Annual Duffer Golf Open to benefit agriculture education


MENDOTA – The second annual Duffer Golf Open hosted by the CSL Foundation will be held on Saturday, Aug. 28 at the Mendota Golf Club.

The CSL Foundation has been set up in the memory of Christina Sue Lilja, who passed away from breast cancer in August 2019. She started working for the American Farm Bureau in 1985 soon after graduating from Illinois State University. Through the years of working at AFB, Lilja poured her heart and soul into helping others both professionally and personally.

Her true passion came to light when she became the executive director of American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, where she helped lead the charge in building awareness, understanding and a positive public perspective of agriculture through education. The CSL Foundation was established to carry on Lilja’s beliefs of helping others in need and to continue to advocate for educating K-12 teachers and students about the importance of agriculture.

Thanks to last year’s donations, the CSL Foundation was able to provide educators with grants to purchase agricultural literacy resources for their classrooms. In April 2021, The American Bureau Foundation for Agriculture announced the Christine Sue Lilja Resource Grants to continue to build on her mission and dream of Ag education in the classroom.

“We are excited to partner with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture where we will continue Christy’s work of leading the charge in building awareness and a positive public perspective of agriculture through educating K-12 teachers and students,” Lilja’s family said.

“There was no greater champion for the Ag Foundation than Christy, and I can’t help but smile thinking of school children across this country learning more about agriculture because of her passion for agriculture,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president and Ag Foundation chair. “We thank the Lilja family for their generosity, and it’s our sincere hope that we continue to do Christy proud at the Foundation as we build on the work that was so near and dear to her.”

The Christina Sue Lilja Resource Grants will be established within the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, which is a special project of the Foundation in cooperation with the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. It was established to honor two former chairs of that committee, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were leaders in the national effort to improve agricultural literacy.

To learn more or to register for the Duffer Open, go to After the golf outing, there will be a dinner, auction and live music at the Mendota Elks Lodge. If you are interested in just attending the dinner, tickets are available online.

Cash donations are also being accepted, as well as in-kind goods or services. To make a donation, mail it to CSL Foundation, 1702 Sunset Drive, Mendota, IL 61342. For more information, call (815) 326-5645 or e-mail