2022-23 Project Grant Applications Now Available for

Boone and Winnebago 4-H and FFA Youth

The Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau is offering up to $200 per project in project grants for 4-H and FFA Youth to help support projects underway by local FFA chapters and 4-H clubs. The recipients will be able to use the grant to purchase necessary materials and supplies.

The applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a member of a 4-H club or FFA chapter in Boone or Winnebago Counties
  • Must submit a typed application to describe the project
  • Applicant’s FFA Advisor/ 4-H leader must sign the application
  • Applicant’s parent/guardian must sign the application

The recipients will be chosen based on the above requirements, along with a 5 to 10-minute oral presentation on the proposed project at an upcoming Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau board meeting. Grant funds will be awarded after the recipient submits a summary of the program or project, photos, and detailed receipts.

Grant Overview

Grant Application

Winter Gardening Programs

Traditional gardening might be on hold for the winter season, but there are some things to consider doing in your yards yet this winter to prepare your outdoor space for springtime. U of I Extension Boone County Master Gardeners will share some tips and information on gardening topics throughout this winter season at Ida Public Library.

Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. - Bulbs: Basics, Myths, and Truths
Lean the basics of blub care as well as bust some of the myths we always thought were true with latest research information. Boone County Master Gardener Barb Wych will be guiding this informative discussion.

Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. - Grow Your Own Backyard Tree Fruit
Tree fruits can be grown in your backyard with proper care and training. This presentation reveals reasons for managing your backyard tree fruits wisely. Learn the basics of backyard tree fruits and how selection, training, and pruning are key factors for success. Join U of I Extension Boone County Master Gardener, Brian Rudny, for this informative program.

These programs are free to attend. Advanced registration is encouraged to ensure enough handouts are available the day of the program. Call Ida Public Library to reserve your spot at 815-544-3838. If you have specific questions about these programs or need a reasonable accommodation, please contact Judy Hodge, Extension Program Coordinator at 815-544-3710 or hodg@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow time to meet your needs. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.



Illinois Farm Bureau will host a series of two-hour programs focusing on transportation laws and regulations as they pertain to the agricultural industry.

The Rules for the Road Seminar will cover recent changes, as well as some of the more established but still misunderstood rules. Topics will include the USDOT Number, UCR registration, Entry Level Driver Training, and driver’s license classifications, to name a few. In addition, one of the events will also be broadcast virtually on March 1st at 6 pm. “These presentations take a closer look at the rules and provide an opportunity for farmers to ask ag-related trucking questions that they can’t seem to find clear answers for,” said Rodney Knittel, IFB Assistant Director of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Knittel specializes in farm transportation issues and will lead the seminar series and will be joined by Illinois enforcement agencies.

Rules for the Road seminars are open to all Illinois Farm Bureau members. Attendance is free, courtesy of your County Farm Bureau and Illinois Farm Bureau, but advance registration is required. Please call your local county farm bureau to reserve your place at the Rules for the Road Seminar.

For more information, contact Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau.

Extension Offers Expansive List of Winter Meetings.


​​January 26-27: Driftless Region Beef Conference
Grand River Convention Center, Dubuque, IA
The 11th Annual Driftless Region Beef Conference will focus on efficient and economical forage and beef production. This conference includes Extension specialists from Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Contact: Travis Meteer

​​February 23, 11 AM: Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale
Illinois Beef Expo, Springfield
For more than 50 years, breeders and commercial cow-calf producers have trusted the Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale for proven genetics. The IPT Bull Sale is known for giving bull buyers the information they need to make positive herd progress. All bulls will have genomic-enhanced EPDs. Contact: Travis Meteer


January-March: Crop Management Conferences
Multiple locations and online
Make the most informed decisions you can for your farm by getting the latest research updates to improve productivity and output from crop science experts at University of Illinois. Crop producers, consultants, and industry professionals are invited to attend.

January 18, 9 AM: 2023 Conservation Cropping Seminar
Illinois Department of Agriculture Building, Springfield
Build natural resilience to weather extremes, pests, and weeds using sustainable techniques that improve soil health and keep your farm profitable. 

 Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program
Need to get your pesticide applicator or operator license? Sign up for training and testing online or in person. Seating for the in-person clinics is limited, so don't delay!

  • Private applicator clinics: January 17: Rock Island; January 24: Carterville; February 2: Springfield; March 2: Peoria; March 7: Rockford; March 29: Collinsville. 
  • Commercial Applicator/Operator clinics: January 10-11: Champaign; January 25-26: Mt. Vernon; January 31-February 1: Springfield; February 14-15: Peoria; March 8-9: Rockford; March 27-28: Collinsville; April 4: Crystal Lake; April 5-6: Skokie; April 19-20: Matteson.

​January 23, 7 PM: Farm Liability and Insurance Basics | Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms
Legal risks can be fatal to a farm business. Understanding legal issues can dispel anxiety and help farmers realize their power to control their circumstances. Contact: Kathryn Pereira

February 6, 9 AM: Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference
The Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference provides northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin growers with the information to implement new practices, diversify their crops, and hear about relevant research from University of Illinois Extension and University of Wisconsin-Madison educators and specialists. We’re pleased to have Dr. Emily Lavely, a tree fruit educator at Michigan State, joining us for a keynote on roots and a breakout session on apple tree pruning. Additional topics this year will be diseases and insects, pumpkins, urban-agriculture research in high tunnels, weed management, and day-neutral strawberries. Contact: Grant McCarty


March 7, 1:30 PM: Basics of Home Composting | Four Seasons Gardening
Home composting is a great way to support our environment by introducing a sustainable gardening component that builds healthy soils while reducing the volume of waste going to landfills. Discover the fascinating ins and outs of the decomposition process and learn how to turn waste into valuable organic matter by starting a compost pile at home. Contact: Nancy Kreith

 March 9, 1 PM: Tricky Pollinator Questions and Answers | Everyday Environment
Are my annual plants “junk food” for bees? Can I help pollinators by not mowing my lawn? How can I help pollinators thrive if I don’t have a garden? This presentation will explore pollinator questions that have nuanced, uncertain, or controversial answers. Contact: Brodie Dunn


January 31, 1:30 PM: Pruning Shade Trees | Four Seasons Gardening
Proper pruning ensures that long-lived woody plants remain healthy and structurally safe in the home landscape. Many homeowners skip this important maintenance task due to uncertainty surrounding how, when, and where to make pruning cuts, which can vary based on a tree’s age. Unravel the mystery of pruning shade trees as we cover basic pruning cuts, the all-important practice of young tree pruning, and how to care for and prune mature trees. Contact: Ryan Pankau