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SprIng 2011 ® iLLinois farm Bureau
SprIng 2011
®
iLLinois
farm Bureau

A quArterly MAgAzIne for MeMberS

GLazed Pork medaLLions

Going With the

Flow

Funk family tradition brings ‘sirup’ from tree to tabletop

PainT The Town

Murals add character to cities across Illinois

The Life CyCLe of a Corn PLanT

letteRS

wRIte to uSletteRS E-mail us at ilfbpartners@ jnlcom.com. We welcome any feedback, ideas, gardening questions or requests to

E-mail us at ilfbpartners@ jnlcom.com. We welcome any feedback, ideas, gardening questions or requests to become our featured reader.

2

questions or requests to become our featured reader. 2 Ready to Bake I enjoyed Charlyn Fargo’s

Ready to Bake

I enjoyed Charlyn Fargo’s article in

Illinois Farm Bureau Partners [“Kneads & Wants,” Winter 2010-11]. My wife and I enjoy holiday baking when we can find the time and found her recipes interesting and very tempting to try. I enjoy making bread and rolls, and find it a great stress reliever.

Bill Million

Champaign, Ill.

I made Mary’s Dark Bread tonight. It has

a wonderful flavor. It’s too sweet to be used as sandwich bread (in my humble opinion), but it is wonderful with butter on it.

Julie Burt via ilfbpartners.com

I let Mary’s Dark Bread rise (proof) after

shaping and before baking. It turned out really well with this addition.

linda via ilfbpartners.com

I love this recipe for Cinnamon-

Cranberry Granola! I do sometimes leave out the pecans and add sliced almonds.

Sylvia Crouch via ilfbpartners.com

Editor’s note: Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions on our recipes. Keep them coming! Your notes and substitutions could help out another home cook.

Sew MuCh Fun

I just had to say how much I enjoyed

reading this article [“The Fabric of Her Life,” Winter 2010-11]. I have been a fiber artist since the age of three, when my grandmother placed

a needle in my hand and taught me to sew on

buttons. I have 58 years of learning and pleasure behind me now, and I would not trade it for all the money in the world. It is so good to see a young woman joining our ranks. Keep on spinning,

laura via ilfbpartners.com

I met Natasha and [her mother] Donna at their shop about two years ago when I was really getting into knitting. I applaud their efforts and all of their support to the fiber and local communities. Natasha was the person who inspired me to learn to weave! Thank you for a great article about a young person who is really working for an idea she believes in. As a fellow 20-something in the nonprofit arena, it serves as an inspiration!

lauren J. via ilfbpartners.com

In a world that has been turned upside- down with so many people out of work, Esther’s Place is a dose of a real world made real simple. It is the opportunity to connect with some basic skills and workmanship that were created years ago. Bless your efforts to show people what “real” really is!

Gail Mikyska via ilfbpartners.com

FloweR FadS

Great article [“Houseplant History,” Winter 2010-11]. From the ’50s onward, I remember the cyclic arrivings and goodbyes to plant trends. Never could get African violets to grow, and I have not had success with succulents like hens and chicks or burro’s tail. What’s the secret to these succulent plants? Maybe I overly tend to ’em, ya think?

Joanne Clayton via ilfbpartners.com

Response from Master Gardener Jan Phipps: My guess is you are overwatering your succulents. Those thick, juicy leaves are water storage systems so they need very little supplemental water from us. First, use a potting mix that is designed for cacti and succulents. It is a little chunkier and drains faster. Next use a porous container like clay instead of plastic. Finally, water only every two weeks or even less. I have one succulent growing with three kinds of cactus in a “breathable” hypertufa container, and it only gets water once a month. Good luck!

Illinois Farm Bureau

Features

8 Going with the Flow

Funk family tradition brings ‘sirup’ from tree to tabletop

12

top Crop

Learn about all aspects of Illinois corn

18

painting the town

Murals add color and character to cities across Illinois

26

travel Illinois: Moline

Moline boasts a flourishing downtown, energetic riverfront and rich farming history

20

ContentS

Every Issue

5 pRaIRIe State

peRSpeCtIve

Dinner’s definition reflects personal lifestyle

6 alManaC

When to plant spring veggies, soybeans fun facts and more

17 CountRy wISdoM

Teaching children

financial literacy

20 ReCIpeS

Glazed Pork Medallions recipe fits new dietary guidelines

24 GaRdenInG

Follow these steps to avoid making gardening gaffes

on the CoveR Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Photo by Antony Boshier

12

Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Photo by Antony Boshier 12 MoRe onlIne Watch videos, read stories

VoluMe 4, no. 1

Farm Food Finds resources Food Fruit Tarts Dress up your dessert with these fancy, yet
Farm
Food
Finds
resources
Food
Fruit Tarts
Dress up your dessert with these fancy, yet easy-to-prepare, berry-
filled fruit tarts. Find this recipe and other dessert ideas in our online
collection. Get the recipe at ilfbpartners.com/fruit-tarts.

FaRM

Rural Vets What does a national shortage of rural veterinarians mean for Illinois farms?

shortage of rural veterinarians mean for Illinois farms? FIndS llinois Wine Trails Southern Illinois’ Shawnee Hills

FIndS

llinois Wine Trails

Southern Illinois’ Shawnee Hills region is ripe for a wine-lover’s weekend.

Shawnee Hills region is ripe for a wine-lover’s weekend. ConneCt wIth uS lIke uS on FaCeBook

ConneCt wIth uS

region is ripe for a wine-lover’s weekend. ConneCt wIth uS lIke uS on FaCeBook facebook.com/ illinoispartners

4

watCh ouR vIdeoS on youtuBe youtube.com/ illinoispartners 4 Follow uS on twItteR twitter.com/ ILpartners Read paSt

watCh ouR vIdeoS on youtuBe youtube.com/ illinoispartners 4 Follow uS on twItteR twitter.com/ ILpartners Read paSt

® iLLinois farm Bureau An offIcIAl MeMber publIcAtIon of the IllInoIS fArM bureAu
®
iLLinois
farm Bureau
An offIcIAl MeMber publIcAtIon of the IllInoIS fArM bureAu
®
®

publisher Dennis Vercler

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

of operations, news & Communications Chris Magnuson Managing editor Jessy Yancey Copy editors Lisa Battles,

