Farm organizations were not uncommon even in the early years. Our records date back to 1906 with the Vermilion County Farmers Institute. For several years, the Institute provided experts to share agricultural information at annual meetings of farmers in the county. Agricultural progress was limited though. Farmers realized that to improve, they needed educational programs.
The Farmers Institute and other farm groups of influence worked with Congress to pass the Smith-Lever Act in 1914, establishing funding for a farm advisor in every county of the United States. Land-grant universities – such as the University of Illinois – were to administer funds, with the advisor being approved by the university and also the farmers of the county providing employment.
Foundation of the Vermilion County Farm Bureau was laid out at a Farmers Institute meeting in Catlin on January 26, 1917. Soon afterwards, 75 farmers gathered at the Chamber of Commerce building in Danville to continue discussions. The group selected J.S. Purnell, Fithian, as chairman and Charles R. Finley, Hoopeston, as secretary. Other members of the organization committee included A.G. Woodbury, Danville; Arthur H. Gunder, Fairmount; Everett Price, Fithian; Charles H. Campbell, Bismarck; and George S. Hoff, Danville.
The committee was active for the rest of the year. Farm Bureau dues were set at $10 annually, with memberships on a three-year commitment. An intensive membership campaign was launched in January of 1918 and almost 300 members joined during the drive. In March of the same year Arthur Lumbrick was hired as the county’s first farm adviser. An office was established in the Chamber of Commerce Building, which was the old post office at 204 N. Vermilion Street in Danville.
Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Illinois Secretary of State on July 12, 1920. The stated purpose of Vermilion County Farm Bureau was “To promote the development of the most profitable and permanent system of agriculture possible in this county, and the financial, educational and social welfare of its inhabitants in every legitimate and practical manner to secure cooperative action in advancing the common purposes of its members and to give proper consideration to questions affecting financial, commercial and civic interests in the county.”
Many things we take for granted today are a result of the founding leaders and those that came after them. Following are a few points of interest gleaned from board minutes and past “Booster” magazines of Vermilion County Farm Bureau.
The Early Years
In the fall of 1918, the Executive Committee discussed corn husking prices. They distributed posters to county elevators, post offices and banks “sanctioning the price of six and seven cents for corn husking, for corn in good standing condition. Any man raising price is to be considered an unjust citizen.”
Farm Bureau started 1919 with 431 members, and was the first county to surpass 1,000 members during the year. A year later the dues were raised from $10 to $15 to accommodate the recently implemented per member fee by Illinois Farm Bureau.
A committee was appointed to go to Washington, D.C. to support the repeal of daylight savings time. Farm Bureau also worked with supervisors to try to obtain $5,000 to build limestone sheds.
In 1920, a contest was held to provide a name for the Farm Bureau publication. Mr. Elmer Bowers, a reporter for The Danville Morning Press submitted “Booster” as the winning selection. The publication provided timely information about the activities and programs, and was initially printed twice a month. It has been continuously published since then, now on a quarterly basis.
A veterinarian was employed in 1922 by the County Farm Bureau to work on TB eradication. The county Farm Bureau also began offering hog cholera serum to members.
In 1924 Vermilion County Farm Bureau appointed a committee to explore going into the oil sales business. Membership stood at 948 at that time.
On April 26, 1925, fire destroyed the Farm Bureau office. A fire safe had just been purchased at the first of the year and the membership records were unharmed. Temporary quarters were set up in the Webster Building at 107 N. Vermilion before the move with the Chamber of Commerce into the former Gilmore Undertaking building, 101 W. North Street. Ironically, in May of 1925, Country Mutual Fire Company began selling fire insurance.
A $25 reward was offered in 1926 for the capture and sentencing of chicken thieves stealing Farm Bureau members’ chickens.
In 1927, the Farm Bureau Board of Directors began was elected by township. There were 18 board members, with another added in 1928 upon the creation of South Ross Township. The officers – including the president – were elected from the directors.
The 14th annual meeting of Illinois Agricultural Association (the corporate name of Illinois Farm Bureau) was held in Danville on January 29-31, 1929. It was estimated that 1,500 people attended the meeting.
On January 2, 1930, Vermilion County Farm Bureau bought one $50 share of stock in the State Soybean Marketing Association.
The Farm Bureau Board went on record supporting $1.5 million bond issue for construction of paved roads in Vermilion County.
