Fresh Paint and A New Face

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
By Corinne Harding
Youth & Collegiate Program Intern 
Illinois Farm Bureau

If you haven’t been to the Illinois Farm Bureau home office in a while, let me tell you, a lot of change has been happening in this building.

From tearing down walls to ripping out the carpet, walking around these halls feels like a real-life episode of a home renovation TV show. With this renovation, employees’ offices are being moved all over the building, and you can catch faint smells of fresh paint off and on throughout the day.

Since I was a young girl growing up on a corn and soybean farm in rural Peoria County, I have realized how much agriculture and change has been a part of my life. I’ve changed from a girl who spent her summers playing softball, to spending a year traveling across the state and world as an Illinois FFA State Officer, to losing her voice cheering on the Illini at sporting events. Each of these life moments, no matter how big or small, has made me who I am today: one of the new faces at Illinois Farm Bureau. 

It is because of growing up on a farm that I have grown to appreciate change, because without it, we wouldn’t have the technology to help feed a growing world. These advancements now, whether medicine for livestock or autosteer in our tractors, help us succeed not just for the present but also for the future. As I change and grow, I know one thing won’t fade as time goes on: my passion for agriculture. Change is as simple as the transition of seasons, and I have started a new season of my life.

I have just finished my junior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Agriculture Leadership Education with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Management. My education plus current and past experiences have given me the desire to bridge the gap between the agriculture industry and the general public. I want to reduce the misconceptions people have toward this industry because agriculture touches all lives, no matter where people are from or what age they are. I am looking forward to working as the Youth and Collegiate Program Intern and helping to educate and make an impact on young agriculturists across the state.

Even though this building renovation might mean I will be working in the basement with no sunlight in sight for several hours at a time, I look forward to the bright new faces I will meet and opportunities of growth this position will offer me. I have learned that we can create change and our own sunlight in life if we put in the time and effort.

This building isn’t the only thing changing over the course of this summer, and I look forward to seeing how this building and I turn out throughout the next couple of months.