Managing editor Jessy Yancey

Copy editors Lisa Battles, Joyce Caruthers, Jill Wyatt

proofreading Manager Raven Petty

Content Coordinator Blair Thomas

Contributing writers Joe Buhrmann, Charlyn Fargo, Celeste Huttes, Jessica Mozo, Jan Phipps, Karen Schwartzman, Joanie Stiers

Media technology director Christina Carden

Senior Graphic designer Laura Gallagher

Media technology analysts Chandra Bradshaw, Yamel Hall, Alison Hunter, Marcus Snyder

photography director Jeffrey S. Otto

Senior photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord

Staff photographers Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier

web designer Richard Stevens

ad production Manager Katie Middendorf

ad traffic assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan

Information technology director Yancey Bond

I.t. Service technician Bryan Foriest

accounting Diana Guzman, Maria McFarland, Lisa Owens

Sales Support Manager Cindy Hall

Sales Support, Custom division Rachael Goldsberry

County program Coordinator Kristy Duncan

office Manager Shelly Miller

Receptionist Linda Bishop

Chairman Greg Thurman

president/publisher Bob Schwartzman

executive vice president Ray Langen

Sr. v.p./operations Casey Hester

Sr. v.p./Sales Todd Potter, Carla Thurman

v.p./Custom publishing Kim Newsom

v.p./visual Content Mark Forester

v.p./Content development Teree Caruthers

v.p./Content operations Natasha Lorens

Controller Chris Dudley

Marketing Creative director Keith Harris

distribution director Gary Smith

advertising Sales Manager, Custom division Tori Hughes

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.

Member

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P.O. Box 2901, Bloomington, IL, 61702-2901. Member Member Association of Magazine Media Custom Content Council Please

Association of Magazine Media

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Member Member Association of Magazine Media Custom Content Council Please recycle this magazine Illinois Farm Bureau

Please recycle this magazine

Illinois Farm Bureau

prairie state perspective aBout the authoR Joanie Stiers of Williamsfield writes from her kitchen table,

prairie state perspective

prairie state perspective aBout the authoR Joanie Stiers of Williamsfield writes from her kitchen table, where

aBout the authoR

Joanie Stiers of Williamsfield writes from her kitchen table, where dinner never is served. Rather, lunch and supper supersede.

Dinner-Speak

Dinner’s definition reflects personal lifestyle

Only a sudden oven breakdown could be more haunting for a hostess than an inaccurate perception of dinnertime. Friends arrive six hours late to eat overbaked lasagna, or six hours early to greet the cook scrubbing the toilet. Is dinner served at noon or night? I say “not at all” at our house, where lunch and supper supersede to avoid the confusion of when dinner shall be served. Some Internet bloggers call dinner’s conflicting time a lingering issue between Yankees and Southerners. My experience finds the divide rather lighthearted and a simple example how Illinoisans from north to south and across the middle can speak different dinner languages. Dinner seems largely a difference for rural and urban dwellers and what time of day you tend to eat a hearty meal of roast beef with mashed potatoes. Fewer yet say dinner requires Grandma’s fine china and a candle. Losing clout in their argument are those evening dinner-eaters who flip-flop to eat dinner at noon on Sundays. By the end of the day, dinner’s definition reflects personal lifestyle. As is the case with most farm families, I grew up eating dinner at noon. Before retirement, Granny rang the dinner bell only at noon to summon the men from their farm chores for meatloaf. My other grandma leaned out

the back door before 1 p.m. and hollered “Dinner’s ready!” toward the barnyard and hoped the neighbors didn’t show up for ham and potatoes. These days, my dad, brother and the farm employee know to head houseward for pork chops when my brother receives a text-message jingle for the midday market report. For my husband, heavier meals had always been in the evening throughout his life. So my then-fiancé later confessed his astonishment when my mom placed a baked, turkey-sized chicken on the farmhouse table at a noon meal. I explained how the leftover chicken makes a delicious second meal in soups and casseroles. He remained bewildered and repeated “whole” with wide eyes and a head nod, as if she had placed a whole pig there. It is dinner, after all. Expect a tossed salad for supper. Our church follows my guidelines to avoid dinner- speak altogether as they serve their annual Steak Supper and Turkey Supper, and renamed the Come-As-You-Are Dinner to Luncheon. No one seems to debate the general timing of lunch and supper. Meanwhile, my life has adjusted to a light lunch and larger supper, as our primary income is off the farm and our meal together as a family is served around 6 p.m. But on hungry middays, I crave Grandma’s meatloaf, home- canned green beans and apple crisp with ice cream.

alManaC

Flower power

Get a glimpse of what Galena’s all about at the annual Galena Daffodil Festival, which takes place April 30-May 1. The weekend-long event features full days of recreation and relaxation, with events such as the Galena Garden Walk and historic walking tours.

Also on the agenda is the Home Garden Expo, which features 75 exhibitors that include outdoor cooking demonstrations and Master Gardeners.

The festival is held on the Eastside Riverfront, where visitors can fully take advantage of the city's rich culture, both past and present.

Visit www.galenadaffodilfestival.com to learn more.

when to plant?

Farm Focus: Soybeans
Farm Focus:
Soybeans

Did you know that Illinois ranks second in the nation for soybean production? Here's the skinny on soybean stats:

One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.

During the Civil War, soybeans were used in place of coffee because real coffee was scarce.

98

percent of the soybean and livestock farms

in the country are still family farms.

U.S. farmers first grew soybeans as cattle feed.

45

percent of the world's soybean acreage and

55

percent of production is in the United States.

Soy ink is used to print newspapers and textbooks.

The soybean is the highest natural source of dietary fiber.

The temptation to get your garden growing may come on strong in early spring, but home gardeners should know that the hardier the vegetable, the more likely it is to survive the cold weather.

Potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, as well as spinach, lettuce and turnips are all considered hardy enough to withstand the wintry weather, and can be planted four to six weeks before the frost-free date in the spring. On the other hand, crops such as watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkins and cantaloupe love the warmth, and should be planted one to two weeks after the frost-free date.

6

and cantaloupe love the warmth, and should be planted one to two weeks after the frost-free

Illinois Farm Bureau

Ken KaShIan

the Fungus among us

Make the most of your mushrooms at the annual Mushroom Festival at Piasa Winery in Grafton on May 1. The day-long event is dedicated to celebrating the versatility of the mushroom and features all kinds of earthy creations.

