Local banks to sponsor agricultural business conference


Annual conference takes place Jan. 23 at Mendota Civic Center

MENDOTA - First State Bank, Mendota; Pioneer State Bank, Earlville; and H.F. Gehant Banking Company of West Brooklyn will host a special conference for area farmers on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The 19th Annual Community Bank Ag Conference will take place at the Mendota Civic Center beginning at 10 a.m.

Starting off the program will be Parry Dixon, an Economist at ADM Corporate headquarters in Decatur. Dixon joined ADM in 1984 and is responsible for economic analysis, in addition to price forecasting for commodities. Prior to joining ADM, he worked for a large brokerage firm in Chicago and has over 40 years experience in agricultural economics. Dixon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from Brigham Young University, and both a Master of Science degree and a Doctorate degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.

Following Dixon will be John Cantlin of John Cantlin & Associates. Cantlin is a 1970 University of Illinois College of Agriculture graduate and a 1977 John Marshall Law School graduate with a Jurist Doctorate degree. Cantlin has been in private practice since 1977 with offices in Ottawa and Earlville. He has also been actively involved in the family farming operation throughout his legal career.

After a noon lunch, Aaron Hager will kick off the afternoon sessions. Hager is an associate professor of extension weed science in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and received a B.S. in plant and soil science in 1991, an M.S. in weed science in May 1993 and completed his Ph.D. in weed science in 2002. As an associate professor of weed science at the University of Illinois, Hager is responsible for weed biology and management research in corn and soybean production systems. His research focuses on examining the biology and management of weed species that are common in Illinois agronomic crops.

Closing the session will be Linda Henkel, senior director, Global Quality Systems Global Supply Chain and Sustainability, McDonald’s Corporation. She is responsible for leading and managing a team that establishes Global Quality Systems programs, systems and tools that help in delivering consistent, high quality products for McDonald’s customers every day. Her team maintains the product lifecycle management system that captures information about McDonald’s food including nutrition and ingredient information. Henkel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University of Illinois. With 31 years of experience with the McDonald’s corporation and extensive travel around the world, she still enjoys helping out on the family farm near West Brooklyn.

Area farmers are encouraged to contact any of the listed financial institutions prior to Saturday, Jan. 19 to confirm reservations for the event. ADM Grain Company, Mendota and Holland & Sons, Inc., John Deere will serve as major co-sponsors of this event and will provide lunch for all those in attendance. First State Insurance will sponsor the morning coffee and donuts. Door prizes are being provided by several area businesses including Earlville Farmers Coop; Sublette Farmers Elevator Company; West Brooklyn Farmers Coop; Troy Grove Coop; Meriden Grain - Pioneer Seed Sales; Seedlink, LLC; Mendota Mutual Ins. Co.; Crop Production Services - Compton; Leffelman and Associates, Inc.; Peter Vaessen – Vaessen Implement and Repair, Inc.; Michael Vaessen – Sublette Mechanical; Wipfli; First State Insurance; Rodney Rod – Pioneer Seed Sales; Northern Partners Coop; Maplehurst Farms; Beck Oil Company; R-Equipment Co.; Sublette Toy Show; Norton Appraisals; Guilfoyle Law Firm; Vaessen Bros. Chevrolet; Cantlin Law Firm; Hornung Tiling, Inc.; Country Village Meats; and Prescott Bros Inc. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & Ram.


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