farm Bureau

Spring 2013

Dutch Treat
Authentic working windmill honors Fulton’s heritage

SpearS of Spring
Welcome the season with asparagus recipes

DiScover the charm of charleSton

unBriDleD hoSpitality
Equine enthusiasts gallop to horse hotels

this issue at a glance

Banking on Volunteers
I enjoyed the story in the winter edition of Partners on the good work done by the Midwest Food Bank [“The Seasons of Giving,” Winter 2012-13]. It is worth noting that four times a year employees of Illinois Farm Bureau and COUNTRY Financial are among the 1,800 volunteers who box up the food donated to the nearly 700 food pantries.
stacy schiltz Farmer City


3 5 4 1

iPad Winner announCeMent
Michael Matarelli of Dunlap in Peoria County was the winner of an iPad from Illinois Farm Bureau after he recorded his name and email address for the iPad giveaway/email collection contest through an advertisement in the fall edition of Partners magazine. More than 350 people provided their email addresses. Providing email addresses will allow Farm Bureau to keep members abreast of such things as pending legislation and member benefits.


Editor’s note: The Illinois Farm Bureau, which publishes Partners, and COUNTRY Financial, a contributor to the publication, both volunteer for the Midwest Food Bank. write to us

1. 2. 3.

Discover the charm of Charleston page 14 Meet a soybean farm family in Roseville page 18 Experience Mills Farm Horse Bed & Breakfast in Indianola page 8 Spend the night at Sommers Gate Farms in Fayette County page 8 Pick fresh produce at Mill Creek Farms in Quincy page 6 Attend the Pope County FFA Tractor Show in Golconda page 6 Visit De Immigrant Windmill in Fulton page 20

Email us at We welcome any feedback, story ideas, gardening questions or recommendations for our events section.

Notice of Annual Meeting

CountrY Mutual insuranCe CoMPanY





The annual meeting of COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company® members is being held in the Illinois Agricultural Association Building Board Room, 1701 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, Illinois, on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. The purpose of the annual meeting is to receive, consider, and if approved, confirm and ratify the reports of the company’s Board of Directors and officers for the year ended December 31, 2012, and to transact any other business properly brought before the meeting. Twenty members of the Board of Directors will also be elected at the meeting to serve a one-year term. Dated at Bloomington, Illinois, this 16th day of January 2013.
Illinois Farm Bureau


8 unbridled hospitality
Equine enthusiasts gallop to Illinois horse hotels

12 ’round-the-Clock Care
Western Illinois farmer creates ‘maternity ward’ for cows


14 the Charm of Charleston
Agriculture, history and creative culture shine in Eastern Illinois city

20 dutch treat
Authentic working windmill, cultural center celebrate Fulton’s heritage

Every Issue
5 Prairie state PersPeCtiVe
A family garden feeds more than appetites – it feeds the soul

6 alManaC
Take your pick of spring produce at a farm in Quincy

17 CountrY WisdoM
Plan now for post-retirement health-care decisions

18 WatCh us groW
Field moms learn how to grow soybeans from a city girl-turned-farmer

24 reCiPes
Welcome the spears of spring with asparagus recipes

28 gardening
Fertilizer facts help gardeners decide between options

Coles County Courthouse in Charleston
Spring 2013

on the CoVer Photo by Antony Boshier De Immigrant Windmill in Fulton

more online
Watch videos, read stories and browse photos at


VolumE 5, no. 2


farm Bureau

An officiAl mEmbEr publicAtion of thE illinoiS fArm burEAu




Publisher Michael L. Orso editor Dave McClelland associate editor Martin Ross Production Manager Bob Standard Photographic services director Ken Kashian President Philip Nelson Vice President Rich Guebert Jr. executive director of operations, news & Communications Chris Magnuson

Content director Jessy Yancey Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinator Rachel Bertone Contributing Writers Charlyn Fargo, Celeste Huttes, Cathy Lockman, Jessica Mozo, Jan Phipps, Kay Shipman, Joanie Stiers, Lorraine Zenge Creative services director Christina Carden senior graphic designers Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams

maple syrup on tap Every spring, the Funk family harvests maple “sirup” in Shirley. Learn how the trees are tapped and where to buy local syrup at

Creative technology analyst Becca Ary Photography director Jeffrey S. Otto senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord staff Photographers Martin B. Cherry, Michael Conti Web Creative director Allison Davis Web Content Manager John Hood Web designer ii Richard Stevens Web development lead Yamel Hall Web developer i Nels Noseworthy digital Project Manager i Jill Ridenour ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf ad traffic assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan i.t. director Daniel Cantrell accounting Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens County Program Coordinator Kristy Duncan receptionist Linda Bishop Chairman Greg Thurman

ConneCt With us
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WatCh our Videos on YoutuBe ILpartners
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President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman executive Vice President Ray Langen sr. V.P./operations Casey Hester sr. V.P./sales Todd Potter sr. V.P./agribusiness Publishing Kim Holmberg V.P./sales Rhonda Graham V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./external Communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Content operations Natasha Lorens Controller Chris Dudley distribution director Gary Smith Illinois Farm Bureau Partners is produced for the Illinois Farm Bureau by Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (800) 333-8842. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Illinois Farm Bureau Partners (USPS No. 255-380) is issued quarterly by the Illinois Agricultural Association, 1701 Towanda Ave., P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL 61702. Periodicals postage paid at Bloomington, IL 61702 and additional mailing offices. The individual membership fee of the Illinois Agricultural Association includes payment of $3 for a subscription to Illinois Farm Bureau Partners. POSTMASTER: Send change of address notices on Form 3579 to Illinois Farm Bureau Partners, P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL, 61702-2901.
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grow, cook, eat, learn

recipes, tips and food for thought

Please recycle this magazine

Browse spring recipe ideas at
Illinois Farm Bureau

Prairie state PersPeCtiVe
about the author
Joanie Stiers loves to garden in Western Illinois. Even in the third trimester of pregnancy, she would lie down to harvest green beans and pull pigweed.

