Reporter’s note: WCIA’s Harvest Heritage series usually focuses on a family whose heritage in agriculture is passed down from one generation to the next. But for this story, we want to introduce you to a farmer who shares his heritage with all other farmers, as well as non-farmers.
DGOULAS COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Larry Dallas, brother David, and nephew John farm across the Champaign-Douglas county line.
“We basically started from scratch in 1984,” says Larry Dallas. “Bought this place and got the farm, 140 acres, along with that.”
He quickly became involved with Illinois Farm Bureau Young farmers.
“I went on the Douglas County Farm Bureau Board 13 years ago, I guess,” he says. “I was on the board for 11 years and president for nine years. And I went on the Illinois Farm Bureau Board in December.”
That’s where he met Mark Gebhards, Farm bureau’s head of governmental affairs.
“As a former county president, as a current board member of our IAA Board of Directors, the Illinois Farm Bureau Board of Directors, as well as we have him involved in some advisory councils on some environmental regulatory issues, again, and Larry is about practical, common sense-based solutions for farmers here in Illinois,” Gebhards says.
“We see the lists of bills that come into the state legislature,” says Dallas. “It’s a laundry list of things. Most of them not good for agriculture. Or really for the state if you want to be serious about it.
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding of what we do out here and I think it’s important to tell the story of how environmentally sound modern agriculture is, how productive modern agriculture is, and Farm Bureau is in the forefront of that.
“I write a column that runs monthly in some local newspapers, small-town newspapers. I don’t write them for farmers, I write them for the public, hoping to teach them a little bit about agriculture. But hopefully, take some of what I learned in agriculture and in Farm Bureau and teach people about what we do.”
And that is the heritage Larry Dallas is sharing with fellow farmers.