America’s future leaders have just gotten an education in farming in Western Illinois. The Farm Trek was put together by T.J. Menn, a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He took his classmates on a tour involving an Amish farm, a 500-acre family farm, a big corn and soybean operation, a dairy farm, a hog farm, seed research facilities and John Deere headquarters. He says they were impressed by the technology.
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“The students could see how the technology was being implemented, how they could look at square-foot parcels of the field and determine how much fertilizer they were going to apply, based upon last year’s results or on soil samples,” he said.
He said some of the students were stunned by the high cost of some of the latest and greatest farm equipment.
They heard from politicians in Galesburg and the Illinois Farm Bureau in Blandinsville. The trek also included a visit to Dadant & Sons beekeeping equipment in Hamilton, and a livestock auction in Rushville.
Menn, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., is from Carthage. He says most of the students were not from the Midwest and had little understanding of farming. His intent was that these graduates will go on into political and policy-making positions, and they should have some first-hand knowledge of farm activities and the business of agriculture.