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  • Farmer turns to cover crops to improve soil
    For the first time in his farming career, Brian Niemann was unable to plant crops on all of the land he operates in Montgomery County. “I’ve never had this problem and my father has never had this problem, but this year I did not plant 160 acres,” Niemann said. 
  • Fisherman combines hobby with taxidermy
    Terry Page has been a fisherman almost his entire life. “My dad was a fisherman, and he built rods for a hobby,” said Page, who is a retired industrial arts teacher. Page caught his first fish when he was only 3 years old. 
  • Access to markets benefits farmers
    Access to markets, productive soils and byproduct feed availability are benefits enjoyed by Macon County farmers. “The No. 1 benefit for buying land in Macon County is our location to processors,” said Chase Brown, who farms near Warrensburg on the western edge of the county. 
  • Museum documents history of Macon County
    Visitors to the Macon County History Museum can tour the first courthouse in the county where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. “This courthouse was where Lincoln did at least five court cases and possibly seven,” said Nathan Pierce, museum director. 
  • Farmers add fighting floods to résumés
    If he didn’t farm Illinois River bottomland in Scott County, “I’d be at the coffee shop drinking coffee right now,” Randy Dolan jokes. 
  • Bee Well plants seed for healthy food choices
    When two surveys came out last year that painted a negative picture of the health of Edgar County residents, a partnership was quickly formed to turn the tide. The Bee Well Coalition of Edgar County is in its first year of providing vegetable gardens and teaching residents gardening. 
  • Cousins return to family farm roots with niche
    Every youngster has dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. For Brian Lau, those aspirations ranged from managing a state park to working at a zoo or being a veterinarian. 
  • Randolph County steeped in history
    It is not a stretch to say that Illinois was born in Randolph County. The tiny village of Kaskaskia — with a population under 20 — predates white European settlers. Named after a Native American clan, it was populated by Jesuit missionaries in 1703. Later, it became the site of a French fort. 
  • Married to farm and to each other
    Glenn and Carol Meyer recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on their farm. The party involved having some friends over for pizza. That low-key affair is typical of the genial couple, who have seen a lot of changes through the years, but seem to take everything in stride. 
  • Pumpkin festival draws thousands to Morton
    The Morton Pumpkin Festival originally was created around the celebration of pumpkin harvest and has developed into a homecoming for the community. 



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