Guests can sample mushroom-themed dishes from local chefs as they compete in a mushroom cook-off, and admission buys them all the samples they can handle as well as a glass of wine. Afterward, they can vote on their favorite dish to determine which chef takes home top honors. Attendees can also bring in mushrooms of their own to compete in the biggest and smallest mushroom contest, with the winner taking home the mushroom trophy, and, of course, bragging rights for the next year.

Visit www.piasawinery.com or call (618) 786-WINE (9463) for more details.

partners on the Web

Illinois Partners has a new look online! Explore the redesigned ilfbpartners.com to find food and recipes, fun farm facts, Illinois finds and much more. Share feedback on Facebook (facebook.com/ illinoispartners), Twitter (twitter.com/ILpartners) or by e-mail at ilfbpartners@jnlcom.com.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING

COUNTRY Mutual

Insurance Company

To All Policyholders and Members:

Notice is hereby given that the annual meeting of the members of Country Mutual Insurance Company will be held in the Illinois Agricultural Association Building, 1701 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, Illinois on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 1:00 p.m., to receive, consider, and if approved, confirm and ratify the reports of the officers and of the Board of Directors of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2010 to elect 20 members of the Board of Directors to serve for a term of one year, and for the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the meeting.

Elaine Thacker Kathy Smith Whitman

Assistant Secretaries

Elaine Thacker Kathy Smith Whitman Assistant Secretaries aG depaRtMent GoeS GReen The Illinois Department of

aG depaRtMent GoeS GReen

The Illinois Department of Agriculture put a new spin on Springfield’s green scene. In 2010, the department added Illinois' first “green” roof to its building by planting than 22,000 square feet of sedum, a small ornamental plant, in 2-by-2-foot trays.

Thanks to the sedum, the eco-friendly roof can retain as much as 75 percent of stormwater runoff.

  todd Bennett antony BoShIeR todd Bennett 8 Illinois Farm Bureau
  todd Bennett antony BoShIeR todd Bennett 8 Illinois Farm Bureau
 

todd Bennett

antony BoShIeR

todd Bennett

  todd Bennett antony BoShIeR todd Bennett 8 Illinois Farm Bureau
  todd Bennett antony BoShIeR todd Bennett 8 Illinois Farm Bureau

8

  todd Bennett antony BoShIeR todd Bennett 8 Illinois Farm Bureau

Illinois Farm Bureau

Going

Flow

with the

Funk family tradition brings ‘sirup’ from tree to tabletop

sToRY BY Celeste Huttes

In the very earliest breath of spring, a temperatures for the sap to run,” says Mike

hidden journey begins in the woods. As temperatures warm during the day, sap stored in the roots of the trees begins to flow, nourishing the buds that will soon announce themselves in the welcome green of spring. As operators of Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Farm in Shirley, Mike and Debby Funk, along with nephew Sean Funk, are part of a family tradition that brings that sweetness from the tree to your table. “Sirup” is the family’s preferred spelling for the farm (see sidebar on page 10). Syrup season in Central Illinois depends on the whims of Mother Nature but typically begins in mid-February or March, lasting from four to six weeks. “You have to have freezing and thawing

Funk, who began helping with the harvest as a boy when his parents, Stephen and Glaida Funk, operated the business. “When the snow begins melting, that’s when we start drilling holes in the trees, driving in the spouts, hanging the buckets and catching the sap.” Using about 7,000 spouts, or “taps,” the Funks draw sap from 3,000 sugar maple trees. Tapping does not hurt the trees – in fact, the same stand of sugar maple trees at Funk’s Grove has generously shared its sap with the family for generations. The sap is collected in buckets hanging from the spouts or, increasingly, with plastic tubing and vacuum pumps. Sap consists primarily of water and is

and vacuum pumps. Sap consists primarily of water and is MoRe onlIne For more information, go

A worker collects sap from sugar maple trees at Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Farm. Each tree produces about half a gallon of syrup, and the Funks are able to harvest about 1,800 gallons of syrup each year.

photoS By antony BoShIeR Mike and Debby Funk carry on the Funk family tradition of

photoS By antony BoShIeR

photoS By antony BoShIeR Mike and Debby Funk carry on the Funk family tradition of maple

Mike and Debby Funk carry on the Funk family tradition of maple syrup production, which dates back to the 1820s. Syrup made in Funks Grove, located on Route 66 southwest of Bloomington, has been shipped to every state and as far away as Japan and Sweden.

dId you knowshipped to every state and as far away as Japan and Sweden. No need to get

No need to get your dictionary out – the Funk family spells “sirup” that way on purpose. This less conventional spelling is a tribute to Hazel Funk Holmes, who operated the syrup farm in the 1920s and ’30s. Holmes placed Funk family timber and farmland in a trust to ensure that future generations could continue to enjoy syrup made in Funks Grove. In that trust, she expressed her wish that “sirup” be spelled with an “i.” At the time, this was Webster’s preferred spelling to refer to pure syrup, made with no added sugar. In any case, the Funks know that “sirup” by any spelling tastes as sweet.

10

know that “sirup” by any spelling tastes as sweet. 10 only slightly sweet when it’s first

only slightly sweet when it’s first harvested from the tree. In fact, it takes up to 50 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup. The sap is boiled to remove the water – a process that gives the colorless liquid the familiar amber color we love to pour over pancakes and waffles. “Heat caramelizes the sugar in the sap and turns it darker,” Debby explains. While it is hot, the syrup is filtered and bottled – up to 1,800 gallons of savory maple syrup each season. It’s a routine the Funk family has embraced season after season. When Isaac Funk first settled in the area in 1824, he made maple syrup primarily for his own use. But in 1891, his grandson, Arthur Funk, branched out and began selling syrup for $1 a gallon. This family tradition is also a true American tradition – one that has changed little over hundreds of years. “Native Americans used basically the same process we do, though advances in technology have made it a little easier and faster,” Mike says. Even with the benefit of modern technology, this is one family tradition that will test your mettle. Harsh weather conditions and time pressure make for a demanding season, which inevitably includes a few all-night boiling sessions.

“Because the sap is perishable, the quicker you process it, the better syrup you’ll make,” Mike says. That means these syrup-makers must go with the flow, on good days and bad. “The weather conditions can be pretty miserable,” says Glaida, now retired. “It really is hard work.” Her body may have tired of the work, but her taste buds have not tired of the end result. Glaida fondly recalls memories of dipping biscuits in homemade maple syrup around the family dinner table. “We’re pretty spoiled,” she says. Debby, who uses the syrup to sweeten her morning oatmeal, agrees: “I never get tired of it.” And neither do their customers. Syrup made in Funks Grove has been shipped to every state, and as far away as Japan and Sweden. This local product has found fans far and wide, thanks to the farm’s prime location along that classic American roadway: Route 66. Along with their pure maple syrup, the Funks sell tempting treats such as truffles and maple cream candies. Though too modest to make the claim themselves, more than a few customers have paid the Funks the ultimate compliment among syrup makers: “It’s better than Vermont’s!”

