February 2017 President’s Message

So far, our winter has been pretty tolerable. Not much snow since December, temperatures that have been respectable and the wind, ok so the wind has been blowing pretty much every day. But, another 30 days will put us near mid- March and close to Spring and Tractor Time! I believe the Slow Boyz have the first ride on April 8th.

I want to take a moment to thank Dustin Wright, Vice President of 1st Farm Credit Services of Bourbonnais, IL 815-933-7831. He was a good guest speaker and had some good information for CIGC.

Our pedal tractor raffle is in. It’s a 7020 John Deere. I have tickets ready for you all to help me sell. Yes, they are $1 each or 6 for $5. I have already sold a few tickets at the Peotone FFA Toy Show. Brad Eich and I and several from the WCTA joined forces there. I’ll have tickets at the meeting. I’m also going to Seneca, IL on March 26th if you want to help sell tickets. I am still looking for an older pedal tractor to restore for our next drawing. What do you have in your basement or garage you could sell to the Club? Or donate would be better.

I have been communicating with Mary Beth DeGrush from the Heritage Tractor Adventure. At this time the planned dates are June 9, 10 and 11 near Morris, IL. Details are forth coming. You may want to save the dates. I’m sure that it will be a good ride in a very Historic and beautiful part of our State. More to come as I get it.

Our February Guest Speaker will be Lisa Regal from Bonfield, IL. She has been a leader in getting the information out to the public with regard to the Grain Belt Railroad. If you think it’s dead, it’s not. Lisa will bring us up to speed. There is also a proposed meeting in Grant Park, IL toward the end of February for those
who are concerned.

By the time we get to the February meeting, it should be fairly known what the feature for the Half Century of Progress will be. The Show is dedicated to memory of Darius Harms the Show organizer so you know that it will be BIG and it is probably red and it will create a spectacle for all to see. Go to Halfcenturyofprogress.com to catch the updates. The Show runs from August 24th to the 27th. PS, there is a new Holiday Express in Rantoul if you still need a room.

Central Illinois Green Club Facebook page is open for business. Check us out. Bring us some tractor news.

I don’t have a Guest Speaker yet for March. Any ideas? What do you want to learn about?

Craig Long

January 2017 President’s Message

Welcome to 2017!  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  Our 2016 was certainly a challenging year for many of us.  Let us remember those we have lost here at CIGC and continue to stay in touch with their families.Welcome to 2017!  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  Our 2016 was certainly a challenging year for many of us.  Let us remember those we have lost here at CIGC and continue to stay in touch with their families.

On a lighter note, I am still trying to get comfortable with my new responsibilities as President of the CIGC.  I am finding out that there is a lot more to it than I thought.  I want to take a moment to thank Stan Dietz, Janeen and especially Nancy Evans.  What a great job they have done.  I appreciate all of their help during our transition.  Remember, Nancy has been a great organizer from Day One!  I think we have not given her enough credit for crossing all of the “t’s” and doting all the “I’s.”  Thanks for all you have done Nancy!

As for what’s ahead.  I can only say that we, the Directors and I, are going to pick up where they left off and run with the ball.  Our intension is to provide the means for which all members of CIGC can thrive.  I believe that we all have seen the impact CIGC has had on our local FFA Chapters, so yes there will be another “Ride the River.”  I believe the activities we do, plowing, tractor rides, and the meals we share all have a positive impact on us, the members of CIGC and the people around us.  So yes, there will be more of that.  In the future I will be handing out jobs to do on several Committees.  If you, the members, are inclined to add your help and expertise, please join the Committee.  We are only limited by our imagination and our willingness to volunteer.  Here is to a Happy and Healthy 2017!

PS. If you have not seen some one at the meetings lately, invite them along! See what we come up with in the future.

Craig Long

Ride The River 2016 Roundup

Ride the River 2016 was a great success.  This year a $9200.00 profit was raised from the Ride the River 2016 and it has been distributed to eight local FFA Chapters for use in their chapter activities.  The eight chapters that were predetermined to receive donations from the proceeds of the ride were Clifton Central, Dwight, Herscher, Iroquois West, Manteno, Peotone, River Valley and Tri Point FFA.  Each received a $1,150.00 check at the November and December CIGC meetings.    

Each of the Chapters were instrumental in making 28Ride the River 2016 a reality.  Their duties varied but an example is helping with rider and tractor registration and passing out the morning coffee and rolls.  Logistical activates such as parking tractors and helping with the set up and taking down facilities for breaks and lunch.  They also were able to enjoy the ride by driving the gators at the front, middle and end of the line of tractors.  While doing this they became the watchman for the railroad tracks at Momence Island. 

They did an amazing job and deserve the recognition!

Overall the history of Ride the River has been an awesome fundraising experience for the Central Illinois Green Club.  The first three Ride the River tractor drives raised $30,000 which is used for a scholarship endowment that benefits Kankakee Community College agriculture students.  Starting in 2014 the proceeds from Ride the River have gone directly to local FFA chapters to help fund their chapter activities.  Nearly $16,000.00 have been donated to these local chapters to date. 

