The McLean County Chamber of Commerce honored the best in 2017 McLean County agriculture at the 2017 McLean County Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Awards Dinner. The event was held at the Holiday Inn & Suites Bloomington-Airport.
The event culminated with the presentation of six awards:
- The Outstanding Conservationist Award recognizes a person who has helped to advance the knowledge and practice of soil and water conservation. This award is considered by the McLean County Soil and Water Conservation District.
- The Outstanding Young Farmer Award recognizes a young farmer 40 and under who has been actively involved in civic and community affairs in an effort to promote and improve agriculture. This award is considered by the Ag Council.
- The McLean County Farmer of the Year Award recognizes a farmer who has been actively involved in civic and community affairs in an effort to promote and improve agriculture. This award is considered by the McLean County Farm Bureau. This award is considered by the McLean County Farm Bureau.
- The Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award recognizes an individual from the McLean County area for contributions to the cause of agriculture in our community.
- The Outstanding Person in Agribusiness Award recognizes a business person who has served to improve agriculture through civic and community activities.
- The Emerging Leader in Agriculture Award recognizes a young professional. high school, or college student engaged in non-production agriculture who has served to improve agriculture through civic and community activities.
The award winners were:
- The Outstanding Conservationist Award: Bruce Thomas has been the Treasurer of Pheasants Forever in McLean County since 1989, and has been inducted into the Illinois Pheasants Forever Hall of Fame for his efforts. Bruce has a long history of conservation efforts in McLean County.
- The Outstanding Young Farmer Award: Tom King grew up farming in McLean County, and continues today at King Farms. Tom has previously served on the McLean County Extension Board and currently sits on the Farm Bureau Advisory Board, as well as supporting McLean County Ag In The Classroom.
- The McLean County Farmer of the Year Award: Roger Stoller farms in McLean County with his son and neighbor, with soil conservation always being a priority. Roger is active in his community, as well as with his church, and always works to be on the cutting edge of technology.
- The Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award: Kevin Daugherty, his wife, and three children live in LeRoy, where he gives his time back to the community. Kevin has served as School Board President of the LeRoy school district, is involved with his church and through Habitat for Humanity, and has been involved in Ag In The Classroom for many years.
- The Outstanding Person in Agribusiness Award: Rob Williamson, along with his family, have specialized in farm drainage, water way construction, CRP establishment, tree transplanting, and more for many years. Rob is conservation focused, and has become known for donating time, money, and materials to Heyworth School Districts.
- The Emerging Leader in Agriculture Award: Eric Vanasdale gives his time back to his community, both with his role at Country Financial and his work educating his peers with drone technology. Eric has become known for his knowledge, energy, and passion in leading the way forward in ag technology.