By 1930, times were tough with the onset of the Depression. The Farm Bureau Ford car, provided for the Farm Advisor, was stolen. Membership reached a low of 483 members in late 1933. By February 1935, membership had grown back to 661 total members. It grew again to 979 members by July 1938.
The IAA Annual Meeting returned to Danville on January 24-26, 1934. It was declared the “most successful in the history of the organization.”
On November 5, 1936, Vermilion County Farm Bureau purchased the
building at 117 N. Walnut for $9,450. Farm Bureau relocated to the new
building in 1937 and the first meeting was held on June 22.
Vermilion County takes third place in the first Farm Bureau Sports Festival
in 1936. The county would participate for a number of years, winning grand
champion several times.
In 1937, Farm Bureau worked with the Rural Electrification Administration
to bring electricity to Vermilion County.
Vermilion County hosted the 1939 State Corn Husking Contest, sponsored
by Prairie Farmer, at the George Wright farm west of Hillery. The annual
county contest was held the week prior.
On January 1, 1941, Farm Bureau hires an employee to do income tax work for members.
World War II hits the United States on December 7, 1941. The Farm Bureau board recessed its meeting at 11:15 am on December 8 to listen to President Roosevelt state a declaration of war against Japan.
Vermilion Service Company reported a shortage of steel barrels and paint in 1942. Gas rationing goes into effect in 1943, along with a national speed limit of 35 mph. Scrap steel was collected and delivered to the GM foundry by 4-H members for use in the war effort.
Membership in Vermilion County Farm Bureau thrives with 1,064 members in January 1942. Also that year, the Vermilion County Soil Conservation District was organized.
Vermilion County ranked eighth in corn production for the state in 1943.
In 1944, the Farm Bureau board instituted a soil testing lab to assist farmers in improving their soil fertility. That service continued until 1979.
With the end of World War II membership reaches an all-time high of 1,586 near the end of 1945.
Farm Bureau sponsored a new plat book in 1948, the first published since 1936. The organization has continued to sponsor plat books every three to five years since that time.
Farm Bureau started the 1950s with membership standing at 2,539.
It was reported that a tractor pulling contest was a new addition to the Eastern Illinois Fair 1950 schedule.
Robert Galey of Catlin was the 3,000th Farm Bureau member, signed by John Dickson, in February 1953.
1955 saw the biggest change to date in Farm Bureau’s structure. Due to a memorandum issued by USDA, the farm advisor and other Extension staff would no longer be a part of Farm Bureau organizations across the state. Vermilion County Farm Bureau continued to provide financial support for Extension Service until July 1998, when a referendum to support Vermilion County Extension Service – which Farm Bureau supported – took effect and provided local property tax dollars for that service.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau utilized television and radio as part of the policy development program in 1958. Members discussed the issues of the day in the studios of WDAN, which were broadcast simultaneously on both radio and TV. Members watching and listening in their homes reviewed the topics on questionnaires they had received prior to the show.
The Women’s Committee was active in promoting citizenship, holding meetings and loaning books on various civic subjects. They placed first in the state and national Citizenship contest in 1958, and finished first in the state again in 1959.
On May 30, 1959, Vermilion County Farm Bureau moved to 431 N. Vermilion St.
There were 3,036 Vermilion County Farm Bureau members in 1960.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau began sponsoring members to participate in Illinois Farm Bureau’s “Farmers to Washington” trips. This program continues today, with farmers visiting their Congressmen and meeting policy makers.
Sheriff Sid of WCIA Channel 3 entertained approximately 100 youngsters during the Vermilion County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in 1961.
Policy Development meetings were held in seven locations across Vermilion County in September 1962, with a countywide report meeting at the Farm Bureau office.
Thirteen leaders and staff from Alabama Farm Bureau visited Vermilion County in mid-February 1964. They were gathering information leading to greater program development within the Alabama organization.
In 1964, the Women’s Committee hosted a nationally-known lecturer on Communism. Herb Philbrick, who had worked with the FBI to infiltrate a Communist-based group in Massachusetts, spoke at a citizenship meeting.
Mann’s Chapel, near Rossville, was one of the churches featured in the 1968 IAA Calendar, with more than 150,000 copies distributed across the state.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau celebrates its 50th anniversary with a program at the Eastern Illinois Fairgrounds on July 25, 1968. IFB President William Kuhfuss and AFBF’s T.C. Peterson spoke to more than 500 Farm Bureau members.