Food for the Soul
A family garden feeds more than appetite
appetite for fresh fruits and veggies. The garden furnishes When asked to name his favorite food, our 4-year-old inspiration and healing. It serves up a relationship with son says bruschetta. the earth and exposure to the miracle of a seed. It More specifically, he prefers bruschetta homemade provides a means to appreciating the skill, responsibility with our fresh garden tomatoes and basil, served atop and dedication required to produce food. a slice of untoasted French bread. Minus the crust. In the garden, we feel empowered and driven by the My son’s preschool teacher posted get-to-know-you standard of self-sufficiency. Proof lies in my third tidbits about her students in the elementary hallway. trimester of pregnancy with our Under favorite food, classmates first child. I would lie listed pizza, macaroni on my side to harvest veggies and and cheese and even hot wings. The garden feeds my soul pull pigweed. I love the fresh air, From a distance, we heard someone the fresh food and the opportunities read our son’s preference during as much as my family’s to exercise while working. open house night. appetite for fresh fruits and Our frequent garden experiences “Bruschetta?” a man questioned. veggies. The garden furnishes show in soiled fingernails and soilThe teacher reacted with equal inspiration and healing. crusted shoes. Our children surprise when she learned of his witness the care and responsibility favorite food. It serves up a relationship of growing their own food. They Moments like this remind with the earth and exposure grasp work ethic and reward. They me how the family garden weaves to the miracle of a seed. realize potatoes grow underground. through our lives. The garden They develop a sense of the defines more than just what we garden’s rhythm: the pace to till, the depth to plant and eat. It’s a source of passion, pride, work ethic, the knowledge of how often to drop seed in the trench. conversation and connection to our heritage. My family’s Meanwhile, the garden grows into a living work of art. gardening history spans more than a century. Certainly, The soil serves as a canvas, painted with seeds to create I add my own personality to the garden and its harvest. eye-pleasing textures and patterns, including featheryIn fact, an abundant tomato crop prompted an online recipe search. Then, bruschetta became an annual ritual. leafed carrot tops and sprawling, scratchy squash vines. The kids and I snap pictures and place them in a Gardening undoubtedly surfaces as a favorite part garden album. of spring. We leap from cabin fever and act on plans At the end of the day, we sometimes talk about the for enough green beans to eat and can. We anticipate food on our plates. From the porch, we gaze at the plants an onion harvest that lasts 10 months in the basement. we painted across the soil. And we share the garden’s We map out a staggered harvest schedule for extended bounty, even when it cannot grow. At Christmastime, enjoyment of corn on the cob; berries abundant for the kids gift their teachers with home-canned garden eating, baking and jam; and enough tomatoes to preserve goodness adorned with holiday fabric. spaghetti sauce and my son’s beloved bruschetta. Our son gave his preschool teacher a jar of bruschetta. Yet the garden feeds my soul as much as my family’s
Spring 2013



Handpicked Patches
Make your way to Mill Creek Farm in Quincy for a fresh-from-the-garden produce pairing from its strawberry and asparagus patches. Mike, Theresa, John and Wilson Roegge begin to harvest their asparagus in mid-April. They snap off the spears by hand to ensure they’re 100 percent edible with no woody root ends. Visitors to the farm can buy asparagus by the bunch or try some of the farm’s homemade pickled asparagus, asparagus poppers or fresh asparagus guacamole. (Find our asparagus recipes on page 24.) The family-owned operation’s other crop, strawberries, arrives on the scene in late May. Visitors can pick their own strawberries or purchase them pre-picked. The berries don’t always keep up with demand, so call Mill Creek Farm at (217) 222-8430 for daily availability or visit

Illinois Event

Made in Illinois

Terrific Tractors
Head to Main Street in Golconda for the 13th Annual Pope County FFA Antique Tractor Show. Kids and adults alike enjoy fun outdoor activities, such as a pedal race, egg-on-a-stick game and a tractor parade. This family-friendly event showcases an impressive display of antique tractors, each of which receives a plaque of recognition. All tractors, small engines and antique trucks are welcome. The show takes place, rain or shine, on April 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (618) 683-5637 or email 6

Grow a Green Thumb
Take the guesswork out of gardening with help from Illinois Master Gardener Liane Doxey. In her new book, The Garden Journal: The Essentials, Doxey provides a structured log that allows avid gardeners to record important details for gardening success. Those include the bloom cycle of plants, seed germination dates, purchases, planning diagrams and more. Doxey recommends journaling to develop a better understanding of your garden’s soil qualities, strengths and weaknesses. Don’t have much of a green thumb? Not to worry. The author has customized this journal so anyone from novice to Master Gardener will find it helpful. To learn more or buy a copy, visit
Illinois Farm Bureau

Disabilities Take Center Stage
From his wheelchair, a “farmer” shared with a Chicago theater audience the joy of watching the sunset from a combine cab. “No better view than my cab overlooking the pasture,” said farmer Mike, portrayed by Chicago actor Bob Ness, who is a quadriplegic. The audience viewing the play, “Farm Hands,” chuckled when the actor-farmer compared the size of farm equipment he drives to a Chicago cab. They reacted thoughtfully to his comment that farm life might be the answer for some city dwellers’ anxieties. “Most urban people don’t consider what it is like to live in a rural area,” says American Blues Theater director Heather Meyers. “Our major goal (for developing the one-man play) was to tell a story – not to feel sorry, but to consider things they (audience members) don’t personally experience.” Chicago playwright Wendy Whiteside wove memories of her Kansas farmer father, who has polio, and her disabled grandfathers into her play. She also spoke with Christian County farmer R.D. Elder, who uses a wheelchair, and incorporated some of his views into her play. Whiteside also wrote details into her script about AgrAbility Unlimited, a program that helps disabled Illinois farmers and their families. As a gift, she gave AgrAbility the rights to her play, allowing it to receive royalties from future performances. “I want to help out any way I can,” she says. “I hope it raises awareness.” “Farm Hands” debuted in November and will be performed in late spring as part of a play festival in Chicago. Learn more at Learn more about AgrAbility at

Farm Focus

Illinois ranks 11th nationally for sales of all horticultural crops

nursery sector
From potted plants and cut flowers to sod and seedlings, the nursery sector contributes significantly to Illinois’ economy.

