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Central Illinois farmer wins ag service award
By TIM ALEXANDER
Illinois Correspondent

PEORIA, Ill. — An Edelstein farmer has been presented with the Peoria County Farm Bureau’s (PCFB) 2006 Ag Service Award. Chuck Schafer is the 11th recipient of the award, which recognizes an individual residing in Peoria County who has demonstrated outstanding service to the agriculture industry.

Schafer serves as the Peoria County representative for the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Activator Trustee Committee for District 37. He also has a seat on the PCFB’s legislative and marketing committees. In naming Schafer as the winner of the Ag Service Award, PCFB officials cited Schafer as a model farmer who takes great pride in conserving the land.

“I consider winning this award an honor,” said Schafer, whose farm has served as one of Peoria County Soil and Water District’s Take Pride in America’s Conservation Farms field day locations. “We’ve got a lot of other people in our county that are excellent promoters of agriculture, so I feel really blessed to win the award.”

Schafer was previously named Good Year’s Top Cooperator for his conservation efforts and is a charter member of the Soil and Water District’s “T-Club.”

He was one of the original members of the Senachwine Watershed Committee, helping to procure two IEPA grants to help fund water quality and conservation practices in the Senachwine Watershed. Schafer was named Outstanding District Director by the Assoc. of Illinois Soil and Water Districts in 1997, and now represents the Peoria County Soil and Water District on the Prairie Rivers RC&D Council and as a delegate on Land Use Council 5.

Schafer was an instrumental member of the steering committee when the Peoria County Corn/Soy Promoters group was formed in 1991, and has served as the board’s District 3 Director since its inception. He has also served as the board’s secretary for the past 10 years.

PCFB officials cited Schafer’s willingness to work at the annual Soil and Water District’s Christmas tree sale, Conservation/Ag/Environmental Education Expos in area schools, the Heart of Illinois Fair and Greater Peoria Farm Show as other considerations in presenting him with the award.

As a member of the Activator Trustee Committee (a political action committee of the IFB), Schafer interviews legislators to help determine candidates for the organization’s Friend of Agriculture Award.

“We also help decide what candidates we will perform in-kind services for, such as helping with mailings and other aspects of their campaigns. Each winter, we meet with legislators,” Schafer told Farm World.

His duties as a member of the PCFB’s legislative and marketing committees include planning the bureau’s yearly activities, organizing summer and winter marketing seminars and political appearances and helping organize yearly bus trips to the farm show in Louisville.

As to his conservation practices, Schafer said: “I’ve got a fairly significant amount of conservation practices in place, and though I’m far from perfect in my conservation practices, I do my best to promote them. I think it’s very important.”

Schafer resides with his wife, Suanne on their rural Edelstein farm, where the couple grows around 1,250 acres of corn and soybeans.

This farm news was published in the Dec. 13, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

12/13/2006