A century ago
here in Champaign County
a small group of farmers assembled
America, this is
where freedom of assembly
is a law of the land

Farmers and their land
a communion of sorts
people combing and brushing
seeding, tending and harvesting
soil, intellect, and labor combining
to grow the things that feed us

Ideas passed among them
How to do this better?
What do we need to…?
I think WE can change this!

Man faces here
some on their own
others pushed forward by spouses
together, an association was birthed
The “Illinois Farmers Institute”

Dekalb County, Kankakee County,
and Champaign County caught the scent
June, 1912, the words ‘Farm Bureau’ appeared
in an add, The Urbana Daily Courier.

The catalog company, Sears Roebuck,
sent a thousand dollars
Seed money, in need of match,
to hire a special person
a crop and soil expert
to help the local farmers

Two hundred and fifty people
mostly farmers
put their dollars on the line
the rest, we say, is history!

Today some ten thousand county people
have put their names on a line
and joined Champaign County Farm Bureau
each a part of gatherings
for services wanted, met
through the hands and arms of people

Fertilizer, chemicals, seeds,
information gatherings, socials,
through the pain of the Great Depression
people saw the need to gather
combine their knowledge, come together,
forming companies.

Country Life, insurance company,
a creamery association
and a ‘service company’
to bring to farms the gas and oil they needed.
Illini Electric Cooperative, and Production Credit,
and Grain Association
ten companies, all together
moving progress forward
through the worst of times
into the best of times

This year marks one hundred years of gatherings
to bring soil, intellect and labor together
Now we pause, remembering, rededicating
to keep it going
make it even better
this day and tomorrow

Happy One Hundredth Birthday
Champaign County Farm Bureau!

Lin, 1/2012