In Memory Of “Bruce’s Corner”

bruce_grafBruce Graf had been the editor of Central Illinois Green Club’s monthly publication called “The Greensheet” for many years.  Printed on green paper by a local printer, it is written, edited, laid out, and mailed to each member every month.  To this day it is coveted by members not only because it reports on the multitude of business covered at monthly meetings, but it also gives updates and reports on shows and events that have happened or are scheduled to happen in the near future.  It also has a calendar of future local events as well as items for sale from your neighbors that you never knew they had.  Sometimes there is even a tasty recipe to try!  Today “The Greensheet” is still mailed out, but only to members who do not receive it in electronic form via email.

Bruce said it best when in May of 2004 he wrote that “The Greensheet” reports not only the news of the Green Club and events to attend, but also news relating to antique farm equipment in general. It would be even better if there were more of the general interest information such as farm auctions, equipment sales, and upcoming events. The editor needs help from the membership in order to expand the coverage for the antique machinery enthusiast. The newsletter is not limited to one page and the editor actually enjoys the challenge of presenting this information in an accurate readable, and compact format!  Bruce created and made “The Greensheet” what it is today.  Everything from the format to the articles and classifieds had to meet his approval and receive his final touches.

Over time Bruce included quotes and even added an occasional comment or snippet of wisdom to “The Greensheet”.  When Bruce retired as editor of “The Greensheet” because of health reasons, many of his quotes continued to be reprinted in a section called “Bruce’s Corner.” These quotes have been enjoyed for a second time by many members over the last few years.  As the final issues of “The Greensheet” were prepared, “Bruce’s Corner” featured yet another poignant statement of that which describes the family of the Central Illinois Green Club.  He said DECEMBER – As I prepare for the years final “Greensheet”, I reminisce on the past two years of the Green Club and my involvement in the activities. I find myself very fortunate to become a part of this wonderful group of friends who have shown me some of a different lifestyle and attitude that my city upbringing was lacking. I enjoy the friendship and remain thankful to the Green Club for the experiences.

It is possible that reading “The Greensheet” is the greatest tribute that one can give to the work that Bruce put into the creation of the monthly publication.  That being said, we are sad to report that long time “Greensheet” editor and former Central Green Club Director Bruce Graf passed away on November 1, 2016. Bruce was a valued member that worked tirelessly to make the Central Illinois Green Club what it is today.  He will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace Our Friend!

Ride the River 2016

Ride the River is back!  Tractor enthusiasts from all over are invited to bring their tractors and participate in the 2016 “Ride the River” Vintage Tractor Ride, scheduled for Saturday, August 27, 2016.

The goal of this event is to raise funds to help support students of the Central, Dwight, Herscher, Iroquois West, Manteno, Peotone, River Valley and Tri Point FFA chapters, while providing tractor riders with an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Kankakee River Valley.

In 2014 our Ride The River event raised $7,000 and helped 7 of our local FFA chapters. With the ongoing state budget crisis in Illinois, it is now more important than ever to support the FFA.  Ride the River 2016 will help ensure continued growth for our local FFA chapters.

If you are interested in riding you can get a Ride The River 2016 Registration Form from our website.  Adobe Acrobat is required to view and fill out the form. Get Adobe Acrobat here.  If you need more information see the Ride The River 2016 page of contact Stan Dietz, Central Illinois Green Club President at 815-674-2306. Be at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 27, 2016 before we leave so you can take part in Ride The River 2016!!!

One Year Ends and Another Begins

As a busy 2015 drew to a close and the members of the Central Illinois Green Club had much to reflect on.  Everyone started the year on a high note, but these feeling were often washed away by the extremely wet spring and early summer that much of Northern Illinois experienced.  In fact, many tractor shows were either canceled all together or had their events severely limited by the weather.  Everyone is hopeful that 2016 will be a better year for the crops as well as for enjoying the tractor drives and many shows in and around Northern Illinois.


The banquet held on December 16 at the American Legion in Herscher was a fitting way to close out 2015.  One high note was special recognition that Dale Armstrong received for selling the most peddle tractor raffle tickets.  He has always been a top seller, but this year he blew away the competition!  He also announced that he will be moving out of state.  This may give our peddle tractor raffle an even greater reach!

This year brings Ride the River 2016.  With 150 drivers enjoying the ride while fundraising money for 8 local FFA chapters, this year should turn our much brighter than last year.  Save August 27 for Ride the River and get your Registration Form in soon!  The annual Covered Bridge Tractor Ride is also being planned as well as many other local rides around the area.  Be sure to plan accordingly!!!

We hope this year will be a good one!

