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Follow Katie

Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/katiepratt4 @KatiePratt4 
Blog : http://illinoisfarmgirl.wordpress.com

Story

Katie and her husband Andy (7th generation farmer) raise corn, soybeans and seed corn. Welcoming tour groups to their farm is a family tradition starting back in the early 1970s when Andy’s grandfather hosted students from Chicago-area schools on his dairy farm. They currently farm in partnership with Andy’s family and have two children.

Continuous Improvement Efforts

“Technology found in our seeds and equipment has made us better caretakers of the land. We are more efficient with our resources, we are better managers of our inputs, and we grow a quality crop almost every year. We use the latest GPS and satellite technology to guide our equipment. We carefully consider the use of new hybrids before going all in and still rely on the methods of generations past - walking our fields to check for weeds, insects and disease, soil testing to maintain fertility and monitoring conservation methods. We always ask, ‘How can we farm better?’”

How I've Told My Story

“We have an open door policy on the farm, hosting industry groups, international farmers, teachers, students from elementary to collegiate, and inquiring consumers. Just last month my parents opened their farm to more than 350 urban consumers. It was amazing! I pen-pal with urban classrooms (8 years) and coordinate the Ag Expo for county 5th graders (6 years). I recently took the role of ag literacy coordinator for our county. I blog for watchusgrow.com and am in the process of starting my own blog. I have been the farm representative on panels discussing the local economy.”

Organizations/Affiliates

Lee Co. Farm Bureau Young Leaders - member; Lee Co. Fair Association - secretary/manager of country fair; Young Seekers 4-H Club - leader; National FFA & Illinois FFA Alumni – member