PRINCETON — At this week’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 2014 Bureau County Agricultural Service Award to Jim Rapp.
The purpose for this award, the Agricultural Service 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, the nominating organization, they wanted to honor Jim for all of his achievements in advancing agriculture through his leadership during a lifetime of “loving what he does best” … farming.
Rapp began his “farming career” as a small child growing up on the family farm in Bureau County. During that time that he earned his bachelor’s degree in farm management at SIU; he also returned home to help with the work of planting and harvesting in the spring and fall. In his early years of farming, he was a Bureau County Farm Bureau director for six years, and during that time he also was a member of the Illinois Air National Guard. He has also been a member of the ASCS/Farm Service Agency for six years and a 20-year Bureau County Board of Appeals member serving on the Zoning Board.
Rapp has been very active in Illinois Corn Growers, where he served as Illinois Corn Growers secretary, treasurer, vice chairman and finally chairman of the Illinois Corn Growers for a term of one year. He also served on the Associate Board for Corn Growers for six years and on the Marketing Board for seven to eight years. He has served on the Corn Growers National committees such as the ethanol committee and grower services.
Rapp also has served on the U.S. Grains Council as part of the Asian Team which promotes and develops grain markets worldwide. He has graciously held farm tours of his Rapp Farms operation to many individuals from such countries as China, Japan, Vietnam, Morocco and France, as well as touring farms in agricultural entities in the countries of Japan, China, Mexico, Egypt, Guatemala and Vietnam as part of Corn Growers Agricultural exchange program. He has hosted urban legislators as part of the adopted legislator program.
Jim and his wife, Nancy, live north of Princeton. He continues the family farm operation with his two sons, Nick and Ben Rapp, and is continually making new and inventive changes to the Rapp Farms in marketing and his farming operation.