Illinois Farm Bureau

Maple syrup by the Numbers

.5

gallons of syrup produced each season from the sap of a single tree

40

age at which maple trees are ready to be tapped (or when they grow to 14 inches in diameter)

50

gallons of sap required to produce one gallon of syrup

219

degrees (Fahrenheit) needed to turn sap into syrup

1,800

average number of gallons of syrup produced each season

3,000

number of sugar maple trees tapped each season

7,000

number of taps drilled each season

tapped each season 7,000 number of taps drilled each season MoRe onlIne To learn even more

12

12 Illinois Farm Bureau

Illinois Farm Bureau

top

crop

Learn about the life of Illinois corn, from the soil that makes it grow to its end uses – and everything in between

sToRY BY Joanie Stiers

From left: Corn sprouts emerge in May, a few weeks after planting; the corn flourishes
From left: Corn sprouts emerge in May, a few weeks after planting; the corn flourishes
From left: Corn sprouts emerge in May, a few weeks after planting; the corn flourishes

From left: Corn sprouts emerge in May, a few weeks after planting; the corn flourishes in June and grows steadily all summer; by October, the stalks are mature and the dry kernels are ready to be harvested. photoS By ken kaShIan

dId you knowkernels are ready to be harvested. photoS By ken kaShIan “Why do you let the corn

“Why do you let the corn plant die?” The Illinois Corn Growers Association commonly fields that question from consumers. Farmers prefer to call it “mature.” Corn is an annual crop. It germinates, grows, flowers, pollinates and produces grain. Then it matures and dries, and farmers harvest the corn kernels while the remaining plant residue increases organic matter in the soil and shows potential for use in developing biomass fuels.

corn's Life cycLe The first spikes of corn to emerge in the spring settle a farmer’s initial apprehension. Farmers plant corn with a lot of optimism and faith, says Leon “Len” Corzine, a corn farmer from Assumption. After all, they sow around 35,000 seeds per acre and in five months hope for a return of 14.5 million kernels, about 200 bushels per acre. Field corn, Illinois’ top crop, covers about 12 million acres across the state. And while a corn farmer’s greatest visibility arrives with spring planting and fall harvest, the business of growing corn fills the calendar, with tasks ranging from seed selection and soil preparation to marketing, technology updates and a constant awareness of the weather forecast. Spring carries the highest anxiety for farmers eager to plant another crop after a winter of repairing machinery and handling bookwork, bills and supply orders. Soil

preparation resumes in this season, and corn planting begins in April. Farmers spend summers scouting field conditions and protecting the health of the crop with carefully timed and researched fertilizer applications to protect the plants from insect, weed and disease infestations. In July, farmers prefer mild temperatures and adequate rainfall to reduce stress as the corn plant pollinates and creates kernels. “Watching that grain develop is fascinating to me because of all the things we are able to do with that corn plant,” Corzine says, noting corn’s extensive use in farm animal feed, other food products and ethanol. By fall, the plant matures, kernels dry and harvest equipment gathers the crop. Soil sampling and tillage decisions follow the large harvesting machine known as a combine, as does another round of bookwork to close the year and begin another.

A single bushel of corn makes multiple products: 2.8 11.4 3 1.6 gallons of ethanol
A single bushel of corn makes multiple products:
2.8
11.4
3
1.6
gallons of ethanol fuel
pounds of gluten feed
pounds of gluten meal
pounds of corn oil

14

3 1.6 gallons of ethanol fuel pounds of gluten feed pounds of gluten meal pounds of

Illinois Farm Bureau

Q&A With a Corn Farmer CORN IS THE CONSTANT FOR THE CORzINE FAMILY S ix
Q&A With a
Corn Farmer
CORN IS THE CONSTANT FOR
THE CORzINE FAMILY
S ix generations have grown field corn
on the Corzine family farm, and Len
Corzine makes farm decisions and
serves in leadership roles to make sure
future generations can grow it, too.
“One of our mantras is to leave the
farm in a better way than we found it,”
Corzine says. “At the same time, we
would like to increase productivity and
become more efficient at what we do
and look at new technologies to do that.”
The Corzines grow corn and
soybeans and care for a few Angus
cows in the Assumption area. The farm
owners include Len and wife, Susie,
representing the fifth generation, and
their son, Craig, the sixth generation,
who is married with two children.
Since Len Corzine began farming in
1974, the farm has reduced soil erosion,
cut fertilizer use per bushel by half, and
adopted satellite-guidance technology
in its tractors to reduce fuel and
chemical use. During his career, the
family has increased yield productivity
by 80 percent and can harvest five
times more corn bushels per day.
Meanwhile, Corzine’s leadership roles,
including former presidencies with the
Illinois and National Corn Growers
associations, placed him at the forefront
of infrastructure issues, biotechnology
discussions, trade agreements and the
energy bill that launched ethanol’s
expansion. He now serves as an
ambassador for an international
program to help ensure corn’s future
in helping to feed the world.
MoRe onlIne
Discover even more about Illinois corn
at www.ilcorn.org.
antony BoShIer

Ken KaShIan

# CoRn By the nuMBeRS CoRn By the nuMBeRS

12.6

million acres of corn planted in Illinois last year (each acre is about the size of a football field)

38,260

corn farms in Illinois

95

percent of corn farms in America are family-owned

4,200

uses for corn, ranging from farm animal feed and ethanol, to cornbread and soda, to latex paint and diapers

43

percent of the crop was consumed by farm animals in 2009, primarily beef cattle, chickens and hogs

800

kernels on an ear of corn, on average

72,800

kernels in a bushel of corn, approximately

56

pounds in a bushel of corn, about the weight of a large bag of dog food

162

average bushels per acre grown and harvested from 2000 to 2009 in Illinois (farmers produced an average 22 percent more bushels per acre over the past decade than in the 1990s)

Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service, National Corn Growers Association

16

Statistics Service, National Corn Growers Association 16 “I have been most places in the world, and

“I have been most places in the world, and there is nowhere that can grow corn like we can in the Corn Belt.”

