The first meeting to organize a Farm Bureau in Winnebago County was held at Memorial Hall in Rockford, on Saturday afternoon, May 8, 1920. On June 12, 1920, there was a formal organization of the Farm Bureau with a total of 947 members.

Officers were nominated and elected as follows: E. F. Derwent , President; R. S. Bradt, Vice President; W. H. Mackey, Secretary-Treasurer; with the following Executive Committee: E. C. Burch, Winnebago; C. E. Austin, Rockton; G. F. Tullock, Rockford; George Atwood, Roscoe; S. E. Hoisington, Stillman Valley; and Ashley Hartman, Davis.

Since the initial organization of the Winnebago County Farm Bureau there have been 17 Presidents:

boone county farm bureau


Winnebago county farm bureau

1920-1924 E.F. Derwent
1924-1935 George Tullock
1935-1938 Clarence Wishop
1938-1947 Everett C. Phelps
1947-1950 T.E. Derwent
1950-1958 George H. Johns
1958-1961 Clare Clover
1961-1962 Martin Doty
1962-1969 Ellis Greene
1969-1974 Floyd Dickinson
1974-1977 Robert Winters
1977-1981 Steve Shade
1981-1983 Ralph Frantz
1983-1986 Dennis Wilke
1986-1993 Robert Phelps
1993-2005 Larry Larson
2005-2012 Earl Williams Jr

1920-1924 Robert Cummings
1929-1930 James Gough
1930-1932 Harry C Meyers
1932-1933 Elmer Welin
1934- 1936 John Hopperstad
1937-1938 Vernon Cutler
1939-1940 D. Elvin Brown
1941-1945 Mark Grenlund
1946-1948 W.A. Krupke
1949-1951 Roy Latt
1952-1954 Robert Mickey
1955-1959 James Cannell
1960-1962 Donald Gesell
1963-1964 Russell McEachran
1965-1968 Robert Newport
1969-1972 Gary Turner
1973-1975 Robert Newport
1976-1978 Donald Ellingson
1979 Jim Flanders
1980-1983 Russell Anderson
1984 Ronald Karlson
1985-1986 William Cleland
1987-1995 Ed Mathison
1996-2012 Larry R. Anderson

The Boone County Farm Bureau was organized on March 16, 1920 “to encourage the practicing of the most profitable and permanent systems of agriculture possible in this country, to promote the development of more efficient systems of marketing agricultural products and to further the educational, financial, and social welfare of its inhabitants in every legitimate and practical matter.”  (Quote taken from the February/March 1945 News View.)

The first Farm Bureau office, located in Poplar Grove, tested soil for limestone and phosphorus, and brought limestone and phosphate in carload lots.  The first year, the FB purchased and handled 1,256 tons of limestone, 235 tons of rock phosphate, 633 bushels of apples, and 600 bushels of potatoes.

A.B. Hammond started the 4-H club work.  74 boys belonged to the pig club, 56 of whom showed their animals at the county fair.  The pigs were sold at an auction at an average price of $47.25.

In 1921, the Farm Bureau office was moved to Belvidere, IL. 

In 1927, the FB first represented the Illinois Agricultural Mutual Insurance Company as agent for that company’s automobile and employer’s liability insurance. 

In 1930, the Boone County Farm Bureau organized the Farm Bureau Band at the Blaine Church in the spring.  The membership fee was $2.00/ month.  The money was used to hire two leaders who held weekly rehearsals or lesson periods.  The focus of the band was to build up a small musical unit that could entertain its own community as it saw fit.  By 1931, the band consisted of about 72 musically inclined people scattered over the county.  Following the Blaine Unit, other units were organized at Irene, Beaver Valley, two at Bergen and also a prospect of one at Herbert that spring.  50 members passed the musical examination and made up the County Band that met one hour every Sunday afternoon at the Beaver Valley Grange Hall.  This band played at public concerts and meetings. Their most prominent public appearance was in 1932 at the I.A.A. (Illinois Agricultural Association a.k.a. Illinois Farm Bureau) Annual Meeting in Rockford, IL.  They played before the state officers, Ex-governor Lowden, and the two thousand Farm Bureau members present.  They performed at a number of other events, such as the Boone County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting®, July 4th at Shopiere, Wisconsin, Cherry Valley Homecoming, Boone County Fair, Farm Bureau Rally day and Beauty Contest, and several small concerts in Boone County including a crowd of four thousand in a public park in Sycamore, IL. In 1933, the FB Band played at the World’s Fair in Chicago on the day that Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace spoke.  Harold Luhman was the director of the Boone County Farm Bureau band.

In 1932, the Farm Bureau organized their first baseball team.  Godfrey Karlson managed the team during the first year and in 1946, George Price was named team manager.

In 1944, the Boone County Service Company was in development which is now Conserv FS.

In 1956, the Farm Bureau, Insurance Company, and the Service Company moved into our current Belvidere office building located at 702 West Locust Street.

In 1975, Twenty-five pork producers attended a meeting to form the Boone County Pork Producers on April 15th at the Boone County Farm Bureau Office. The producers voted to begin such a club, elected directors, and set dues at $5.00.

In 1992, the Boone County Farm Bureau and FS building was built on the Boone County Fairgrounds.  The fair building was enclosed in 1993.

On August 2, 2012, the members of the Boone County Farm Bureau gathered together for a special meeting.  The members present voted to merge the Boone County Farm Bureau and the Winnebago County Farm Bureau. 

On September 1, 2012, the Boone County Farm Bureau officially merged with the Winnebago County Farm Bureau forming the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau.

Since the initial organization of the Boone County Farm Bureau there have been at least 24 Presidents:

On August 2, 2012, the members of the Winnebago County Farm Bureau gathered together for a special meeting. The members present voted to merge the Winnebago County Farm Bureau and the Boone County Farm Bureau.

On September 1, 2012, the Boone County Farm Bureau officially merged with the Winnebago County Farm Bureau forming the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau.

Since the merger, the Presidents of the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau have been:

2012-2015 Earl Williams Jr

2015-2020  Richard Beuth

2020  John Mitchell (Interim President)

2020- 2022 Julie Newhouse

2022-2023 Brent Pollard

2023-current John Mitchell