In it for the long haul

<strong>In it for the long haul</strong>

Ginder, Schafer honored by chamber for nearly a century of farming

Special to The Source

The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce held the 44th annual Agri-Industry Banquet on March 2.

This dinner is a celebration of agriculture and the businesses that support this vital industry. The chamber recognizes the importance of a strong rural economy at this banquet each year.

The Agri-Industry Hall of Fame award was presented at the banquet. The Hall of Fame was created in 1995 to honor those men and women who have given a lifetime of service to the agricultural industry through personal and professional efforts. This year, Gary Ginder and Bob Schafer were inducted into the Ag Hall of Fame.

Gary Ginder has been farming over 50 years and is the fourth generation of farmers in the family. In 1865, after serving in the Civil War, Ginder’s great-great-grandfather bought 40 acres of farmland near Arenzville and started the family farm. Today, Ginder 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 six-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 six years as treasurer.

The Morgan County Fair has also benefited from Ginder’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. Ginder also worked on ground and building improvements as well as volunteering his time. He served six years on the board of directors for the fair.

Ginder assists in the local community also. He is a member of the Franklin American Legion, Elks Club and 70-year member of Centenary Methodist Church. He is an Army veteran with four years of service in Germany during the Vietnam Conflict. Ginder supports Jacksonville High School Crimsons basketball, having played on the “Sweet Sixteen” team in 1965-66.

Ginder lives in rural Jacksonville and is married to Joyce. They have two sons, Greg and David (wife Mallory), and a one granddaughter.

The second inductee, 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 50 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 of the auction by preparing for the event and luncheon while providing leadership to the livestock superintendents.

Schafer has held offices of vice president and president of the Scott County Extension Building Association. He has served University of Illinois Extension for 40 plus years, serving as chair of 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 48 years, Schafer 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 award.

Schafer serves his community on the Scott County Board of Commissioners and as Scott County Community Unit1 School Board president. He has also been the IDPH Examining Board President and Western Illinois Economic Development Authority board member. Bob Schafer is also a member of the Pike/Scott Farm Bureau and Manchester Baptist Church.

The nomination for Schafer 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 Schafer and his wife Chris have two children, Brian (wife, Becky) and Amanda (husband, Michael Pfeiffer), and five grandchildren.

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