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Beef youth gather at Corn Crib for EDGE conference

NORMAL, Ill. — Around 40 Illinois Junior Beef Assoc. (ILJBA) youth completed their ILJBA EDGE Conference day with a suite’s-eye view of a Frontier League baseball game at the Corn Crib, home stadium to the Normal CornBelters, sponsored by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB).

The kids left their farms all across Illinois to attend the July 17 EDGE conference, which began with an early-morning meeting at the Corn Crib in Normal.

ILJBA members left the Crib to tour nearby Dameron Angus Farms and Prairie View Farms in the afternoon, learning firsthand about the importance of proper animal care, nutrition and management practices for cattle from top breeders.

“We are excited to bring this educational conference to youth interested in the cattle business,” said Jill Johnson, executive vice president of the Illinois Beef Assoc. “It’s a chance for juniors to network while developing leadership potential, and an awareness of management techniques and issues facing the beef industry.”

Following the farm tours, the Junior Beef members enjoyed a dinner together before many of them departed for their farms. A dozen or local members stayed behind to enjoy the CornBelters game in a luxury suite, courtesy of the ICMB.

Some participated in beef promotions, including a “beef trivia wheel” featuring beef-oriented prizes for correct answers during the 7:05 evening game.

By the time the CornBelters lost to the Washington Wild Things, 6-2, following a five-run Washington outburst in the top of the ninth inning, the ILJBA contingent had left, no doubt contemplating early-morning chores and all they had learned and seen.