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CONTACT: Lindsay Mitchell - 309-557-3257
Bloomington, IL – Walt Townsend, former University of Illinois Extension Educator and state and county Corn Growers Association leader, is the recipient of the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s (ICGA) top award presented at the organization’s annual meeting Nov. 20, 2012 at the DoubleTree Hotel.
The World of Corn Award goes to individuals, organizations or businesses for making significant contributions to the corn industry. The special award, now in its 21 st year, was created to recognize the global importance of corn, and specifically honor individual pacesetters that have made Illinois a leader in the corn industry.
“Walt Townsend has served the interests of Illinois corn farmers for more than four decades,” said Jeff Scates, Shawneetown farmer and Illinois Corn Growers Association President. “This award can never completely show our gratitude for the countless hours Walt volunteered to benefit Illinois agriculture.”
Townsend worked as a University of Illinois Extension Educator starting in 1969 after earning his Bachelors of Science degree from the university in 1969. During his tenure with Extension, he served as the Illinois Corn Growers Association Extension Ex Officio Board member for six years in the 1980s, even serving as a liaison between the Illinois Corn Growers Association Board and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. He retired from Extension in 1996 as an Area Agronomy Educator.
After his retirement, he took on the job of managing the Wayne County Corn Growers Association and performed that duty for nearly 15 years.
Throughout his career, Townsend continued to operate the family grain farm in Wayne County and now enjoys semi-retirement along with his antique tractor and steam engine hobbies.
Townsend and his wife, Janice, have six children, 12 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They reside in Fairfield, IL.
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