|Will County Farm Bureau President Tom Nugent (left) and Orion Samuelson at the Will County Farm Bureau 100th Anniversary Celebration|
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Will County Farm Bureau Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary
By Mary Baskerville
The Will County Farm Bureau’s 100-year history was celebrated November 23, 2013 at the Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center on Laraway Road. Drawing farmers, county and state leaders, and agriculture educators and supporters together, the event included a display of farm life spanning the century.
Will County Farm Bureau President Tom Nugent welcomed keynote speaker Orion Samuelson saying that his reputation as the “voice of agriculture” for over a half-century on WGN Radio was vital in helping explain the role of farming to many.
Samuelson told the crowd of over 400 that as agriculture becomes more modern “the challenge becomes even greater.” He told the new generation of farmers to dream big dreams: “You can’t dream big enough.”
Vast changes occurred during the past century, he said, with even bigger changes coming. Organizations like Farm Bureau help explain the role of agriculture: “We will lead the change.”
In 1918, there were 3,588 individual farms in Will County. By 2009, Will County’s population reached 685,251 and there were 877 farms.
The Will County Farm Bureau Centennial Committee was co-chaired by Tom Nugent and Jim Robbins. Members included Pat Bleuer, Jerry Davidson, Doug Erickson, Bob Fitzer, Glenn Fritz, Barbara Kestel, Roger Koehn, Gene Malone, Tom McCoy, Henry Meader, Johan Meier, Bob Muehling and Jim Schillinger.