The ripple effects of COVID-19 and challenges facing farmers and the food supply served as the focus for Leadership McLean County Ag Day held Sept. 18.
A group of 21 emerging business leaders participated in a hybrid in-person and remote learning experience.
McLean County Farm Bureau sponsors Ag Day each year for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Leadership McLean County program.
Dr. Lucas Maxwell of Illinois State University kicked off the program with an overview of the global food system and food related issues.
Mike Doherty, Illinois Farm Bureau, offered a look at trade issues and the market impact of COVID-19 on McLean County farmers.
The group also heard from farmers Matt Witte, Matt Kilgus, Pat Bane and Doug Schroeder representing a variety of types of farmers including those involved in direct to consumer marketing.
Tara Ingram of Midwest Food Bank offered a snapshot of food insecurity and highlighted the Farmers to Families Food Box program.
After lunch, the group visited the Dan Kelley farm and Yuton Grain Elevator.
Alissa Fosdick, Farm Business Farm Management field staff, discussed farm level economics and management decisions.
The group also had the chance to drive a tractor or combine courtesy of Birkey’s Farm Store.