ICGA Celebrates Paul & Donna Jeschke's Service to IL Corn Farmers
Paul and Donna Jeschke of Mazon, IL are the recipients of the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s (ICGA) top award. ICGA leaders honored the couple for their service to Illinois corn farmers at the ICGA Annual Meeting on November 23 in Bloomington.
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 32nd 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.
“Paul and Donna have committed themselves to our organizations and have shown up when and wherever we needed them,” said Randy DeSutter, family farmer and ICGA President. “Both have led corn farmers through times of transition and growth. Both are excellent examples of the attitude of humility and service that we feel represents the best of Illinois agriculture.”
Donna Jeschke served on the IL Corn Marketing Board from 2002 to 2012, serving as chair of the board in 2008-09. Under her leadership, the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Grains Council co-located their offices in Washington, DC which has resulted in more unified and seamless representation of corn farmers in the U.S. and around the world.
Paul Jeschke served on the IL Corn Marketing Board from 2012 to 2021, serving as chairman of the board in 2017-18. Paul became an invaluable resource building the ethanol market, developing a knowledge base on the complicated, scientific topic that rivaled that of staff and other farmer leaders around the country.
Together, the team makes an unmatched asset for Illinois corn farmers. They have hosted numerous international trade teams and have been important players in the pursuit of connection with non-farmers in Chicago.
“It is notable that the couple both have interests and skills that benefit our industry and that they both consider it a gift to use those interests and skills to help us all. Their service, their knowledge, their willingness to show up, and – last but not least – their friendship makes them a natural fit for this lifetime achievement award,” said DeSutter.
Illinois corn farmers thank this couple for their 20 years of service and commitment to the industry.