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My Farm Roots: Corn Edition

December 9, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Tri States Public Radio and the Western Illinois Museum are pleased to host a program of storytelling about life on the farm from farmers and other folks connected to the land.  This year’s program will take its lead from the museum’s current exhibit, Raising Corn: The Story of a Crop, and will be held on December 9, 2016, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Western Illinois Museum.  There will be light refreshments and music performed by the Lane Family Band.

The evening will feature six guest speakers who will tell stories or be interviewed about their experiences in rural Illinois.  The program format draws on oral tradition where common and extraordinary events are told to both entertain and connect.  The six participants, from a variety of backgrounds, include: Joel Gruver, Barbara Harroun, Frank Hennenfent, Ken McClintock and Dick Weller.  Conducting interviews for the program include, Rich Egger, Chris Enroth, and Angie Peltier. The evening promises to explore a variety of personal experiences told with unique insights.

The event is part is based on Harvest Public Media’s, “My Farm Roots,” a collection of short radio documentaries broadcast by NPR-affiliate stations across the Midwest.

The program will be held at the Western Illinois Museum located at 201 South Lafayette Street, two blocks south of Macomb’s Courthouse Square.  For more information contact the museum at info@wimuseum.org or 309.837.2750, or Heather Norman of Tri States Public Radio at 309.343.2867.  Suggested $5 donation at the door.

Rich Egger

About the Participants

Rich Egger is the News Director at Tri States Public Radio.  His interest in radio began when running a station in high school called WFVH. While earning a B.A in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University, he continued to build experience at the campus station WKDI. In Rich’s leisure time he loves music,

Chris Enroth

books, cross-country skiing, rooting for the Cubs and Blackhawks, and baking sugar frosted chocolate bombs. His future plans include “getting some tacos.

Chris Enroth received his bachelors of landscape horticulture from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and earned his Masters of landscape architecture at Kansas State University. When Chris isn’t busy at work he enjoys spending time with his wife Amy and two young sons, Ben and Eli.

Angie Peltier

Angie Peltier earned her bachelors of science in Biology at the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point and her PhD in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She works for Extension at the University of Illinois’ Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center in Monmouth.  In this role she enjoys working with farmers and other agriculture professionals. She lives in Galesburg with her husband where she enjoys cooking and knitting hats for others.

Joel Gruver

Joel Gruver discovered his love of soil and plants on his family’s small diversified farm in rural Maryland. He has been a professor in the School of Agriculture and regularly assigns interview projects that engage his students in collecting and contemplating the story of agriculture.

Barbara Harroun is an Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University

Barbara Harroun

where she teaches composition and creative writing. For this year’s program she will present, Sweet Corn, Summer Rain. Her favorite creative endeavors are her awesome kids, Annaleigh and Jack. She can often be found walking her beloved dog, Banjo, or engaging in literacy activism and radical optimism.

Frank Hennenfent is a corn and soybean farmer from Smithshire but is more widely-known for his involvement in carrying on the Corn Husking traditions.  In addition to helping organize the Illinois State competition he is also a competitive participant, winning this year’s overall men’s division of the National competition where he picked 556 pounds of corn in 20 minutes.

Ken McClintock

Ken McClintock is a long time resident of the region being raised in Bowen, Illinois, and studying at Western Illinois University. He has served the community as a member of Rotary International, serving as District 6460’s Youth Programs Coordinator in 2011-12. Ken is the regional sales manager for Limagrain Cereal Seeds, a farmer-owned and farmer-run international agricultural cooperative located in Bushnell, Illinois.

In a September 1970 Chicago Tribune article, Richard D. Weller was quotes as describing a solution to wide-spread rain in the region with, “We’re about ready to start stocking the corn fields with small mouth bass.”  His good humor served him well during his tenure as the McDonough County Extension Adviser.

About Tri States Public Radio
Tri States Public Radio is an outreach service of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at Western Illinois University. For over 50 years the station had provided information and entertainment of the highest possible caliber. Tri States Public Radio is the region’s voice for award-winning National Public Radio news and locally produced programming.

About Harvest Public Media
Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest. Most Harvest Public Media stories begin with radio — regular reports are aired on our member stations in the Midwest. Harvest also explores issues through online analyses, television documentaries, video, and on social media.

About the Western Illinois Museum
For over 35 years the Western Illinois Museum has worked to connects and unites people around the history, ideas, and cultures of west central Illinois, building pride in what makes us a community. Striving to teach the importance of knowing, valuing and respecting the past, the museum’s collections, exhibits, and programs provides the means to take ownership of our heritage. We believe that knowing the past gives hope and promise for the future.


December 9, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Western Illinois Museum


Western Illinois Museum
201 South Lafayette Street
Macomb, IL 61455 United States
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