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.