Four years ago, the Plano School District Board of Education approved an agreement with the Kendall County Farm Bureau for using the field west of Plano High School to plant crops.
The agreement allows the bureau to farm the land, sell the crops and use the profits for the district’s Ag in the Classroom classes and donate the remainder to the Kendall County Community Food Pantry.
Superintendent Tony Baker told school board members Feb. 4 that Dan Reedy will retire this month as the manager of the Kendall County Farm Bureau after 37 years, which means the bureau’s downtown Yorkville office will close.
Baker said this will result in the Kendall Bureau merging with the Grundy Country Farm Bureau, but an agreement Kendall has with the school district will not be affected, Baker said.
He said this past year’s bean crop that was planted, cultivated and harvested by the bureau’s Young Leaders yielded 576 bushels of beans, which were sold for $4,574 or $7.94 per bushel.
Last year, they ended up with $5,758 profit from a corn crop, Baker said.
Baker told board members that this year he, along with Young Leaders representatives Kurt Schobert and Eric Thorson, recommended $2,000 would go to the Ag in the Classroom program for second- and fourth-graders; $2,000 for the Kendall County Community Food Pantry; and the $500 balance to bring students from middle or high school to the Farm Progress Show near Decatur on Aug. 27-29.
In the memo to the board, Baker said the Progress Show will provide the students with a way to keep up with the newest ag equipment, products, services and technologies. Demonstrations and seminars about agricultural careers are provided for the students as well, he said.
The Farm Lease Agreement was continued for a fourth year by the board from Feb. 1 of this year through Jan. 31, 2020.
Baker said this will give the Young Leader Groups time to prepare the land for the 2019 growing season.
Board president Tim Campbell noted that Superintendent Dr. Hector Garcia spent an afternoon in the combine harvesting the crops before he left Plano last year for another school district.
Campbell said he hopes to see Superintendent Tony Baker “dressed in his best outfit” hop into the combine next fall to help with the harvest as Garcia did.
Baker noted that during his high school years he grew up in Rushville, a rural community in west central Illinois.
“I did not live on a farm, but was close to several families that did farm in that area. During the summer months during my teenage years, I worked for area farmers walking bean fields, detasseling corn, and baling hay and straw,” he said.
Baker said he is looking forward to climbing into the combine to help with the next crop.