The nursery sector provides numerous employment opportunities in some of the larger individual sectors, such as landscaping, lawn and garden stores, nurseries and greenhouses, and florists.

1.96 million: number of u.S. jobs in the environmental horticulture sector

The 2009 Census of Horticultural Specialties counted 21,585 U.S. nursery operations.


$265 million: worth of the Illinois nursery sector $16.6 billion: total u.S. sales of nursery, greenhouse floriculture and sod in 2007
Source: USDA Census of Agriculture

Playwright Wendy Whiteside, left, chats with actor Bob Ness, second from left; Bob Aherin, AgrAbility unlimited project director in Illinois; and Peggy Romba, Illinois Farm Bureau program manager.
Spring 2013

more online
For more farm facts, visit


unbridled Hospitality
Equine enthusiasts gallop to Illinois horse hotels
story by

Celeste Huttes |

photography by

Jeff Adkins

When Debbie and Don Mills traveled to Wyoming to experience the grandeur of Yellowstone National Park with their grandchildren, the inspiration they found extended well beyond the breathtaking scenery.
“When we went out West, we discovered that people go camping with their horses at national parks,” says Debbie Mills, who lives in Indianola in Eastern Illinois. “We discovered horse hotels and learned there weren’t many of them along Route 74. That started a discussion.” The Mills’ 13-year-old grandson, Owen, led the discussion with unbridled enthusiasm. “We started writing a business plan with him,” says Mills. That plan grew legs when the Mills Farm Horse Bed & Breakfast opened in spring 2012 on the family’s 200-acre farm. At the heart of their business, a new horse barn features three Amish-made stalls, a pasture with a paddock, two campsites and a new training arena. “We designed the barn to have lots of air flow and really nice, finished stalls,” says Mills. Dutch doors allow the horses to enjoy a view that includes 30 acres of woods and a pond stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish. Equine guests (and their humans) can also

Visitors traveling with their horses can take advantage of places such as Mills Farm Horse Bed & Breakfast. Don and Debbie Mills and their grandchildren opened the horse hotel in 2012 on their 200-acre farm in Indianola


Illinois Farm Bureau

Spring 2013


above: Sommers Gate Farms accommodates horse owners traveling through Fayette County. The farm also hosts events, such as educational workshops on roping. opposite: Debbie Mills leads a horse into her farm’s new three-stall barn.

explore nearly four miles of riding trails that meander through hills and hollows along the Little Vermilion River. Mills Farm is truly a family business. The Mills’ 8-year-old granddaughter, Tessa, works as a horse trainer, while Owen has taken the reins as manager. “It was all his idea,” Mills says of her grandson. “He’s got big plans.” Still fresh out of the gate, the response to Mills Farm has been promising. Indeed, Illinois’ horse

hotel industry appears to be off and running – and horse lovers couldn’t be happier. One online horse hotel directory lists nearly 20 facilities throughout Illinois. “These places are popping up all over and it’s great – more people are traveling with their pets,” says Lea Sommers, who owns Sommers Gate Farms with her husband, Tom. With two different horse hotels – both conveniently located near Interstate 70 in Fayette County – Sommers Gate Farms offers

something for everyone. The modest-sounding bunkhouse in rural Vandalia serves as a completely updated farmhouse offering all the amenities of home. Equine guests find comfort in a new five-stall barn; for four-legged friends of a more modest size, the bunkhouse offers a large, fenced-in yard. “A lot of horse people have dogs, too,” says Sommers. “Nine times out of 10, dogs are traveling with them.” For those traveling with campers or motor homes, Sommers Gate Farms
Illinois Farm Bureau

looking for barn & board?
Mills Farm Contact: Debbie Mills (217) 247-2830 millsfamilyfarm@ sommers gate Farms Contact: Lea Sommers (618) 593-0999 tomleasomm@ www.sommers Find national listings of horse hotels at or www.horseand


also offers a campsite farm with a three-acre pasture in nearby Bingham. Their guests include those traveling to and from trail rides, clinics, competitions and equestrian schools. One Maryland man stopped while returning from a horse-andHarley Davidson tour of ranches in Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas. “We see a variety of people traveling with horses for whatever reason,” says Sommers. Weary travelers of all species need a comfortable place to rest after long
Spring 2013

days on the road. “After eight to 12 hours in a trailer, a horse needs to get out and stretch its legs,” says Sommers. The quiet, peaceful settings at Mills Farm and Sommers Gate Farms serve as a welcome respite from the road. But beyond the tranquil settings, horse hotels offer peace of mind. “You worry about your horses when you drop them off and then don’t see them until the next morning,” says Sommers, who owns

four horses. “It’s convenient because you’re right there with your horse, and you don’t have to find another place to stay yourself.” Road warriors wild about horses welcome this unique brand of hospitality. “There are a lot of people out there looking for this, and knowing that facilities are available makes it easier to travel with horses,” says Sommers. “Horse hotels give you more opportunities to see the world on horseback.”