In November 1970, Vermilion County Farm Bureau passed a resolution supporting the new Illinois State Constitution.
In March 1971, the board discussed land use and zoning issues.
Farm Bureau enjoyed legislative successes during the 1970s in the Illinois General Assembly. They included the farm truck license plates in 1971 and an exemption of farm chemicals from sales tax in 1976.
While in Illinois for a National Corn Blight Conference in August 1971, USDA Secretary Clifford Hardin visited the Lloyd Puzey farm in Jamaica Township.
In 1973, the state membership topped 204,000. Membership in Vermilion County had grown to 3,085, including 2,036 M farmer members.
A 24-hour Market Line service began in late 1973. Members called in to hear a 2½-minute report on the day’s market activities that was recorded after the close of the Chicago Board of Trade. This service continued into the early 1990s.
Fred & Gayle Mohr, of Fairmount, were named the IL Farm Bureau Outstanding Young Farmers in 1973.
Farm Bureau instituted a $500 Reward program in 1975. The reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person(s) committing acts of arson, criminal damage to property or theft on the premises of an eligible Farm Bureau member. Signs had to be posted to have the property included in the program.
Beginning in the 1970s, Farm Bureau travel programs of bus trips, cruises and tours to Hawaii and other locales were offered for Farm Bureau members.
In 1976, the Vermilion County Farm Bureau Board granted lifetime membership to the nine charter members still living: R.D. Witt, M.J. Tighe, J.P. Haworth, Herschel Sheets, Ray Moss, Dewey Foster, Lester Burd, T.J. Watson and I.W. Rowand.
The Young Farmers Committee entered a float in several parades across Vermilion County in 1976, celebrating the United States Bicentennial.
The Property Identification Program was instituted in 1977. Members put a unique ID number on their farm equipment with a heavy-duty steel punch, engraving pen or metal scribe. Grain and hay was labeled with pieces of paper bearing the number.
Farm Bureau held its first Mall Show in 1978. The shows featured meat cutting demonstrations, equipment displays and animal exhibits inside the Village Mall.
The Board of Directors adopted tenure for its members, with no board member permitted to serve more than two consecutive 3-year terms, beginning in 1978. In addition, that was the year the president began being elected at-large, with a five-year tenure.
Leadership development continued to be a focus of Farm Bureau programs in the late 70’s. Youth, Women’s, A LOT, Governmental Affairs and other conferences offered members the opportunity to develop skills and make connections.
After grain embargos and years of economic struggles on the farm, it was evident more than ever that representation in Springfield and Washington was important and growing more critical.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau purchased a freezer in late 1979 so orange juice concentrate sold as part of the fresh Florida citrus program could be offered year-round. This service continued until 2014.
Membership continued to grow, with 4,165 total members. This included 2,028 farming M members.
It was decided not to build a new Farm Bureau building in early 1980 “because of expense and interest costs.” Instead, the location at 431 N. Vermilion was remodeled.
Farm Bureau offered their services to the county Assessor’s office for assistance in implementing the new Farmland Assessment process approved in 1977.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau and Vermilion Service Company held their 1981 annual meeting in the Danville Civic Center, which had opened in September 1980.
A workshop on Microcomputers in Agriculture was held at Danville Area Community College in 1981. It was co-sponsored by DACC and Vermilion County Farm Bureau.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau began offering HMO plans through Carle Care and Christie Clinic in late 1983 as a way to provide lower-cost health coverage options for farmers and other members. This service continued until 2014, when changes in the health care industry limited the ability to offer such plans.
Farm Bureau hosted an Agricultural Town Meeting with Congressman Dan Crane in 1984.
Manager Herb Waggoner was honored by the IAA as a 25-year plus manager in 1984, 20 of which were with Vermilion County at the time. Ironically, the dinner for the honor caused him to miss his first Farm Bureau board meeting in 27 years.
A series of Market Education Workshops on cash markets, hedging and fundamentals were offered through Farm Bureau during February 1985.
The Women’s Committee began offering Health Screening Programs in 1985.
Vermilion County was one of the first counties to offer a Farm Bureau Discount Program in 1987. Today, nearly 70 county businesses still offer a discount to Farm Bureau M & A+ members.
Starting in 1988, Illinois Farm Bureau implemented a differential dues structure, adopted by the delegates the previous year. Dues for voting (MM farming) members would continue to be set by the counties, but dues for associate (A) members were set statewide at $20.