Presidents Message 2014

To the Officers, Directors, and Members of the Central Illinois Green Club:

This all started with a meeting in November of 2002 with 40 people who loved tractors. One month later with 15 volunteer Directors we met to form our meeting plans, choose officers, and plan a newsletter.  In April of 2003 we had 55 members, and at one time reached 200 with an average of 170 over the past five years. The Club’s main objective is sharing, educating, and promoting the knowledge of antique tractors, farm machinery and collectibles.  In 2008 the first Ride the River was put together, and 4 rides later this club has raised over $37.000.00. This established our commitment to give back to the community, and help students with a desire to continue their studies in agriculture and horticulture.

My dream was to establish this club, and all of you have made that come true in a way far greater than I imagined.  I know that stepping down as President, it will continue to grow and fulfill the commitment we have made to our youth, communities and the presentation and knowledge of our antique tractors and farming.

Nancy and I have met many people along the way, and call many of them friends, as we do everyone sitting here tonight.  The many events that we have attended, participated in and conducted has given us that opportunity.

As you know this is not an easy thing to do, but I know we have built a strong foundation in our membership that will help this club to get bigger and better.

As I stand here to pass this gavel I am very proud of this club, it’s membership and all that we have accomplished. Nancy and I look forward to our new roles in the club with great pride.

I thank all of you from the very bottom of my heart for making one of my dreams come true.

John Evans
President 2002-2014
Central Illinois Green Club

Ride The River 2014 Roundup

Ride the River was a huge success once again. Everyone should be very proud of the result of this year’s ride.  The Ride the River 2014 page has been updated to include the sponsor list.  Also, a photo album has been added that documents the ride.

President John Evans took some time from his Alaskan vacation to leave us with this message regarding the success of Ride the River 2014.

I would like to thank Dave Wehrman for picking up the pizzas from Tony’s Pizza on Friday night.  Thank you to Steve Klecke owner of Tony’s for the pizzas. Thank you to Bill Hengl and Carol Churilla for picking up the donuts, fruit and snacks. Thank you to Pete Schafer and the
Kankakee County Fairgrounds board for allowing us to use the Fairgrounds as a starting and ending point. Thank you to the 7 FFA officers from the River Valley FFA chapter that spent the
whole day with us! Thanks also to the 2 girls from the Herscher FFA group the helped at noon. Their help was most appreciated and needed. Thanks to Stan and Janeen Dietz who sponsored the water and 380 lb of ice. Thank you to Mark Chapman for the 144 cookies he sponsored. Thank you notes have been sent to all the sponsors. Please note the list of 2014 Ride the River sponsors in the September Greensheet and support those and say thanks when you see them for their continued support. The event rose over $7000 that will be given to the local FFA chapters. Thanks to the Ride the River Committee and everyone who helped and participated in the 2014 Ride the River event! A job well done!!

As published in October 8, 2014 issue (Issue 142) of The Greensheet.

Ride the River 2014

Ride the River is back!  Tractor enthusiasts from all over are invited to bring their tractors and participate in the 2014 “Ride the River” Vintage Tractor Ride, scheduled for Saturday, August 23, 2014 along the Kankakee and Iroquois rivers.

“We are extremely excited to bring this unique and special event back again.” notes John Evans, Sr., President of the Central Illinois Green Club. “The 2008, 2010 and 2012 rides created a substantial scholarship for KCC Ag and Horticulture students. This year’s ride will directly benefit local agriculture students at the High School level.  Specifically the proceeds will benefit the Herscher, Dwight Clifton Central, Iroquois West and Peotone FFA chapters.

This year the ride will begin at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds with a 6:30 a.m. check-in, coffee and donuts. Participants are encouraged to bring their tractors to the Fairgrounds the night before, but may also arrive the morning of the event. For those wishing to come in the night before, overnight security and surveillance will be provided on-site. An estimated 150 tractors will leave the Kankakee Fairgrounds, following a route of approximately 50 miles.

Ride the river has always and will continue to be a fun way for enthusiasts to get together, show off their pride and joy vintage tractors, see the tractors brought by other collectors, and enjoy a beautiful, scenic ride for a great cause. Best of all, supporting this year’s event will mean bolstering future generations of farmers throughout the region.

Sign up for the ride with the official Registration Form.  More information is available on the Ride the River 2014 page.

Looking Ahead to Summer 2014

Even though the temperatures have been sub zero and there are piles of snow the size of tractors all over the yard, plans are being made to fill out the New Year at the Central Illinois Green Club.  Continuing and new events are on the calendar and the details are being iron out.    The regular monthly club meetings are on the calendar as well as the May pot luck meeting, so be sure to attend those.  Also, it is time to start thinking about the first outdoor club event – our annual swap meet!

Also on the events list are the Herscher Tractor Ride and Display, the Club’s 12th annual Covered Bridge Tractor Ride, the Manteno Veterans Home Display and possible tours of the Case IH plant and Keller Antiques.  2014 is looking like it may be another great year!