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4-H and Monsanto team to find Ag leaders

National 4-H Council and Monsanto Collaborate on 4-H Ag Innovators Experience
Illinois 4-H to help prepare future generation of ag leaders with interactive agriscience activity


St. Louis, Mo. (March 25, 2014) – Population trends project the world population will grow by two billion in the next 40 years, requiring a 70 percent increase in food production to feed the world. National 4-H Council and Monsanto Company announced today, during the National Ag Day observance, a new initiative to respond to this challenge by stimulating youth interest and involvement in agriculture.

The 4 H Ag Innovators Experience aims to make agriscience relevant and fun for youth, and help young agriculturalists develop the professional skills needed to meet rising global demand for food. The Experience will engage teen leaders across Illinois to lead thousands of their peers in an interactive agriscience activity.

Agriculture students and faculty at Ohio State University designed this year's activity, the "Fish Farm Challenge," which challenges participants to engineer a food-distribution system that evenly dispenses soy-based fish food over a 3' x 3' vinyl mat. The system design can then be transferred to an aquaculture tank on a tilapia farm. The goal is to help participants recognize the value of aquaculture, while stimulating innovative approaches to ensuring farm-raised fish have equal access to food.

"There are more than one billion people between the ages of 12 and 24, and we believe the young people of today are the farmers and ag leaders of 2050," said Christina Alford, executive vice president, External Affairs, National 4-H Council. "Monsanto has been a valued supporter of 4-H for many years and, together, we're making great strides in empowering more young people with the skills and confidence they need to excel as 21st century leaders."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston house fire, no injury

The State Fire Marshall was in Hoopeston Friday looking for the cause of a fire that left three families homeless. Fortunately, there was no injury.

The Red Cross was helping the victims make other living arrangements. The three families are counting their blessings after the house caught fire Thursday. The owner lived in the basement and the rest of the house was divided into apartments.

Fire officials reported everyone got out safely, including pets.

A cause wasn't immediately determined.

Hoopeston firemen were assisted by Wellington, Milford, Rossville and Rankin.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County Fair Board does it again…big-name country music act set for summer fair

The 2014 Ford County Fair at Melvin has reeled in yet another high-profile country music act.

The fair recently announced on its Facebook page that it has secured the band Parmalee as a headliner for the concert it will host at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, at the fairgrounds in Melvin.

This year's event follows last year's appearance by country music star Dustin Lynch.

Parmalee is a semifinalist for 2014 New Artist of the Year at next month's Academy of Country Music Awards.
Fair Board president Kirk Miller said "We're excited with who we've got. They're an up-and-coming name in Nashville, and I think the people in Ford County and surrounding areas will be happy with the show we put on for them."

Miller said the fair board is still trying to secure a second big-name band to co-headline this summer's concert.
Tickets will be on sale in advance of the concert, but not until the fair determines the complete lineup.

-- 94.1 WGFA --

  • Parent Category: News

Unemployment both up and down in area counties

The latest unemployment numbers are still bothersome. Some counties report an upward swing in February while others dropped somewhat.

Kankakee County's jobless rate climbed to 12.1%. That's the 12th highest among the 102 counties in Illinois. Champaign County and five other area counties saw slight improvements in their unemployment rate, compared with February 2013.

Iroquois and Ford County have numbers at 10.1 percent. Livingston and Will counties are at 9.7 and 9.8%. These four counties were higher in February than Janaury.

Vermilion County's rate was 12.8 percent, up from 11.9 percent in February 2013. In the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area — which includes Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties — nonfarm employment was 1,700 higher than a year earlier.

Over the year, the Danville metropolitan area, including all of Vermilion County, had a net loss in nonfarm employment of 600 jobs.

The biggest losses came in manufacturing, professional-business services and government, with small gains in transportation-warehousing-utilities, retail trade and wholesale trade.

94.1 WGFA


  • Parent Category: News

Smoking down in Illinois, but not consistent

The University of Washington is reporting smoking has declined in Illinois, but not all counties are seeing the same kinds of reductions in the number of people lighting up.

Studies show there were marked differences throughout the state in the numbers of people who smoke, with the rates in counties ranging from nearly 15 percent on the low end in DuPage County to nearly 28 percent in Alexander County.

Champaign County had one of the lowest rates, at just over 17 percent, and Vermilion County had one of the highest at nearly 27 percent.

The percentage of Illinoisans who smoke fell from nearly 25 percent in 1996 to just under 20 percent in 2012.
The research looked at both the overall prevalence of smoking, which included just social smokers, and daily smoking in all U.S. counties from 1996 to 2012. It found smoking has declined nationally, mostly in the last decade, but there were dramatic differences among communities, with the most significant smoking declines seen in more affluent counties and larger population centers.

94.1 WGFA