Hello! My name is Emily Brooks, and I am originally from Prophetstown, Illinois. I am a senior at the University
of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign majoring in Agricultural and Consumer Economics. As the f if th generation of
my f amily’s grain and livestock f arm, I have gained an immense passion for the agricultural industry.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the GFAI Summer Immersion Tour. Over fall break, I
got even more insight into the grain and feed industry during my job shadow experience at Rock River Lumber
and Grain Co.
As a young girl, I felt like a regular at Rock River's main of f ice in Prophetstown because I loved selling Girl
Scout candy and cookies to the employees. I had no clue how big of a role they played not only in our local
area but also within the agricultural industry. It was great being able to view their company through a dif ferent
lens as a college student who has taken multiple agricultural marketing courses.
During my f irst day at Rock River, I spent the day with Mr. Carey Bauer, the General Manager, both discussing
Rock River’s role in the grain and feed industry and touring its facilities. Rock River is the biggest grain shipper
on the UP-Rail Line, and the grain goes to Texas, Mexico, and California to feed chickens and cattle. In fact,
Rock River has served 5 billion chickens. Additionally, I was able to tour Prophetstown’s fertilizer and chemical
facilities, the Sterling grain elevator and rail, and Frary Lumber.
I was able to observe Conner King and Jaycie VanKampen, who are both Merchandiser-Logistics, on the
second day. I listened as they interacted with farmers both in person and over the phone and learned more
about the commodity markets and the role of basis, margin calls, and bids.
I want to thank the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois for providing this scholarship and experiential learning
opportunity to myself and other young agriculturalists interested in learning more about the industry.
Additionally, I want to thank Mr. Carey Bauer and his team at Rock River for teaching me more about the ins
and outs of what it takes to be a successful local grain elevator.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.