Beatty, Johnson Named Eagle Award Winners

CHICAGO — John Beatty and William “Bill” Johnson have been awarded the 2018 Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Eagle Award for Excellence. The award was presented during IFB’s annual meeting held in Chicago Dec. 1-4.

Beatty, from Waverly, Ill., received the Eagle Award for his constant support of and advocacy for agriculture in Illinois. A member of IFB since the early 1970s, Beatty has served on numerous boards of directors and agriculture organization leadership teams, including the Sangamon County Farm Bureau Young Leader Committee, Sangamon County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, IFB Board of Directors, and IFB State Young Leader Committee.

Beatty also was appointed to the U.S. Grains Council and served as a representative to the Meat Export Federation, and sat on the U.S. Poultry and Egg Council, Farmers Elevator Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative Board of Directors.

Beatty, who was an early advocate for ethanol and is known for his willingness to try new farming and conservation practices, was named to the Sangamon County Farmer Hall of Fame in 2014 and has been actively involved in the Sangamon County Soil and Water Conservation District.

An active member of his community, Beatty has served as a local 4-H leader and was a member of the Auburn Jaycees.

Beatty attended Iowa State University before returning to the family farm to work alongside his father. He and his wife, Donna, have two daughters and one son.

Johnson, who received the award posthumously, worked as an instructor at Joliet Junior College, bringing great enthusiasm and optimism for agriculture to those he taught. For more than 50 years, Johnson worked with organizations including 4-H, FFA, Illinois Pork Producers Association, and IFB to showcase agriculture and provide necessary industry insight for his students.

During his tenure at Joliet Junior College, Johnson established four scholarship endowments in other supporters’ names for agricultural education and was a key source for local media when it came to livestock, trade and marketing interviews.

Johnson received numerous awards and honors, including the Will County Farm Bureau Ag Education Support Award; National Association of Ag Educators (NAAE) Award for Outstanding Post-Secondary Ag Programs; NAAE Outstanding Cooperation Recognition from the Illinois Leadership Council for Ag Education; and the Susan H. Wood Award for Outstanding Years of Service from Joliet Junior College.

Johnson received his master’s degree in agriculture education and farm management from the University of Illinois in 1968.

Through the IFB Eagle Award for Excellence, IFB recognizes an individual or organization for excellence on issues or programs important to Farm Bureau and to agriculture on a statewide and/or national basis.         


Contact: Rachel Torbert, Media Relations Manager
Phone: 309-557-2083
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