Former county president Willis Bird became a representative for IFB’s FarmDayta market information service in 1988. It delivered near-real time markets and news via a satellite dish and receiver.
In 1989, Illinois Farm Bureau adopted the CHIEF program – Changing How Illinois Education Is Financed. Its goal was to shift the burden of funding local schools away from property taxes.
The late 1980s saw the federal farm programs adopt wetlands rules. Farm Bureau worked with the Soil & Water Conservation District to help members understand the various wetland designations.
There were several railroad abandonments across Vermilion County in the 1980s and 1990s. Farm Bureau worked with members to ensure property rights were protected, and in some cases fought to keep the rail lines active.
A two-month volunteer membership drive resulted in 32 new farmer “M” members joining Farm Bureau in 1990. That helped Vermilion County place third in Illinois for percent gain in total members. Total membership at the end of the membership year was 5,741, including 1,561 farming “M” members.
A group of 36 Vermilion County members participated in the “Give ‘Em An Earful” rally supporting ethanol in Peoria in July 1992.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1993. Commemorative toy grain trucks and license plates were sold to mark the occasion. Special activities at both fairs included Ag Super Star competitions, a meal and a bluegrass band.
VCFB contributed $500 to the Apple Growers Commission for their class action case against CBS. It alleged the use of false and misleading information in their 60 Minutes report on Alar.
The Enhanced 9-1-1 emergency telephone system began in Vermilion County in 1993. Farm Bureau assisted members by providing information about the switch from rural route to street-type addresses and making house number signs available for posting on mailboxes and field posts.
The tenure for Farm Bureau board members was expanded from two to three 3-year terms in 1994.
A Farm Safety Day was held in August 1994 on the Kevin Green farm. It covered things like chemicals, mower safety, electricity & fire safety, 9-1-1 information, and farm accidents & rescue.
The levels of nitrates in drinking water supplies came to the forefront in the mid-1990s. Farm Bureau helped coordinate water testing. The nitrate levels entering the county were at a 5 ppm, with the levels dropping to 3 ppm when the water entered the lake. Farm Bureau was instrumental in forming the Lake Vermilion Water Quality Coalition to help provide information about nitrate reduction in the lake watershed.
Vermilion County native and Farm Bureau Sports Festival participant Joe Tanner, then an astronaut on space shuttle missions, was scheduled to speak at the 1995 Vermilion County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. But a government shutdown prevented his attendance from being approved.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau worked with the County Board on the issue of right to farm, land use and zoning issues in the mid 1990s.
The 2nd Annual Illinois Ag in the Classroom Bike Ride concluded its four-day ride across Illinois in Danville’s Lincoln Park in September 1997. A parade escorted the riders through downtown Danville, and activities in the park included bike safety and pedal tractor courses for kids, costume characters like Captain Cornelius and Captain Crunch, new and old farm equipment, and lunch. The bike riders made stops in schools along the way, talking about farming and bicycle safety.
In May 1998, the Ag in the Classroom program took a big step forward with the hiring of Crystal Allen as the first Ag Literacy Coordinator. She worked part-time to bring the story of farming and food production to classrooms across the county.
Dorothy Wonderlin retired as assistant manager in 1999 after 37 years of service with Farm Bureau. She started with Vermilion Service Company in 1953, then worked for Vermilion County Livestock Association for eight years before coming to Farm Bureau in 1962.
A Director of Information position was created to expand the organization’s outreach of news and public relations. Tom Fricke was hired into the position in June 1999.
We began the decade with a total membership of 5,644 members, including 1,446 farming “M” members.
2000 saw the first Ag Week Placemat developed by Vermilion County Farm Bureau. The placemats promote agriculture in the county and provide farming information to the public. Over the last 19 years, 20,000 – 30,000 placemats have been provided annually to area restaurants.
In 2000, the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma filed a federal lawsuit, claiming ownership of 2.6 million acres in east central Illinois, including most of Vermilion County. The suit was dropped in 2001.
The new Vermilion County Center for Agriculture was constructed along US Route 150 at Henning Road, Danville. It brought the ag services in the county under one roof. It sits on the site previously occupied by the Vermilion County Livestock Association and Vermilion Service Company.
Farm Bureau moved into new quarters in October 2000. An Open House for the new building was held during Ag Week 2001.
