Illinois Corn Growers Association

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Conservation and environmental efforts of farmers and advocates were recognized at the Illinois Corn Growers Association annual meeting Nov. 26.

Matt Boucher, of Dwight, Illinois, who owns and operates a fourth-generation family farm that grows corn, soybean, wheat and cover crops, was recognized for his environmental work.

“Matt is dedicated to preserving his farm for future generations and it is evident by the actions he takes on his operation,” said Ted Mottaz, immediate past president. “He also is not hesitant to share what he is doing with the public.”

Boucher is active on social media and works closely with the Illinois Farm Families projects. He has written several blog posts for the site which encourages conversations with the public about how farming works.

While concerned about the public’s perception of farming, he also wants to help other farmers succeed with their conservation efforts. A division of the family farm is called Potential Ag. Through this service, Boucher provides farmers with seeds, cover crop information and precision planting equipment, according to the ICGA.

According to his farm’s media page, even during a challenging year like 2019, Boucher make a point to make planting cover crops a priority.

Boucher was not able to accept the award in person because he was still active in harvest the week of Thanksgiving.

At the same meeting, Jim Robbins of Peotone, Illinois, was presented with a World of Corn Award for his contributions to the corn industry.

“Jim Robbins has given a lot of his time to this organization representing Illinois corn farmers locally and across the world. He deserves to be recognized for his dedication to the industry,” Mottaz said.

Robbins has served the ICGA in various capacities, was on the National Corn Growers Association Research and Development Action Team in 2007, is interested in global markets, has hosted international visitors to his farm and travelled internationally to investigate new opportunities.

He is also conservation minded, implementing practices that help protect his farm’s soil while increasing outputs. The practices include no-till soybeans and strip tilling corn. His farm received the northeastern Soil and Water District Farm Family Conservation award.

Bill Leigh, a farmer from Minonk, Illinois, was elected 2019-20 Illinois Corn Growers Association president.

Leigh has served on the ICGA board for six years. Joining Leigh in leadership roles are Randy DeSutter of Woodhull, vice president; Matt Rush of Fairfield, treasurer; and Keith Sanders of Vandalia, secretary.

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Phyllis Coulter is Northern Illinois field editor, writing for Illinois Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Missouri Farmer Today.