– Leon “Len” Corzine, fifth-generation corn farmer

– Leon “Len” Corzine, fifth-generation corn farmer Gas stations fueL up With ethanoL Ethanol, a renewable

Gas stations fueL up With ethanoL Ethanol, a renewable fuel, is a grain alcohol that can be produced from crops, such as corn. For every bushel of corn entering an ethanol plant, two-thirds of it exits as fuel while one-third becomes a livestock feed called distillers dried grains. Many gas stations provide a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline for use in all vehicles. Flex-fuel vehicles have been modified to accept higher ethanol blends. Most ethanol in the United States is made from corn, because of farmers’ productivity.

fieLd corn vs. sWeet corn Corn covers more of Illinois’ farmland than any other crop, yet you’ll need to find a backyard garden for some corn on the cob. Sweet corn is consumed as a vegetable and is not to be confused with field corn grown on 99 percent of all corn acres in the United States. Field corn is used for livestock feed, ethanol production, manufactured goods and a food ingredient in the form of corn cereal, corn starch, corn oil and corn syrup.

Sources: National & Illinois Corn Growers Associations, University of Illinois Extension

Illinois Farm Bureau

country ® Wisdom aBout the authoR Joe Buhrmann is a Certified Financial Planner™ certificant and

country ® Wisdom

country ® Wisdom aBout the authoR Joe Buhrmann is a Certified Financial Planner™ certificant and the

aBout the authoR

Joe Buhrmann is a Certified Financial Planner™ certificant and the Manager of Financial Security Field Support for COUNTRY Financial. Visit COUNTRY on the web at www.countryfinancial.com.

Dollars and Sense

How to teach children financial literacy

As my daughters are nearing the end of high school, I’m remembering moments in which we had a chance to influence lives forever. I thought I’d share some of those invaluable lessons.

it’s never too earLy to start When our children were young, we provided allowances along with envelopes labeled Spend, Short Term and Long Term. Their coins, and later on dollars, were divided equally among the envelopes. Our kids were able to have money in their pockets and learn how to save for a rainy day.

teach spendinG as WeLL as savinG We all know it’s important to teach kids to save, but it’s equally important to learn how to spend. Teach your children to recognize a true bargain from one that is not, how to compare brands and make sound purchasing decisions. There may not always be money to invest, but good shopping skills will always help stretch a dollar a little farther.

skin in the Game I’m a big believer that you’re generally more engaged in something where you have some “skin in the game.” For my youngest, it means baby-sitting and pet-sitting to earn money for the usual teen necessities – clothes and music downloads – as well longer-term goals such as a car and college. As an equestrian, our oldest took to heart my motto:

“It’s not called the sport of kings for nothing.” With two competition horses and plenty of bills, she cleans stalls

and feeds horses to pay the monthly board. We have always instilled a love of learning and the value of a quality education. When it came time to visit college campuses, my oldest discovered scholarships might be within her grasp and schools might actually pay her to attend. She said, “Dad, could this be my skin in the game with good grades and scholarships?” Mission accomplished.

reWard Behavior you Want to encouraGe Last spring, my youngest was learning all about different kinds of investments, including Certificates of Deposit. We told her that if she saved half the money for the CD, we’d match it. In short order, she proudly watched her funds grow.

if it’s GoinG to Be, it’s up to me Take personal and parental responsibility. Many schools have excellent programs available, so be sure to take advantage of them. My daughters have each taken a personal finance class. They learned the difference between a stock and a bond, what a mutual fund is, and how a 401(k) and Roth IRA work. None of these falls under “Reading, Writing or ’Rithmatic” as a mandated requirement, but all are required for graduation from the Buhrmann School of Family Management. Take advantage of those “teachable moments” with your families. There’s no better education than one that pays you back tenfold. A few minutes spent in the chaos of today can help create a financially secure tomorrow.

Painting the Town

sToRY BY Jessica Mozo

Murals add color and character to cities across Illinois

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Illinois is like an open book just waiting to be read. Larger- than-life murals enhance cities across the state, telling the unique stories of each community’s people and heritage. “The murals and statuary in towns and cities are an integral part of their history – past and present – and what these places represent,” says Dianna Mueller, a mural artist in Chester. “They demonstrate a town’s pride and ambience and afford so many opportunities for photographs.” Chester (population 7,800) is among scores of Illinois towns whose history is literally painted all over it.

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towns whose history is literally painted all over it. 18 More than a dozen murals liven

More than a dozen murals liven up the town’s businesses, schools, residences and churches, many incorporating characters from the well-loved comic and cartoon star Popeye the Sailor. Popeye’s creator, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born in Chester in 1894. Mueller and her husband, Ted, painted or worked on many of Chester’s murals, including ones at Gazebo Park, the Chester Opera House, the Spinach Can Collectibles Museum, Rough House Pizza, Chester City Hall and the Chester Welcome Center. “City Hall boasts the Popeye characters representing various city employees – Popeye is a fireman, Olive

Oyl is a city clerk, Wimpy is the town mayor and Brutus is a policeman,” Mueller says. “Those murals were created on canvas and attached to the walls with wallpaper paste so they can be moved and repositioned when the walls need repainting.” In Peoria, murals depict the Mardi Gras history and the Illinois Traction Railway, among others. Much of Peoria’s public art is along downtown’s riverfront, although there also are indoor murals in Peoria’s City Hall, the luxurious Hotel Père Marquette and the library at Bradley University. “Each mural has its own character and theme,” says Jonathan Wright,

Illinois Farm Bureau

todd Bennett

StaFF photo

todd Bennett StaFF photo Clockwise from left: Murals in Ottawa, Naperville and Chester commemorate politics, history
todd Bennett StaFF photo Clockwise from left: Murals in Ottawa, Naperville and Chester commemorate politics, history
todd Bennett StaFF photo Clockwise from left: Murals in Ottawa, Naperville and Chester commemorate politics, history

Clockwise from left: Murals in Ottawa, Naperville and Chester commemorate politics, history and famous residents.

managing editor of Central Illinois Business Publishers Inc. “Most of the murals have themes pertaining to the business inside – jazz musicians at the Madison Theatre, runners at the Running Central shoe store, and fair trade and international cooperation at Global Village, a fair trade shop. The indoor murals at City Hall and the Père are quite old and represent Peoria’s rich history.” Another mural on the outside of Water Street Wines, Café & Coffees features several prominent Peorians hidden in the collage – an inside joke that invokes a chuckle with the locals. “It’s difficult to put a dollar amount on the value of art, but it is undeniable that public art enhances the quality of life in the area and shows a connection to culture that is attractive to young professionals, tourists and other visitors,” Wright says.

