Luke Bryan’s new song “Harvest Time” explains this time of year perfectly.  However, not so long ago, harvest was done completely different around here.  Instead of the combines, tractors, grain carts and the semi-trucks we use today, farmers harvested with much simpler tools.  Farming has seen numerous changes over the years, but none of them have been as impactful as the mechanization of harvest equipment.”Threshing Machine

This article is a fun little story about the history of farm equipment, and it has a great picture.


“Most of the corn grown in Illinois is genetically modified corn.  It’s genetically altered to withstand insect attack or to live through certain herbicide applications.  New varieties are genetically altered to perform under stressful conditions like last year’s drought.

Although this technology makes some customers skeptical, hybridization of crops has been happening for years and years.  In fact, the history of the Illinois Corn Growers Association starts before 1900 sometime when groups of farmers would come together for a fall meeting to trade their best ears of corn.  Those kernels from other parts of the state would grow and pollinate with kernels the farmer already had to continually produce the best corn – ear size, stalk quality, performance under stress were all factors when farmers selected their very best ears.

Years later, we shorten the process by choosing genes that we know are insect resistant, herbicide resistant, drought resistant and inserting them into our plants.  And some remain unsure that the research has been done to prove these foods safe.”

I cannot believe the amount is misinformation is out there about GMOs. Don’t be a fool, stay in school… and get the facts about GMOs. They are safe, science says so.


“Women have always been a part of the agriculture industry, but most the time have been overlooked. However, this trend is changing, and women are becoming more prevalent on farms today. Do you know any women in agriculture, either on farms or in the industry?

In early American history, a woman’s job on the farm typically meant bookkeeping for the farming operation. Women also tended to the family garden, which was most likely a major food supply for the farm family. Even though women did contribute to the farm, their work was never recorded by the Department of Agriculture, thus making women seem non-existent in the agriculture world.”


“We have SO MUCH CORN right now all over the Midwest.  These piles are the reason we work for increased ethanol markets and upgraded locks and dams.

Although non-farmers think that we don’t have enough corn to feed all our markets, WE DO!  These piles are proof!  We need ethanol as a growing market to use up all this corn.  We need locks and dams to get our corn to international markets.”corn pile with men

Making sure our farmers have a demand for their crop is what we are all about!


“Ethanol is always a good choice if you are concerned about the environment, energy security, and even buying local!

Illinois grows it, you should use it!”


indian corn“A symbol of harvest season, they crop up every fall— those ears of corn with multicolored kernels that adorn doors and grace centerpieces. So how does this decorative corn, known in America as flint corn or Indian corn, differ from other types of corn? How long has it been around? Also, is it grown solely to look good next to pumpkins, gourds and scarecrows in those seasonal displays, or can you actually eat it?

Corn does not grow wild anywhere in the world. Instead, this domesticated plant evolved sometime in the last 10,000 years, through human intervention, from teosinte, a form of wild Mexican grass. Originally cultivated in the Americas, corn was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the late 1400s; thanks to other explorers and traders, it soon made its way to much of the rest of the globe. In America, the early colonists learned how to cultivate it from the Indians, for whom it was a dietary staple.”

When you think of Fall decorations, you think of Indian corn, so obviously this one is a staple. I even learned something new when I read this post, and that is a good reason to have it in my number two spot on this countdown.


“Pop Quiz!! Take our quiz and find out how much you know about Illinois corn and then leave a comment with what you scored!”corn quiz

This post was my number one favorite post from all previous October posts. It is a fun interactive quiz to test your knowledge of how much you know about corn. I took the quiz and on my first try scored a 9,683. No big deal. (*Brushes shoulder off*)


Hannah ZellerHannah Ferguson
Communications Assistant





This post was originally posted on our blog last July and it is still very relevant today!

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware that farmers and ag businesses alike have begun to have more conversations with some of our more urban consumers who have questions about the food we are putting on their tables. This is somewhat of a new concept for our industry, but it presents us with an opportunity to speak to a genuinely interested audience about what we do and why we do it. Most (if not all) of the people who work in the agriculture industry are incredibly proud of what they do, so it is no surprise that many farmers seize the opportunity to teach people about the different things that happen on their farm.

One way those interested urban consumers have been able to learn about their food is through the Illinois Farm Families program. This program, which is funded in part by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, allows moms from the Chicago area (Field Moms) to go on various farm tours to experience farming first hand and have a conversation about their food with the people who are actually growing it. Paul Jeschke, the ICMB District 5 director, and his wife Donna have welcomed multiple groups of Field Moms onto their farm for a tour and discussions about the crops they grow on their farm. Watch the video below to get a glimpse of what it is Paul and Donna are doing to help spread the word about agriculture:

If you are interested in learning more about the Illinois Farm Families program, visitwww.watchusgrow.org


Rosie PhotoRosalie Sanderson
Previous Membership Administrative Assistant