Western Illinois farmer creates ‘maternity ward’ for cows
Illinois Farm Bureau


story by

Joanie Stiers

Every two hours of every night from January to April, someone wakes to check expectant mother cows on Jim Kane’s Western Illinois farm.
Even at the wee hour of 2 a.m., Kane or one of his helpers will walk the farm’s three barns. They check cattle for any behavior that indicates an impending birth. An uneventful barn allows Kane or his helper to go back to bed within 15 minutes. An imminent birth keeps them awake to monitor a mother through calving, the name given to the process of cattle giving birth. “We have the amenities to stay the night up there,” Kane says, noting his barn includes an office, bunkhouse, kitchenette and laundry area. “We’re literally sleeping with the animals, it seems like.” Essentially, Kane has created a maternity ward for cattle. The lifelong farmer – Kane owned his first cow in first grade – developed a niche business for other farmers. Called Kane Custom Calving, it offers 24-hour care in a safe, warm and dry indoor environment. The business, near Smithshire, takes in expectant cows to monitor through calving. He then returns a healthy mom and baby to their owners. “It’s nice seeing a guy bring in a load of cattle and two weeks later he takes twice as many home because we had a successful calving,” Kane says. open for business 24/7 Extreme cold, wetness and mud all have supported Kane’s business. He started in 2003 with room for up to 25 cows at a time. Today, Kane’s farm has capacity for 160 expectant mothers simultaneously in three facilities. Those include a circa 1910 barn and two new large hoop buildings. Between 350 and 550 cows give birth on Kane’s farm each calving season. Kane’s business reduces risks related to
Spring 2013

Jim Kane’s calving business helps cattle farmers who have limited indoor space during poor weather or are unable to closely monitor their herd. His barn and large hoop buildings provide a safe, warm place for 24-hour care, which reduces risks that can lead to calving troubles.

the elements, such as weather. These risks can lead to troublesome calving. Kane’s two helpers – his son, John, and local farmer friend, Steve Jack – help provide the care. That care made Brent Lowderman, owner of Carthage Livestock Inc., one of Kane’s loyal clients. Lowderman buys expectant first-calf heifers (female cattle that will birth for the first time). After Kane monitors them through calving, Lowderman sells the healthy mother-calf pairs to farmers. “When you’re dealing with first-calf heifers, they take a lot of watching,” Lowderman says. “I couldn’t watch them 24 hours a day like they do up there.” After the baby’s arrival, Kane and his crew ensure the mother can clean her calf. They also make sure the calf ingests its critical first milk, called colostrum. They mark the calf with an identification tag, or earring, and administer vaccinations. The healthy pair heads home within three days. “There is pride involved,” Kane says. “I’m happy to do it.”


FaCts aBout BaBY CalVes
• Like humans, cows usually have one baby at a time and have a gestational period of nine months. • Baby calves weigh 60 to 100 pounds at birth. • Healthy calves will stand, walk and find milk within an hour of birth. • Beef cattle live on 23 percent of Illinois farms. • About 450,000 calves are born in Illinois annually.
Sources:,, National Agricultural Statistics Service


The Charm of

Agriculture, history and creative culture shine in Eastern Illinois city
storY BY Jessica

Mozo |

PhotograPhY BY Antony


above: Mark and Judy hutti own this home on seventh street. historical buildings throughout Charleston showcase century-old architecture. bottom, from left: lincoln log Cabin state historic site gives visitors a glimpse of 1840s rural life; eastern illinois university houses the greenwood schoolhouse Museum, a restored 19th-century school; hikers enjoy miles of scenic hiking trails at Fox ridge state Park; downtown murals earned Charleston its nickname, the City of Murals.


Illinois Farm Bureau

Many visitors to Charleston first notice its colorful murals. The city has nine murals, many of which depict scenes from history, including Lincoln’s last train ride to Charleston.
You can find the Eastern Illinois city via state Route 16, 10 miles east of Interstate 57. Spend a weekend exploring its late 19th-century architecture, specialty shops and restaurants, and historic attractions. land of lincoln’s parents Though Abraham Lincoln never lived in Coles County, he visited Charleston often to see friends and relatives, including his father and stepmother, Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln. Get a close-up look at their 1840s home at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, an 86-acre living history farm. An accurate reproduction of their cabin stands on the original site, surrounded by a working farm. In 1858, Charleston set the scene for the fourth presidential debate between Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. It took place at the Coles County Fairgrounds, where you’ll find the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum and its interactive exhibits on the debates, children’s area, sculpture courtyard and gift shop. eastern illinois university Stroll the campus of Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and take in its diverse architecture, reflecting a history dating back to 1895. EIU has about 12,000 students and hosts a variety of cultural programs throughout the year at its Doudna Fine Arts Center and the Tarble Arts Center. Sports fans can root for the EIU Panthers at an NCAA Division I athletic event. A number of EIU student-athletes have gone on to the professional ranks, including Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints. fox ridge state park Outdoor lovers shouldn’t miss Fox Ridge State Park, with its 2,000 acres of rolling hills, lush valleys and scenic hiking trails. Located eight miles south of Charleston on State Route 130, Fox Ridge State Park sits along the wooded bluffs of the Embarras River. It offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding and wildlife watching. The state developed the park in the 1930s, but its history dates back to the 1600s. Arrowheads and artifacts have been uncovered in the park, testifying to its early inhabitation by Native Americans including the Piankashaw and Illinois tribes. historic homes It may not look impressive, but the historic Five Mile House situated five miles southeast of Charleston along State Route 130 is one of the oldest remaining structures in Coles County. Built about 1840, the restored home hosts living history events and educational programs. The Queen Anne-style Dudley House, another Charleston landmark, was built in 1892. Now the headquarters of the Coles County Historical Society, the Dudley House illustrates affluent family life in the rural Midwest during the early 20th century.