Ottawa, a city of about 19,000, started a mural project in 2002 to beautify downtown and create an attraction for tourists and residents. The project, called “A Brush With History,” has overseen the paintings of murals focusing on local industry, prominent citizens and major internal improvements such the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Murals also are part of Naperville’s Century Walk, a collection of 35 pieces of public art that also includes mosaics and sculptures. The murals and other art reflect more than 100 years of Naperville’s history. An alley off Washington Street, for example, brings back memories for long-time Naperville residents of dime stores and transistor radios in the mural called “The Way We Were.” Murals add zest to more than a dozen other Illinois cities, including

Joliet, Lincoln, Sterling, Charleston, Metropolis, Atlanta, Sullivan and Rockford. The Illinois Lincoln Highway, a National Scenic Byway, is also producing a series of interpretive murals in Northern Illinois. Back in Chester, Mueller says she loves being a mural artist for the satisfaction it brings when others enjoy her color-splashed walls. “I love large canvasses – or walls – and get so excited to see all that blank space I get to paint,” she says. “I guess painting murals also means I become a part of the town history, which is pretty special. I am leaving something behind.”

which is pretty special. I am leaving something behind.” MoRe onlIne Want to know more about

MoRe onlIne

Want to know more about Illinois’ murals? Visit www.drivelincolnhighway.com/ murals.html or www.enjoyillinois.com and search “murals.”

you are

What you e at

Put the new dietary guidelines into practice

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you are What you e at Put the new dietary guidelines into practice 20 Illinois Farm

Illinois Farm Bureau

It’s big news for nutrition. We have new advice for eating healthy. Once every five years, the U.S. government prepares new guidelines for a healthy lifestyle. The newly released 2010 Dietary Guidelines, like those in the past, stress both a balanced diet and plenty of physical activity. But this time, they ask Americans to slash their salt intake, eat a more plant- based diet and increase physical activity. So Mom was right – load up on your fruits and vegetables. That change alone will help put the guidelines in place in your diet. Women need at least seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day, while men need at least nine. When the first guidelines appeared in 1980, they were much shorter and sweeter. Here are the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

1. Reduce the incidence and prevalence of

the U.S. population’s excess weight and obesity by reducing overall calorie intake and increasing physical activity. We as a nation have expanded our waistlines over the past 30 years, and collectively two-thirds of us are overweight or obese.

2. Shift food intake patterns to a more

plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables,

cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, and nuts and seeds, and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs. The guidelines suggest consuming more seafood and low-fat dairy products, as well.

3. Reduce intake of foods containing added

sugars and solid fats because these dietary components contribute excess calories and few, if any, nutrients. In addition, reduce sodium intake and lower intake of refined grains, especially refined grains that are coupled with added sugar, solid fat and sodium. Sodium intake is to be reduced from 2,300 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams per day. The guidelines also recommend cutting back on sugary sodas and beverages, and eating less saturated fat.

4. Meet the 2008 Physical Activity for

Americans, which recommend at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity or 1 ¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity each week for adults. An hour or more of moderate- intensity to vigorous physical activity each day is optimal for children and teens.

Knowing the new dietary guidelines is one thing, but putting them into your daily diet is another. We have compiled a few recipes to help you increase your fruits and veggies, lower your sodium intake and choose lean meats.

Today’s pork fits into the “leaner meat” of the dietary guidelines. It is 31 percent lower in fat, 29 percent lower in saturated fat and 14 percent lower in calories than pork produced 15 years ago, according to the National Pork Board. The reason is because pork farmers have listened to consumers’ wishes for leaner cuts. Six pork cuts contain less saturated fat than a skinless chicken thigh. On average, the leaner pork has 173 calories per 3-ounce serving. And there’s plenty of it – Illinois pork farmers rank fourth in the U.S. in pork production, with 2,900 swine farms in the state. In 2009, those Illinois farms produced 1.84 billion pounds of pork. Pork tenderloin is my favorite cut – it’s lean, full of iron, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein – and there’s no waste. I’ve served glazed pork medallions with asparagus for company many times and always get rave reviews. Turn the page for the recipe.

and always get rave reviews. Turn the page for the recipe. aBout the authoR Charlyn Fargo
aBout the authoR
aBout
the authoR

Charlyn Fargo got her start in food in 4-H. Her love for the culinary arts helped her land a job as food editor of the State Journal-Register, a daily paper in Springfield and eventually a master’s degree in nutrition and registered dietitian from Eastern Illinois University. She is passionate about healthy eating, teaches nutrition and baking at Lincoln Land Community College and consults as a dietitian.

Glazed Pork Medallions With Asparagus

6 (3-ounce) pork tenderloin pieces (trimmed and lightly pounded to ¼ -inch thickness)

seasoned flour for dredging

1½ ounce canola oil

½

cup red currant jelly

¼

cup Chardonnay (or other white wine)

24

asparagus tips, blanched

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(or other white wine) 24 asparagus tips, blanched 22 1 . Cut pork tenderloin into 3-ounce

1. Cut pork tenderloin into 3-ounce

portions, trim any visceral fat and lightly pound to flatten. Season flour by adding freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Lightly coat tenderloin

portions with flour. Heat skillet and add the canola oil. Sauté medallions until golden brown on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. In a separate skillet, mix red

currant jelly and white wine. Heat and reduce the mixture until it

reaches a glaze consistency, about 10 minutes. Add sautéed medallions and

coat them with the glaze.

3. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus tips

in boiling water just until crisp- tender.

4. Pour glaze onto plates (enough to

cover the entire center of the plates). Place pork medallions in the center of the glaze and arrange four asparagus tips around the perimeter of each plate for garnish.

Serves 6.

Per serving: 217 calories, 24.5 g protein, 5.4 g carbohydrate, 10.2 g fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g fiber, 439 mg sodium.