Production Issues and Spring Outlook programs were held in 2001, some of the first meetings in the new facility.
A Truck Inspections meeting was held in March 2002. IFB transportation specialists, along with IDOT and IL State Police, were part of the program and demonstration.
In an effort to reach out to consumers, Farm Bureau members annually bag groceries one day a year at Danville area stores. The program started as part of Food Checkout Day – the date that most American’s had earned enough money to pay for the food for the year – on February 7, 2003. It has continued since then, usually during March as part of Ag Week celebrations.
Vermilion County began participating in Illinois Farm Bureau’s Adopt a Legislator program. The program links Chicago-area members of the Illinois General Assembly with county Farm Bureaus across the state to help both groups better understand rural and urban issues. Sen. David Sullivan of Mt. Prospect made a farm visit to Vermilion County in the fall of 2003, riding a combine and visiting a hog farm.
Farm Bureau Presidents from District 12 participated in a press conference drawing attention to the importance of preserving the sales tax exemption on farm inputs in 2004. The Vermilion County Board also passed a resolution supporting Farm Bureau’s position.
Sales of Citrus Fruit from Florida was suspended in 2004 due to price and quality concerns after multiple hurricane strikes on Florida.
The Young Leaders Committee worked with other counties in District 12 to host the first Illini Farm Toy Show in January, 2005. The show featured more than 40 exhibitors. It continues today, with the 15th annual in 2019.
Another first in 2005 was the Barn Door Golf Outing as a fundraiser for Ag in the Classroom. The event has now transitioned to a Vermilion County Farm Bureau Foundation activity.
Vermilion County hosted the 10th Annual Ag in the Classroom Bike Ride in September 2005. The group of nearly 100 bicyclists came through Oakwood, enjoyed lunch at Temple Plaza in downtown Danville, then traveled to Catlin and beyond. Three school presentations were made in Vermilion County.
Farm Bureau began taking member orders for fresh southern Illinois peaches in 2007.
Due to changes in farm population, the Farm Bureau board was realigned into districts for the 2007 elections. They were roughly divided north, central and south, with five directors elected from each district. This reduced the number of board members to 15, the first change in the number of board directors since 1928. The president continues to be elected at large.
To provide a solid funding mechanism for our education programs, the Vermilion County Farm Bureau Foundation was formed. The foundation received is 501(c)(3) designation in November 2007.
The 90th annual meeting was held in 2008. A mortgage burning for the new Center for Agriculture took place.
Windmill projects were being discussed in late 2008. Farm Bureau held a Wind Farm Meeting in January 2009 with 120 people in attendance. A Bureau County farmer familiar with windmill construction and an Illinois Farm Bureau attorney reviewed potential contract language. In addition, IFB staff worked with county officials to offer suggestions for a possible wind farm ordinance.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau introduced its website – www.vcfb.info – in August 2009, allowing full-time access to information about Farm Bureau programs and activities.
Farm Bureau hosted a coal mine lease information meeting at Jamaica High School in June 2010. The consensus of the Farm Bureau Board was to help provide information on lease agreements and general coal mining operations but remain neutral on the proposed Allerton Coal mine.
After a couple of trips to his Chicago-area district, Farm Bureau hosted adopted legislator Sen. Dan Kotowski and his two young sons on a farm visit to the county in August, 2010. The visit included a farm with horses, a conversation with young farmers about getting started in agriculture, and visit to a hog farm.
Kammie Richter, an Oakwood Jr High teacher, was named the Illinois Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year in 2010. She represented the state at the national AITC conference.
Rural crime was again a big issue the spring of 2011. Farmers reporting multiple thefts of equipment and copper due to high scrap prices.
Alan Chesnut, of Ridge Farm, won the IFB Young Leaders Excellence in Ag State Contest in 2011.
A tremendous effort on membership over a two year span allowed Vermilion County to be recognized with the highest membership gain in Illinois for farming “M” members in 2011 (104.91% gain) and third-most total membership gain (102.62%). That was followed with the second-highest member gain for M members in 2012 (105.34%). Membership stood at 5,755 total members in August 2012, including 1,446 farmer members.
To improve the financial condition of Vermilion County, the Farm Bureau board urged a Yes vote in November 2012, which would allow the County Board to sell Vermilion Manor Nursing Home if other alternatives couldn’t be found. The referendum passed 63% - 37%.