charleston must-sees
World’s Tallest Abraham Lincoln Statue Five Mile House Charleston Murals Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum Fox Ridge State Park Eastern Illinois University Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site Charleston’s Downtown Square & Courthouse Thomas Lincoln Cemetery McGrady Inn Bed & Breakfast

10 places to eat in charleston
El Rancherito Jackson Avenue Coffee The Original Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop Lincoln Garden Family Restaurant Los Patrillos Pagliai’s Pizza Roc’s Blackfront Restaurant & Lounge Smoky’s House BBQ T. Garden Thai Restaurant What’s Cookin’

Spring 2013


Baked With Love
Customers of What’s Cookin’ in Charleston laud restaurant’s homemade strawberry bread
if you go...
What’s Cookin’ is located at the corner of 7th and Madison streets, one block north of the historic town square. The address is 409 7th St. The restaurant is open Monday through Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact What’s Cookin’ at (217) 345-7427 or visit

You might say the opening of What’s Cookin’ in Charleston started a beautiful relationship – in more ways than one. Owners Bob and Therese Kincade married soon after opening the restaurant together in 1980. Today, the restaurant serves as one of the community’s favorite places to eat. “We love the business because it gives us a chance to make someone happy every day,” Bob Kincade says. “We enjoy our customers, and they like us, so it’s very satisfying.” Many people start their day with the restaurant’s homestyle breakfast, which features omelets, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, and biscuits and gravy. “Our biscuits and gravy are very popular because we make them from scratch,” Kincade says. The owners have been baking What’s Cookin’s homemade strawberry bread from a family recipe since they opened 33 years ago. Many customers order it warm, topped with butter or ice cream. The Kincades sell it by the slice or by the loaf in the restaurant and on their website.

“We sell quite a few loaves each week, and it’s especially popular around Christmastime,” Kincade says. The restaurant bakes a variety of fresh muffins daily as well, including lemon poppyseed, blueberry, cream cheese, cranberry orange, chocolate chip and banana walnut. Lunch and dinner specialties include homemade soups, nachos, salads, burgers, wraps, hot and cold sandwiches, and the highly popular quesadilla. “Our quesadilla entree is really tasty,” Kincade says. “It’s a big flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, sautéed onions, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and lettuce, topped with sour cream.” Besides its menu, What’s Cookin’s warm, inviting atmosphere also draws people in. “Our employees are like family,” Kincade says. “One woman has been working for us for 27 years. Many others have been with us 15 years or more. And one of our managers started working for us when she was a junior in high school.”
Illinois Farm Bureau


CountrY ® WisdoM
about the author
Lorraine Zenge, ChFC, is a senior advanced planner for COUNTRY Financial. Visit COUNTRY on the web at

Plan Now, Save Later
Health care decisions affect financial fitness in retirement
Simple ways to maintain your health in retirement Maintenance Organization or Preferred Provider Organization, to provide similar benefits to Medicare include eating right, exercising daily and seeing your Part A and Part B coverage. doctor regularly. Developing a plan for making You also need to decide whether you will opt into the health care decisions in retirement can also ensure Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan. Finally, you stay financially fit. Follow this simple checklist you should consider whether you need a Medigap plan, to get you started: which fills in some of the gaps in Medicare coverage. First of all, see what employers have to offer. If you Visit the government website, plan to leave work before age 65, for helpful when you will be eligible for information about choosing your Medicare, keeping affordable Developing a plan for making coverage and the deadlines for health care coverage is critical. health care decisions in obtaining coverage. Learn the coverage available from Also, consider long-term care your employer when you retire. retirement can also ensure coverage. The need for long-term Do this regardless of when you’ll you stay financially fit. care may arise at any age, though be retiring, as many employers likelier for older adults. Many require you to be part of their people think that Medicare will pay for long-term care, group plan for a minimum number of years in order to but it pays for skilled nursing care only for a short amount continue the coverage through retirement. Find out about of time and under very limited circumstances. However, your spouse’s plan, too, so you can determine which plan if you suffer a major health crisis, it could quickly become best fits your needs – and pocketbook. an unplanned drain on your finances. If you have not Secondly, weigh your Medicare options. As you already purchased long-term care coverage, see your approach your Medicare eligibility age of 65, consider financial adviser about your options. the many choices you have for coverage in the Medicare Finally, execute an advanced health care directive. system. You will need to choose between Original While an advanced health care directive does not serve Medicare and the Medicare Advantage Program. Under truly a financial matter affecting health care, retirees Original Medicare, you can choose either Part A or Part often overlook this necessary item. You should execute B. Part A, available at no charge, covers hospital stays, these documents so someone can act on your behalf if limited care in a skilled care nursing facility, hospice care you become disabled. Having these documents can and some home health care. Part B, available for a reduce stress on your family in a difficult time. monthly premium, covers doctor visits, outpatient care, Remember, it’s never too early to plan. Even if medical supplies and preventive services. You or your retirement is years away, start the planning process for supplement plan pay any deductible or coinsurance. these important decisions. They are crucial to your The Medicare Advantage Program is a Medicare plan financial fitness and your health in retirement. offered by a private company, such as a Health
Spring 2013


WatCh us groW

soybeans in the suburbs
Field moms learn to grow this crop from a city girl-turned-farmer
story by photography by

Joanie Stiers Jeff Adkins

As a child, Deb Moore retrieved balls from the cornfield near her suburban Chicago school. The playtime represented her only encounter with farming. That is, until she married a farmer she met while attending Western Illinois university in Macomb.


Illinois Farm Bureau

farming for charity
The nine Chicago-area moms chosen as “field moms” tried their hand at growing soybeans in 2012. They planted them in pots in their suburban backyards. In addition, farmers Ron and Deb Moore dedicated one acre of soybeans on their farm as the “Field Moms’ Acre.” Most of the suburban soybeans did not survive the drought. The field moms learned valuable lessons, sharing that this marked the first time they had thought about farmers during a hot, dry summer. (The 2012 drought was the worst in nearly 25 years.) In the fall, the Moores harvested the Field Moms’ Acre. The field moms donated the profits – about $300 – to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.

