Russell and Marilyn Rosenboom, of rural Clifton, were recently honored as agricultural leaders. The Rosenbooms were among 100 honorees in the country who were announced on National Agriculture Day, March 15.
The program, known as Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives, is a focus on leaders who are changing rural communities and agriculture for the better.
The 100 Fresh Perspectives program was launched as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Farm Credit system of borrower-owned credit cooperatives created by Congress in 1916 to serve farmers, ranchers and rural communities.
The official announcement states, the Rosenbooms "have shared their passion for agriculture, a dedication to mentoring and helping young farmers and a solid example of a husband-and-wife farming partnership for more than 10 years."
They joined the Cultivating Master Farmers program in 2005 as Master Farmers and, "with a willingness to share both their farming background and their personal challenges" they have helped to mentor more than 50 young farmer couples in Illinois and with interns from Parkland and Blackhawk junior colleges. Beyond that, they also have helped farmers in Australia, Holland, Germany and Denmark.
The Cultivating Master Farmers program "is designed to unite different generations of Illinois farmers through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and production experience" and is sponsored by 1st Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit of Illinois, GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, Monsanto and Prairie Farmer.
"It is an inspiration to see young farmers we have been associated with through the program grow in their successful farming careers," the Rosenbooms said. "The Cultivating Master Farmers program provides us an opportunity to share more than 56 years of farming experience with many young farmers and couples. We benefit from their eagerness to learn and adapt new technology to raise the bar higher."
Russell and sons Rick and Randy farm 5,400 acres in Kankakee and Iroquois.