Emma Kuhns (U of I)
Hello again, everyone! This is Emma Kuhns checking in after her spring job shadow
days. To reintroduce myself, again, I am currently a junior at the University of Illinois -
Urbana-Champaign studying Agricultural & Consumer Economics with a concentration in Public
Policy & Law. I grew up on a hog and grain farm near Mason, IL and have been involved in the
agricultural industry my whole life. This led me to choose my college and major and now, is what
inspires me to pursue a Juris Doctorate from a law school in Illinois. I hope to use my degrees to
be of service to the grain and feed industry in Illinois.
Both of my job shadows were with Hasselberg, Grebe, Snodgrass, Urban, & Wentworth,
Attorneys and Counselors in Peoria, Illinois. For my spring job shadow, I had the opportunity to
meet with attorneys in the firm like Kyle Tompkins, whom I met with in the fall, James Grebe,
David Wentworth and William (Bill) Streeter. I met with each of them first at the Grain and Feed
Annual Conference where I was recognized as one of the scholarship recipients. They talked to
me about their involvement with the association over the years and their passion for
representing it as well as some of its members.
Following our time at convention, I toured their temporary and permanent offices and
learned more about the structure of their practices. I had the chance to sit down with Mr.
Wentworth and learn more about the litigation aspect of agriculture as well as his current
projects. I greatly enjoyed this portion as I have not had much experience with litigation in the
past and he gave me a deep dive into his practice. He specifically touched on an environmental
case he was currently charged with that aligned perfectly with some of the information I had
learned in my environmental law class last semester.
I want to thank the Hasselberg, Grebe, Snodgrass, Urban, & Wentworth team for
welcoming me into their offices and sharing their line of work with an aspiring student. This
experience has further my excitement for law school and my career afterward. If there is one
take away I have from this experience is that I have chosen the right field to study and I can’t
wait to be a part of the Grain and Feed Industry!
Margaret Vaessen (U of I)
As the daughter of a grain farmer and small agricultural business owner, the importance of agriculture, and especially the grain industry, has been instilled in me from a young age. My name is Margaret Vaessen and I am currently a junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying agricultural and consumer economics with a concentration in finance in agribusiness. I am from the small rural village of Sublette, Illinois where I had the privilege to observe and speak with the men and women who are responsible for the operation of the Sublette Farmers’ Elevator.
The Sublette Farmers’ Elevator is a place I hold near and dear to my heart as I first experienced it as a little girl when I would walk with my wagon up there every Monday to collect that week’s supply of chicken feed. There I was always met at the door with a smile and a reference by name. I have come to discover that the Sublette Farmers’ Elevator is a crucial part of the community. As I was sitting with Reed Acre, the general manager, we were able to discuss how national events impact how much grain he sells and at what price. There was a drought in the west causing consumers to be concerned that they would not be able to attain their normal consumption for their companies. Reed is challenged every day to look farther and farther ahead into the future so he can sell Sublette Farmer’s Elevator grain at a fair but profitable price as people are demanding more corn to be allocated to them in the coming months than they ever have before. Further, while Reed is making business decisions, the elevator is also making decisions for farmers indirectly. As I sat in the elevator on a day that was spitting rain and not in the best conditions to be harvesting, I still saw trucks coming into the elevator from the fields. It was near the end of harvest, and the farmers were tired from going for the past seven days straight and needed a break. I learned that day that sometimes the elevator makes the hard decision to shut down for the benefit of the farmer. The Sublette Farmers’ Elevator is a vital part of the community. When I was shadowing, I learned a great deal about where the grain goes, how it is bought and sold, and who is working in the facility. Running the Sublette Farmers’ Elevator is a team effort, and it was fun being a part of the team for a while.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.