In 2012, Ron and Deb Moore, who farm near Roseville, taught visiting suburban moms about the uses of soybeans and how to grow the row crop.

Today, she grows corn and soybeans on 2,000 acres with her husband, Ron, and his brother, Larry. She and Ron also raise 250 beef calves annually. And the farm family invites Chicago-area moms to share their experiences. “The field moms (see box at right) this year apologized several times for not knowing anything about agriculture,” Moore says. “I had to remind them that I didn’t know anything either growing up in the suburbs.” Yet she surprises most in farm country. Deb and Ron share a lengthy list of volunteer activities for the agriculture industry. In fact, Deb testified at a hearing for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. In recent years, Ron served as president of the state’s soybean association. So it seemed appropriate for Ron and Deb to take a soybean project to the suburbs. The field moms planted soybeans in their suburban backyards. Meanwhile, the Moores planted the same seeds on their farm in Western Illinois. Called the Field Moms’ Acre, the plot included 150,000 seed in 13 rows a quarter-mile long. The Moores shared videos, photos and notes of the crop’s progress, which can be
Spring 2013

found in the Field Moms’ Acre section of The field moms traveled downstate in summer 2012 to view their acre, the produce from which benefited charity. The moms also toured the family’s farm, where they learned most of its soybeans are exported to foreign countries for use as animal feed and soybean oil for human consumption. The Moores live on the same farmstead where Ron grew up near Roseville, located between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. They raised three sons there, Steve and twins Mike and Brian. In 2013, the family will apply for the state’s Centennial Farm designation. The Moore family has continually operated one of the farms for 100 years. “Preserving the land and taking care of what we’ve been blessed to manage has been our philosophy,” Ron says. The lifelong, third-generation farmer lovingly welcomed Deb to the farm when they married in 1980. Deb laughs that the farm’s tractors then needed a “student driver” sign mounted atop the cab, but Ron says she adapted well. In fact, she helps plant fields such as those from her childhood memories.

2013 field moms
Illinois Farm Families recruited a new class of field moms for 2013. They’ll visit six farms that grow and raise a variety of food crops and livestock. Follow them and learn about hot topics in food production and safety by visiting

illinois farm families
We are Illinois farmers who support Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Beef Association and Illinois Farm Bureau through farmer membership and checkoff programs. We are committed to having conversations with consumers, answering their questions and sharing what really happens on today’s family farms. More than 94 percent of Illinois farms are family owned and operated. We are passionate about showing consumers how we grow safe, healthy food for their families and ours.


Dutch Treat
Authentic working windmill, cultural center celebrate Fulton’s heritage
Illinois Farm Bureau

story by Cathy Lockman photography by Antony


More than 4,000 miles separate the Netherlands and Northwestern Illinois, but the community of Fulton shares many Dutch traditions – and some similar landmarks.
For one, a 100-foot wooden windmill dominates its riverfront. Known as de Immigrant Windmill, it serves as both a testament to the town’s heritage and the pride of its residents. This heritage dates back to the mid1800s, when families arrived in Fulton from the Netherlands. In 1872, nearly 60 Dutch families lived in the town. Less than two decades later, that number had grown to nearly 200 families, almost all of whom were members of the Dutch Reformed Church. Many of the 3,400 people in Fulton today descended from the original Dutch immigrants. One of those proud descendants, lifelong Fulton resident Judy Holesinger, has volunteered at the windmill for the past decade. A retired physics teacher, Holesinger works as one of 22 volunteer millers who have responsibilities for the daily operation of the windmill. “There are manual tasks, and there are docent responsibilities,” says Holesinger. She explains that the manual tasks of a miller include securing the safety features, working the braking system, checking wind velocity and direction, and turning the cap into the wind. It also means maintaining the lubrication of the mill’s all-wooden gears, using
An authentic replica of an 1800s windmill honors Fulton’s Dutch heritage.
Spring 2013


if you go...
De Immigrant Windmill is open on weekends in May and every day from June through October. The Windmill Cultural Center, located adjacent to the windmill, has the same hours of operation. The center hosts a variety of educational programs for children and adults throughout the year. Admission to both the windmill and the center are free; donations are suggested. For more information on these two Fulton attractions, as well as Heritage Canyon, a 12-acre nature walk that takes visitors back to the 1800s, visit

all-natural products – such as sheep’s fat, pork fat and beeswax – to protect the wood and maintain the authenticity of the process. Millers also bag the flour ground at the fully operational windmill. Depending on the wind, that can mean more than 200 pounds of flour each day. In addition to that work, volunteer millers explain the workings of the mill, as well as its history, to the more than 10,000 visitors who tour the landmark each year. Despite its Old-World look, the windmill has been in Fulton only since 2000. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t authentic. In fact, it was manufactured in the Netherlands, shipped to Fulton, and then assembled by Dutch craftsmen who traveled to Fulton specifically for that purpose.

winds of exchange At nearly 10 stories tall, de Immigrant Windmill may be the most obvious sign of Fulton’s Dutch heritage, but the town also celebrates its past in other ways. Heather Bennett, director of tourism for the City of Fulton, explains that the city’s newest addition, the Windmill Cultural Center, provides an educational complement to the windmill. Dedicated in April 2010, it houses a collection of European windmill replicas donated by Henk and June Hielema, Dutch immigrants from DeMotte, Ind. “Mr. Hielema came to visit our windmill in 2008,” says Bennett. “He fell in love with the passion of our volunteers and felt that the collection

he had built would have a good home in Fulton.” With the Hielemas’ collection, the community’s enthusiasm and a grant from the state, the Windmill Cultural Center was established. It offers visitors a chance to see smallscale replicas of windmills from 10 different countries and to learn more about the cultural impact of windmills from the displays as well as activities, video presentations and special exhibits. That emphasis on education and culture, Holesinger says, creates value for visitors and residents alike. “We encourage cultural exchange,” she says. “We’ve had Dutch millers come to Fulton, and our millers visit other mills. I’ve been to the Netherlands, and this year I visited Irish mills.”
Illinois Farm Bureau

