September 25, 2023

Coffee and Conversation with Victoria Hansen

My household ushered in the beginning of fall this past weekend by “watching” football, or maybe I was half watching and the other half folding laundry, checking my phone and snacking.  I did not grow up with a football watching family and only started watching when I got in college because I had some friends who were pretty big football fans.  Then when I met my husband, it became a regular fall event. Over the years I’ve begun to pick up on what was happening on the field and gain a better understanding of the different terminology for the game: “pick six”, “pass interception” or “placekick”, just to name a few. Thankfully, I have had several people in my football education journey who were happy to explain each term or what happened in a play. This week, I have been thinking about the terminology we use during harvest. With harvest just around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to explain and highlight some of the main terms during this season for agriculture.

Harvest Terminology:

  • Harvest - The season when ripened crops are gathered, a crop or yield of one growing season.
  • Combine - A machine designed to efficiently harvest a variety of grain crops. The name derives from its combining three separate harvesting operations—reaping, threshing, and winnowing—into a single process.
  • Bushel - A measurement of capacity or size pertaining to agriculture crops. One bushel of wheat is equal to 60 lbs., one bushel of soybeans is equal to 60 lbs., and one bushel of corn is equal to 56 lbs.
  • Acre - A unit of land area measuring 43,560 square feet. This unit of measurement is believed to originate from the amount of land one person could work on in a single day with a yoke of oxen and a wooden plow.
  • Yield - The amount of a crop produced each time or from a given place.
  • Drying - The phase of the post-harvest system where the harvested grain is rapidly dried until it reaches the optimal moisture level for storage.

If you’d like to learn more about what goes into harvest, please follow the Stephenson County Farm Bureau and Illinois Farm Bureau on Facebook.


Bus Trip to Scrooge Musical: Travel with Stephenson County Farm Bureau to The Fireside in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin on November 12. The cost of this trip for Farm Bureau members is $140 per person. Non-member cost is $160 per person. Trip includes show ticket, meal, transportation, and all gratuities. Bus leaves Freeport Walmart at 8:45a.m. and will return around 5:30p.m. To register call 815-232-3186.


Harvest Permits for Hauling:  With fall right around the corner so is the opportunity for farmers to get their Illinois Harvest Permits for hauling their commodities on Illinois’ roadways. Now through December 31st, Illinoi Harvest Permits are available through the Illinois Department of Transportation. These permits allow farmers hauling ag commodities to run ten percent over the legal registered, gross and axle weights of the truck on state highways. A permit from your local township or county road authority is also required to operate at the higher weights on roads in their jurisdictions. Higher weights are not allowed on interstates. Rodney Knittel with Illinois Farm Bureau has developed informational videos about “Harvest permits” and they can be found on

Agricultural Education Teachers Named to Beginning Teacher Grant Program: BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Four beginning Illinois agriculture education teachers were recently recognized by the IAA Foundation with Illinois Agricultural Education Teacher Grants for their efforts during their first year in the field. Dodie Cripe, of Bond County Community Unit #2, Greenville; Gwen Heimerdinger, of Streator Township High School, Streator; Rachel Probst, Mattoon High School, Mattoon; and Elaine Rudolphi, Waterloo High School, Waterloo, were presented the grant during a surprise announcement at each school. “Recognizing ag teachers highlights the outstanding efforts they put into their students and classrooms,” said Jennifer Smith, Development Manager, IAA Foundation. “It’s just one way to reinforce that we support ag educators.”  The Illinois Farm Bureau, through its charitable arm, the IAA Foundation, created the grant program to support new ag teachers who complete their first year of teaching. Grant recipients were selected for their classroom efforts, strong short- and long-term personal and agriculture program goals. The program will fund 32 teachers over a 12-year timeframe. Illinois agricultural education teachers completing their first year in the classroom are eligible to apply for this grant. The amount of the grant payment will increase over the course of the teacher’s first five years in the classroom, up to $10,000 total in personal income, if they remain active as an agricultural education teacher in the state of Illinois. More program information can be found online at under “Our Mission at Work.”

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210 W. Spring St.
Freeport, IL 61032

Phone: 815-232-3186
Fax: 815-232-0016
[email protected]
Stephenson County Farm Bureau(R) is affiliated with the Illinois Farm Bureau(R). Illinois Farm Bureau® is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation®, a national organization of farmers and ranchers including Farm Bureaus in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and is responsible for Farm Bureau® membership and programs within Illinois.
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