In June 2013, Farm Bureau hosted adopted legislator Rep. Dennis Reboletti on a farm visit to Vermilion County.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau donated $1,000 to the Vermilion County Conservation District to assist with the construction of the Environmental Education Center in the fall of 2013.
A joint information meeting with Champaign County was held for Farm Bureau members being contacted by Ameren regarding power line easements in 2013. The meeting provided information about protecting landowner property rights.
Farm Bureau hosted Sen. Mark Kirk and Cong. John Shimkus at a meeting in February 2014. They discussed the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill and other federal issues.
A change to streamline the membership process saw Associate member dues included with Country Mutual insurance policy billings beginning in late 2014.
In 2014, Vermilion County farmers set an average corn yield record of 204 bushels per acre, producing 46,298,000 bushels of corn. Then in 2017, an average soybean record yield of 64.9 bushels per acre produced 13,921,000 bushels of soybeans.
The Young Leaders Committee hosted the Danville Dans for a team visit and dinner on a farm in July 2015. The team has 25-32 college-age ballplayers from across the country. The visit gives players a look at Illinois agriculture and a chance to discuss food production.
The 20th and final Bike Ride for Ag in the Classroom again came through Vermilion County in September 2015. Lunch at Temple Plaza was served to more than 50 bicyclists and volunteers. The group made presentations at four Danville elementary schools.
Due to declining sales, 2016 marked the last fresh citrus order from Florida for Farm Bureau members.
After members began receiving offers to place solar farms on their property, Farm Bureau hosted an information meeting in July 2017 featuring staff from Illinois Farm Bureau familiar with solar projects.
Lynn Rohrscheib, of Fairmount, was named the IFB Young Leaders Achievement Award Winner in 2017.
Vermilion County kicked off their 100th anniversary celebration at the 2017 Annual Meeting. New plat books that included a 1915 plat map and historic farm phots went on sale. Vintage-style gate signs were also made available.
Farm Bureau shared information with members receiving notices from railroads in 2018 regarding maintenance of private crossings.
Vermilion County Farm Bureau ended the 2018 membership year in August with 1,319 farming M members and a total membership of 5,750.
Anniversary activities continued throughout 2018. The Vermilion County Museum set up a year-long historic farm display in June. T-shirts were distributed to 4-H and junior exhibitors at both fairs. A Heritage Farm Tractor Drive took place on August 11, with just over 50 tractors participating. Farm broadcaster Max Armstrong led the tractors on a 30-mile circuit across the central part of Vermilion County, culminating with a lunch at Danville’s Lincoln Park.
Through the years, Vermilion County Farm Bureau has worked to provide farmers the information they need to be more profitable – whether through production practices or marketing efforts. Work has also been done on tax issues, government regulations, transportation issues, protecting property rights and much more. That work continues into the next century of service to the farmers of Vermilion County.
Charles Finley 1918-1919
A.H. Gunder 1920
Charles Finley 1921-1924
George Lenhart 1925-1937
John Evans 1938-1945
Ross Bowers 1946-1951
Merle Jeffers 1952-1956
Richard Graves 1957-1958
Grandin Hunt 1966-1972
Don Baldwin 1973-1977
Elmer Olson 1978-1981
Lloyd Puzey 1982-1983
Willis Bird 1984-1987
Alan Puzey 1987-1992
David Downs 1993-1996
Brian Andrews 1997-2001
Steve Fourez 2002-2006
David Sadler 2007-2014
Dennis Smith 2015-2022
Brian "BJ" DeAth 2023-
Vermilion County Farm Bureau has employed the services of professional management to assist leadership in guiding the organization for the past 100 years. From the beginning of Farm Bureau through 1955, the Farm Advisor served in that capacity. IN 1934, an Organization Director was added to the staff to work on membership recruitment and programs (noted with an *).
USDA ruled in 1954 that Farm Bureau and Extension could not be connected, so staff duties were separated in 1955. Since then, the Farm Bureau manager has had the titles of Secretary of Organization, Manager and today's Executive Director.
Arthur Limbrick 1918-23
Otis Kercher 1923-35
Mark Cooper* 1934-47
Ivan E. Parett 1935-47
Orin W. Hertz 1947-55
Glen W. Burroughs* 1947-56
Edward Moore 1956-57
Ken Cheatham 1957-62
Malcom Rogers, Jr. 1962-64
Herb Waggoner 1965-89
Kerry D. Wienke 1990-
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