Those opportunities help educate the millers, who in turn educate the public, including establishing curriculum for teaching school groups and future volunteer millers. “We have a Millers Club for young people ages 9 to 16. We have a workshop in the summer and meet monthly to encourage their interest.” Holesinger notes. She says the avenue allows them to pursue their interests, to learn about geography, as well as the mechanics and cultural aspects of the mill, and to meet people from across the world. It also carries on the proud Dutch tradition of the Fulton community.
Ed Kolk, above, and other volunteer millers maintain the windmill. Their tasks range from bagging the freshly ground flour to serving as tour guides.
Spring 2013

feeling festive in fulton
What started as a small celebration with a Dutch dinner and makeshift Dutch costumes has become a popular celebration in this small town along the Mississippi River in Northwestern Illinois. Celebrating its 38th year, the two-day festival known as Dutch Days takes place the first weekend of May in Fulton. The Dutch dinner of spiced roast beef, potato dishes, carrots, cabbage and Dutch pastries serves as a key element of the celebration, as does the parade that began the second year. Barb Mask, the daughter of Dutch immigrants, has been a member of the Dutch Days committee almost since its inception. She says the event gives attendees the opportunity to enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities. It also highlights area attractions, such as de Immigrant Windmill, the Windmill Cultural Center and nearby Heritage Canyon, where volunteers take visitors back in time by demonstrating early American crafts such as candle making and broom making. In addition to the parade and dinner, Dutch Days features nearly 100 arts and crafts vendors, musical programs and Dutch dancing, a tractor show and an area for children, complete with petting zoo, train and pony rides, and various games and activities. “This is an opportunity for us to celebrate our Dutch heritage and share it with others,” says Mask.


more online
Find more asparagus recipes, such as Asparagus, Spinach and White Cheddar Frittata, Farmers’ Market Stir-Fry and Herb Pasta Primavera, online at asparagus.

Warm Asparagus Salad


Illinois Farm Bureau

of Spring
Welcome the season with recipes for this versatile vegetable
Charlyn Fargo food styling by Mary Carter photography by Jeffrey S. Otto
story recipes by

spears as is, or peel the skin (with a potato peeler) to make the stalks more tender. When I was growing up, we had a huge asparagus patch that required daily harvesting – one of my jobs growing up on the farm. My mother would serve fresh asparagus over toast with melted cheese on top. Another easy recipe comes from my friend, Elizabeth. She trims the ends, places the asparagus spears in a cast-iron skillet, barely covering the spears with water, adds chopped onion and cooks until tender. Then she drizzles the stalks with a little bit of butter, a little lemon juice, salt and pepper. Asparagus can be broiled, steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed. Whether you enjoy your asparagus simply or a bit more upscale, this delicious, nutritious and versatile vegetable can inspire weekly meals. Turn the page for a few recipes to get you started this spring.


For most of the country, prime asparagus season begins in April, when you can find fresh asparagus, big and round or small and thin. Peak season in Illinois lasts through late June.
Why take advantage of this seasonal vegetable? For one, asparagus serves as an excellent source of fiber, folate and potassium. It also contains bone-building vitamin K, along with many antioxidants, including vitamins E, A and C. In fact, each spear of asparagus has just four calories and no fat or cholesterol. Asparagus varieties include green, white or purple, with green the most common. When shopping, choose bright green asparagus stalks with purple-tinged tops. Look for stalks that have smooth skin, uniform color and a dry, compact tip. Avoid wilted or limp stalks, as shriveled stalks signify age. To store asparagus, wrap the stem ends in damp paper towels for several days. To extend the life, refrigerate stalks, tips up, in a cup of shallow water. To prepare, trim the woody ends from the asparagus spears. You can cook the
Spring 2013

about the author
4-H helped Charlyn Fargo get her start in food. Her love for the culinary arts helped her land a job as food editor of the State JournalRegister, a daily paper in Springfield, and eventually a master’s degree in nutrition. Now a registered dietitian, she teaches nutrition and baking at Lincoln Land Community College and consults as a dietitian.


Asparagus Pizza Bianca
Basic Pizza dough 2 teaspoons (1 package) yeast 1 1 4 1 1 teaspoon sugar cup hot water (105 degrees) cups bread flour teaspoon salt tablespoon olive oil

Pizza 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 3 1 1 cloves garlic, minced bunch thin asparagus (about 1 pound) handful small, fresh sage leaves or rosemary salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste - cup (about 3.5 ounces) mozzarella cheese cup Parmesan cheese 1. To make the dough, put the yeast and the sugar in

sticky. Shape into a ball. Put in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. When ready, uncover the dough, punch out the air, then divide and shape into two balls. Let rise again if time permits, or roll out into a 12-inch circle. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put dough directly on baking parchment or a pizza pan. (Use other ball for another pizza or freeze for later use.) Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. For the pizza, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and

garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Trim asparagus spears to about 6 inches long. Slice

thicker spears in half lengthwise. Toss in a bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, sage or rosemary leaves, salt and pepper.
4. Brush dough with garlic-oil mixture. Spread

the warm water in a cup. Stir and let rest until frothy. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture, and stir in olive oil. Mix together, then turn out on a floured surface. Knead briskly for 5-10 minutes until smooth, shiny and elastic. Dough will be slightly

mozzarella over dough. Arrange asparagus in a circular pattern on the dough with the tips facing out. Top with Parmesan and remaining sage.
5. Return pizza to 400-degree oven and bake on lower

rack (or on grill) until cheese is melted and asparagus begins to brown.