Illinois Farm Bureau

One of the first things you can do to welcome spring is take the cover
One of the first things you can do to welcome spring is take the cover

One of the first things you can do to welcome spring is take the cover off the grill. This time, fire it up for veggies. This recipe is so versatile you can use any combination of veggies you find available. Try this version first, then improvise all summer long.

tIpTry this version first, then improvise all summer long. Can’t find red currant jelly? There are

Can’t find red currant jelly? There are several substitution possibilties, though they will alter the

flavor a bit. Using grape or raspberry jelly will result in a sweeter glaze. To get a tart flavor similar to that of red currants, mix

3 parts apple jelly with

1 part lemon juice.

Fire-Grilled Vegetables

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 medium yellow squash, cut into ¼ -inch slices

1 medium zucchini, cut in to ¼ -inch slices

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup low-fat Italian dressing

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil

1. Combine the peppers, yellow squash and zucchini

in a bowl. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and

mix gently. Whisk the Italian dressing, balsamic

vinegar and basil in a bowl. Pour over the vegetables, tossing to coat.

2. In a grill-safe vegetable pan, grill the vegetables

over medium-hot coals for 10 to 12 minutes or until the desired degree of crispness.

Serves 6 to 8, serving size ½ cup.

Per serving: 31 calories, 1 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 2 g fiber, 169 mg sodium.

GaRdenInG

GaRdenInG

aSk an expeRtGaRdenInG GaRdenInG Q When can I remove winter mulch? ansWer When perennials start pushing up new

Q When can I remove winter mulch?

ansWer When perennials start pushing up new growth.

Q Will planting my tomatoes in early

spring result in speedy

production?

ansWer No, tomatoes are a warm- weather crop and shouldn’t be planted until both air and soil temperatures are consistently warm – late April in Southern Illinois and May in Northern Illinois.

E-mail your gardening questions to Jan at ilfbpartners@jnlcom.com.

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gardening questions to Jan at ilfbpartners@jnlcom.com. 24 Don’t put morning glory vines in compost, even after

Don’t put morning glory vines in compost, even after a killing freeze. The vines are filled with seeds that will be distributed to your garden, hidden in the compost.

Illinois Farm Bureau

Horticulture

HORRORS

Follow these steps to avoid making gardening gaffes

There are some common mistakes we which weeds grow instead of treating

gardeners make that result in a lot of extra work. Perhaps “horticulture horrors” is overly dramatic, so let’s call them gardening gaffes – the been-there-done-that learning experiences we all have. The following are some things not to do. A trio of aggressive troublemakers to avoid are planting mint in the vegetable garden, allowing dill to go to seed and throwing spent morning glories in the compost. Mint spreads by both seeds and underground roots that are fast-growing and tenacious. To keep it in check, plant mint where physical barriers will control the root growth, such as in a pot or in a narrow strip between the house foundation and a concrete sidewalk. Dill produces many seeds that blow around and germinate where they fall. Fortunately, they are easy to pull when small and add a delightful scent to the job of weeding. Besides dill seeds, do not put morning glory vines in the compost after a killing freeze in fall. The vines are chock-a- block with viable seeds that even hot composting will not completely eliminate. Next spring those seeds will be distributed to your gardens, hidden in the compost. Another mistake is treating the soil in

the weed directly. An old method of controlling weeds in asparagus was salting the ground. The asparagus is salt tolerant, but the weeds aren’t. Gardeners have also been known to mix herbicides containing borax laundry soap to douse creeping Charlie and the soil around it. Fortunately, we now know better than to poison the earth for future generations. Improper watering is a common gardening gaffe, especially for people with automatic sprinkler systems. Daily watering results in surface roots at the expense of deep anchoring roots. To foster good root development, water deeply once a week instead a superficially seven times. Avoid watering right before sundown. Your plants need time to completely dry before night to prevent fungal diseases. Finally, do not walk on or work the soil when it is wet. Treading on wet ground squeezes out air pockets, thus compacting the soil. Trying to till wet dirt will result in clods that quickly dry out and remain clods for the rest of the summer. The Illinois growing season is starting. Avoiding these mistakes will guarantee you have more time for the fun stuff instead of recovering from gardening gaffes.

the fun stuff instead of recovering from gardening gaffes. aBout the authoR Jan Phipps farms, gardens,
aBout the authoR
aBout
the authoR

Jan Phipps farms, gardens, writes and podcasts near Chrisman. She’s been a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener for 10 years.

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{Travel Illinois}

Molin

26 { Travel Illinois } Molin Illinois Farm Bureau

Illinois Farm Bureau

e

Moline boasts a flourishing downtown, energetic riverfront and rich agricultural history

sToRY BY Jessica Mozo

h ome to 43,000 people, Moline is

known worldwide for its strong ties to John Deere and Deere & Co., which has corporate headquarters in the city. Legendary agricultural inventor John Deere moved his steel plow company to Moline in 1848 to take advantage of the city’s river access and dam and coal deposits, which provided a good source of power. Moline has grown by leaps and bounds since then, and today it is part of the Quad Cities metropolitan area, which also includes Rock Island and the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. Moline has become a model city for progressive urban planning, thanks in part to its revitalized downtown, a hotspot for recreation, business and tourism. Moline is situated between the banks of the Mississippi River and Rock River in Rock Island County and is accessed by Interstates 74, 280, 80 and 88, as well as the Quad City International Airport.

80 and 88, as well as the Quad City International Airport. MolIne aRea MuSt-SeeS Deere &

MolIne aRea MuSt-SeeS

Deere & Co. World Headquarters

Great River Trail

Moline Centre (downtown)

Moline City of Mills Mural

i wireless Center

Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre

Celebration Belle

River Music Experience

Bettendorf Family Museum of Arts & Science

John Deere Commons

John deere Green John Deere was perhaps Moline’s most famous businessman, and though he died in 1886, his legacy lives on at John deere Commons. Located near the site of the first John Deere Factory, the commons are home

to the John deere pavilion, one of the

largest agricultural exhibits in the world. The

todd Bennett 10 plaCeS to GRaB a BIte Belgian Village Inn Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Montana

todd Bennett

10 plaCeS to GRaB a BItetodd Bennett Belgian Village Inn Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Montana Jack’s Lagomarcino’s Café Fresh River House

Belgian Village Inn

Johnny’s Italian

Steakhouse

Montana Jack’s

Lagomarcino’s

Café Fresh

River House Bar & Grill

Little Rangoon

Bent River Brewery

The Great Indian Restaurant

Bass Street Chop House

pavilion is one of Illinois’ top five tourist attractions and captivates visitors of all ages. Kids can check out the seed table, watch videos in a machine shed and take pictures with a tractor and a 6-foot row of corn. Agriculture enthusiasts can see farm implements past and present and engage in interactive exhibits. The John deere Store next door is a great place to pick up a souvenir – it carries clothing, toys and gifts with the famous leaping deer logo. A half-mile from John Deere Commons, take a journey into the past by touring the

