Two long-time area farmers were honored Thursday.
The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce held its 44th Annual Agri-Industry Banquet last night.
Chamber President Lisa Musch says the dinner celebrates the local agriculture industry and the businesses that support it. “It was a great evening and we had over two hundred and fifty guests all from the local ag industry business area. We were thrilled to be able to bring everybody together to celebrate the importance this industry has on our community.”
Musch says each year the Agri-Industry Hall of Fame Award is presented to honor those who have given a lifetime of service to the agricultural industry, For 2023, Gary Ginder and Bob Schafer were inducted into the Ag Hall of Fame.
Musch says that both men are more than deserving of the award through both their personal and professional efforts. “It was interesting to me that they didn’t know each other, so it was kind of cool that they got to meet for the first time.
Interestingly enough, both of them have worked on the 4-H auctions. Gary worked on the 4-H auction for many many years here in Morgan County and Bob has done so in Scott County. So it was just kinda cool that both nominees this year have given a lot of time and service to the auctions, as well as many other endeavors in different groups and organizations within the area.”
The Ag Hall of Fame was created in 1995 and has had a total of 62 inductees since that time.
The following is the complete biographical and nomination information provided by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Ag Hall of Fame Announcement for Gary Ginder and Bob Schafer:
Gary Ginder has been farming for over 50 years and is the fourth generation of farmers in the family. In 1865, after serving in the Civil War, Gary’s great, great-grandfather bought 40 acres of farmland near Arenzville, IL, and started the family farm. Today, Gary and his two sons, now the fifth generation of farmers, continue to raise corn and soybeans on a “little more” than that original 40 acres. He has received the Young Farmer of the Year award from the Jaycees and he and his father and brother received the Conservation Farm Family of the Year from Rotary.
Gary Ginder has been a member of the Cass-Morgan Farm Bureau for 46 years serving as a 6-year member of its Board of Directors. He has served 28 years on the Board of Directors for Prairieland FS and its cooperative predecessors with more than 6 years as Treasurer.
The Morgan County Fair has also benefited from Gary’s time and talents. For 18 years, he served as the Morgan County Fair 4-H Auction Superintendent. During his tenure, the bidding process was simplified for the buyer and ensured that the kids had a good experience. Gary also worked on ground and building improvements as well as volunteering his time. He served 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Fair.
Gary assists in the local community, also. He is a member of the Franklin American Legion, Elks Club, and a 70-year member of Centenary Methodist Church. He is an Army veteran with four years of service in Germany during the Vietnam Conflict. Gary supports Crimson basketball, having played on the Sweet Sixteen team in 1965-66.
Gary lives in rural Jacksonville and is married to Joyce They have two sons, Greg and David (wife Mallory), and one granddaughter.
Bob Schafer has been farming for nearly 48 years. He has raised corn, soybeans, beef, sheep, goats, and swine. He has also served as a State plumbing inspector for over 30 years.
Bob Schafer has served on the Scott County Fair Association for fifty years, serving as President for 33 years. He provides fiscal and managerial leadership to the Scott County Fair as well as assistance and partnership to the 4-H Fair exhibits and Livestock Auction. He is an instrumental part in the Auction by preparing for the event and luncheon while providing leadership to the livestock superintendents.
Bob has held the offices of Vice President and President of the Scott County Extension Building Association. He has served the University of Illinois Extension for forty-plus years serving as Chair of the Extension Council in multiple counties. He was elected to the Illinois Extension State Advisory Council. In this role, he assists with local needs assessments to identify program priorities for local U of I Educators that provide programming in the areas of Agriculture, 4-H Youth Development, Community & Economic Development, and Family & Consumer Sciences.
For forty-eight years, Bob served as a Scott County 4-H Leader receiving the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame award, the Scott County 4-H Alumni Award, and Friend of 4-H.
Bob serves his community on the Scott County Board of Commissioners and is Scott County Community Unit 1 School Board president. He has also been the IDPH Examining Board President and Western Illinois Economic Development Authority Board Member. Bob is also a member of the Pike/Scott Farm Bureau and Manchester Baptist Church.
The nomination for Bob states, “Bob is not the type of person that seeks recognition, he is simply the type of person that truly enjoys being involved. He is a friend to agriculture, education, and community.”
Bob and his wife Chris have two children, Brian (wife Becky) and Amanda (husband Michael Pfeiffer), and 5 grandchildren.