Illinois Farm Bureau

Warm Asparagus Salad
homemade Breadcrumbs cup day-old garlic bread or French bread, sliced 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved 1 tablespoon unsalted butter asparagus salad 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 small onion, finely chopped teaspoon salt teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup water 1 pounds asparagus 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shaved 1. To make homemade breadcrumbs, preheat

Lightened up Cream of Asparagus Soup
3 cups (about 1 pound) asparagus, sliced into -inch pieces* cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth teaspoon fresh thyme, divided 1 1 1 2 2 bay leaf garlic clove, crushed tablespoon all-purpose flour cups skim milk dash of nutmeg (freshly ground is best) teaspoons unsalted butter teaspoon salt teaspoon grated lemon rind *If desired, reserve a few spears for garnish. 2

oven to 375 degrees. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until toasted. If using French bread, toast as above, then rub cut sides of garlic over one side of each bread slice. Place bread slices in a food processor; pulse 10 times, or until bread is coarsely ground. Arrange breadcrumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer breadcrumbs to a large bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat,

melt butter. Cook 1-2 minutes or until the butter is lightly browned; remove from heat. Drizzle butter over toasted breadcrumbs; toss well to coat.
3. For the salad, combine the vinegar, oil, lemon

rind, lemon juice and onion in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in salt and pepper.
4. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large skillet.

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the asparagus, broth, ½ teaspoon thyme, bay leaf and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. 2. Place asparagus mixture in a blender and process in

Snap off or cut tough ends of asparagus; add asparagus to pan. Cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Place asparagus on a serving platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette; top with breadcrumb mixture. Garnish with Parmesan. Serve immediately. Yields 6 servings
tiP: You can use store-bought breadcrumbs

batches until smooth.
3. Add the flour to the saucepan. Gradually add milk,

instead of making your own.

stirring with a whisk until blended. Add pureed asparagus and ground nutmeg; stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat, and stir in ¼ teaspoon thyme, butter, salt and lemon rind.
4. Just before serving, garnish with a few fresh sprigs

of asparagus and additional lemon rind. Yields 4 servings of 1 cup each
Spring 2013



organic or Synthetic?
Fertilizer facts help gardeners decide which to use on their plants

Flowering plants can limp along without fertilizer, but to produce a good color display, they need to be fed. Will you use organic or synthetic? What are the advantages and drawbacks for each? Which is what? How do you tell? Read on for a quick overview.
about the author
Jan Phipps is a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. She farms, gardens, writes and podcasts near Chrisman.

First, plants can’t tell the difference between organic and nonorganic fertilizer. Nitrogen is nitrogen, no matter its source. Actually, nitrogen, an element, cannot be synthetic. Manufactured actually serves as a better description, but most gardeners know the word “synthetic.” The label will tell you a lot. Organic fertilizers base the ingredients on plants or animals (manure, seaweed or fish).

However, if reading the label gives you flashbacks to high school chemistry class, then you’re looking at a synthetic fertilizer. Both organic and synthetic fertilizers work, but they feed the plants in different ways. Slow-feeding organic fertilizer becomes available based on heat. As summer warms up, it kicks into gear. You actually feed the soil organisms, which then feed the plants. They rarely burn and help instead of harm
Illinois Farm Bureau


ask an expert
Is spring the best time to transplant peonies?


the beneficial organisms present in soil. Most will improve the soil tilth (tillage). The package will be labeled with word “organic” – but note that “all natural” does not mean the same thing. Water activates quick-feeding inorganic fertilizers. If applied wrong, they can burn the plant and harm the soil bacteria (the good guys), so always read and follow the directions. Synthetic fertilizers usually cost less. Turf fertilizers also affect blade growth differently. Organic fertilizers promote the development of short, strong cell walls. Strong, thick blades lead to more photosynthesis, which leads to more energy for the roots. This leads to a deeper root mass, which means a healthy lawn needing less water and fewer mowings. Wide, thick blades shade the soil,
Spring 2013

leaving weed seeds to struggle. Synthetic fertilizers make the blades grow by elongating the cell walls, which results in taller, faster-growing blades – a disadvantage if you dislike mowing. However, you may consider this a benefit if you depend on grass clippings for mulch and/or a nitrogen-rich compost amendment. Over time, synthetics can add salt to your lawn, killing beneficial microbes and dehydrating the air spaces needed for good root growth. This increases the need for water, which activates the fertilizer, causing it to be used up faster. Extra watering can lead to nitrogen-rich runoff that can pollute our streams, rivers and eventually lakes and oceans. Organic or synthetic? You get to choose.

No. Transplant peonies in the fall, when the “eyes” are an inch or two below the surface.

What are some good fillers for the bottom of big containers?



You will have a better container by using the same potting medium throughout. Water doesn’t move well between different textures. Also, roots like to grow downward. More space below the soil means a bigger display above.
Email your gardening questions to Jan at


Rachel Green / Cumberland COunty If Barns could talk


Illinois Farm Bureau Photo Contest for Members

Brenda Fesser / Montgomery County

Connie Hieronymus / De Witt County

Christine Blair / Jo Daviess COunty Country Roads


Diane Singler/ Montgomery County Growing Places

Jessica Doub / Macon COunty Farm Friends

Sheryl Slightom / Macoupin County Country Roads

Paul Riewerts / Rock Island COunty Growing Places

Joshua Feldhaus / OGLE County Farm Friends

To view all entries from this year’s contest, visit Ken Kashian’s Photo Gallery at

The Halsey Round Barn sits on Route 130 in Eastern Illinois’ Coles County.

Spring 2013


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