Butterworth Center and deere-wiman

house. Both are beautiful mansions built in the late 1800s by Charles Deere, son of John Deere. They are maintained by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust and feature elaborate gardens, which are open year round. Tours are available by appointment. Across from the Deere family homes, immerse yourself in local history at the

Rock Island County historical Society,

which includes a house museum, exhibits, research library and patio garden. The

museum, exhibits, research library and patio garden. The museum is open for tours during spring and

museum is open for tours during spring and fall open houses and by appointment. It is housed in an 1870s Italianate home that boasts original woodwork and tile and century-old furniture.

roLLin’ on the river One of the best ways to see Moline is by water, so climb aboard the Celebration Belle riverboat and let it carry you down the mighty Mississippi River. The non-gaming Celebration Belle docks along Ben Butterworth Parkway and River Drive on the Moline riverfront and offers lunch and dinner cruises, sightseeing cruises and themed cruises. Choose from Big Band, Classic Oldies, Broadway Show Tunes, Fall Foliage, Country Classics, Dixieland and Oktoberfest. Can’t get enough of the water? You can

also board the Channel Cat water taxi,

a pontoon-style boat that provides daily service across the river to five different ports. The Channel Cat operates from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and for just $6 ($3 for children), you can ride the boat all day. Bikes are welcome on the

lIve onStaGe

Love theater? see a musical or play performed by local actors at Moline’s Quad-City Music Guild or Playcrafters Barn Theatre, housed in a 100-year-old dairy barn. Playcrafters has been producing live community theater in the Quad Cities since 1929. The 2011 season is slated to include “Visiting Mr. Green,” “Rehearsal for Murder,” “A Lesson Before Dying,” “Make Me a Cowboy” and “Leaving Iowa.” If instrumental music is more to your liking, catch a performance of the Quad City symphony orchestra in nearby Davenport, Iowa.

to your liking, catch a performance of the Quad City symphony orchestra in nearby Davenport, Iowa.

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to your liking, catch a performance of the Quad City symphony orchestra in nearby Davenport, Iowa.

Illinois Farm Bureau

From left: Visitors can explore tractors and other farm exhibits at John Deere Pavilion; the riverboat Celebration Belle offers rides on the Mississippi.

Channel Cat, and cycling enthusiasts can explore bike trails on both sides of the river.

The nearby plaza at Bass Street

landing is the perfect place to relax and people-watch. Located along Moline’s revitalized riverfront, the plaza is a gathering place for outdoor events, festivals and live

entertainment. It features sculptures of children fishing in the Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn era and

a fountain children can’t resist splashing in.

historic doWntoWn moLine Moline’s downtown core has experienced

a renaissance in recent years, with more than

$250 million invested in bringing it to life. Now known as Moline Centre, downtown overflows with shops, restaurants, nightspots and entertainment venues, all within walking distance of one another. Pick up a brochure from the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau on River

Drive, and take a historic walking tour of

downtown. The brochure provides a glimpse of what Moline was like in its early years and architecture styles that were popular

a century ago. While downtown, stop in the i wireless Center, a 12,000-seat arena and conference center that showcases national acts such as Elton John, Tim McGraw, Janet Jackson, Disney on Ice, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. You can also watch exciting athletic events at the arena, which is the home of the Quad City Steamwheelers (arena football) and the Quad City Mallards (minor league hockey).

paRk It heRe

Moline maintains more than 20 parks and recreational facilities, including stephens square Park, which hosts a free summer concert series. Riverside Park is home to the Riverside Family Aquatics Center (left). Ben Butterworth Parkway is intersected by two major bike trails – the Great River Trail, winding along the river for 62 miles, and the American Discovery Trail, a coast-to-coast trail crossing Government Bridge.

LOCAL FLAVOR

now that’s a Sandwich

SINk YOUR TEETH INTO AN OVERSIzED REUBEN AT THE BELGIAN VILLAGE INN

M oline’s Belgian Village Inn serves quite possibly the biggest reuben sandwich you’ve ever seen.

“It’s 10 or 12 inches long and about six inches wide – it fills a whole plate,” says Shawn Manning, who owns the Belgian Village Inn with his wife, karen. “The reuben is by far our best seller and our biggest sandwich.” So distinct is the restaurant’s trademark sandwich, its name is a registered trademark: the VandeRueben . It’s one of the Belgian Village Inn’s many homemade sandwiches served on bread baked fresh on the premises. “We bake between 70 and 200 loaves of bread every day in three varieties – mild rye, raisin and wheat – and we sell them by the loaf and slice them for our sandwiches,” Manning says. “Everything we serve is made from scratch, including our soups, coleslaw, potato salad, salad dressings and desserts.” Opened in 1977 by karen’s Belgian parents, Loretta and Denis Ceurvorst, the Belgian Village Inn has become a landmark dining destination on 17th Avenue. The Mannings bought it from the Ceurvorsts in 1997, though the original owners continue to work there part-time. “They followed their American dream to open a restaurant and tavern,” Manning says of his in-laws. “This area had a large population of Belgian immigrants at one time. The first restaurant took off so quickly, we had to open a second location three blocks away.” Customers love the Belgian Village Inn for its oversized portions and Old World charm. Then there’s the coconut cream pie, topped with real meringue, though Manning admits few customers order dessert because they are so full from eating such a big entrée. In addition to the VandeRueben , popular sandwiches include the Belgian club, a turkey and bacon club with Swiss cheese, and the VandeRaisin, a ham and swiss sandwich served on fresh raisin bread. Soups include clam chowder (a staple on Fridays and Saturdays), ham and beans, cream of spinach, chicken noodle, broccoli potato and vegetable beef. “We love what we do because we’re carrying on a family tradition,” Manning says. “So many restaurants don’t do well with second- generation owners. But we love our customers, and we’re keeping it rolling.”

IF you Go Belgian Village Inn at 560 17th Ave. is open weekdays from 11

IF you Go

Belgian Village Inn at 560 17th Ave. is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m. Contact them at (309) 764-9222.

IllInoIS In FoCuS

hoRSeS enJoy a SpRInG day

in a field located off of Illinois Route 145 between oak and Eddyville.

photo By antony BoShIeR