PRINCETON — At this weekend’s Beef and Ag Days in Princeton, the Bureau County Farm Bureau, Bureau County Pork Producers Association and the Bureau County Cattleman’s Association awarded the 2013 Bureau County Agricultural Service Award to Don and Arkie Grubb.
The purpose for this award is to provide an opportunity for Bureau County agricultural organizations and businesses to honor individuals who have given exemplary leadership and service to agriculture and farmers in Bureau County and beyond.
To qualify, a nominee must be a resident of Bureau County who has given exemplary leadership and service to agriculture in Bureau County and/or a broad segment of the region, state or nation. A nominee must have provided service to agriculture but may come from disciplines that serve other areas in addition to agriculture i.e. education, research, public relations, agribusiness, public affairs and other areas. Such individuals should also have a history of giving time and/or resources to promote the aims, programs and services of Bureau County agricultural organizations.
According to the Farm Bureau, their nominating organization, the Grubbs were chosen for this award because they fit this award description, as their involvement in activities both on and off the farm has been above and beyond most individuals in this industry.
Don served on the Bureau County Pork Producers board, Bureau County Soil and Water Conservation District Board and the Bureau County Farm Bureau Board, holding various volunteer positions. He also served as District 5 director on the Illinois Pork Producers Executive Board and was a delegate to National Pork Producers Council for one year. For his efforts he received the state “Top Superior Pork Award” in 1980 and received the Bureau County Outstanding Service Award in 1981.
Don volunteered on the County Cooperative Extension Service Ag Council and the Extension Administration Council for several years. He also served on the Cooperative Extension State Advisory Committee (to Dr. Oswald) and as a delegate to the Extension Layman’s Conference in Washington, D.C., in 1985. He was chosen as Prairie Farmers Master Farmer in 1988.
Don was a host farmer for the Bureau County Soil and Water Conservation Districts No-Till Soybean Plots in 1984 and has been an active promoter of Soil and Water Conservation practices. The couple was the recipient of the Conservation Farm Family Award in 1995.
Off the farm, Don has served many years in various leadership positions with the Buda Methodist Church, including serving as the co-chair of the building committee of the Bunker Hill Church Building in Buda.
Arkie served on the Bureau County Pork Producers Board and on the Illinois Pork Producers Association Board. There she held various volunteer positions. For eight years she also attended the three-day trip to Chicago with the Pork Producers Ambassadors, serving as chair for four years.
Arkie served on the nominating committee for the Bureau County Farm Bureau for two years and volunteered with the Ag the Classroom from the creation, serving on the committee for the first three years.
As a member of the Bunker Hill Church of God of Buda, she sang in the choir, taught Bible school and was the activity coordinator for wedding and funerals, etc. She also served on many women’s committees as well as helping Don (being co-chair) with the building of the new church.
Together they have raised Belted Galloway cattle, goats and buffalo. They rent their land and hog farm out to surrounding producers and like to spend time with their horses. They have helped Harold Steele show off his horse-powered corn sheller and have opened their operation for farm tours for local educators.
Don and Arkie have seven children, 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. For years they have been actively involved in a number of farm organizations and boards and have been recognized on both the local and state level. In their retirement they spend winters in Arizona riding horses in the mountains.