Farmer Appreciation lunch is Saturday, Nov. 11, at Leaf River church

A farmer picks corn in a field west of Forreston on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.

LEAF RIVER – The Farm Ministry at Leaf River Baptist Church will honor area farmers, farm families, and agribusiness professionals by serving lunch, having family-friendly activities, and door prizes at their inaugural Farmer Appreciation After Harvest Party.

This year’s fall event will take place from 12 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Leaf River Baptist Church, 6941 N. Mt. Morris Road, Leaf River.

“There is no cost for lunch; show up to enjoy a meal with area farmers and agribusiness professionals as the Farm Ministry’s way of saying thank you to these hardworking men and women. RSVP is greatly appreciated,” church officials said in a news release. “Please text ‘farm’ to 888-309-0482 to RSVP. To-go boxes are available for those still working hard in the fields and can be picked up at the church. Please text Tara Hagemann at 815-238-5778 with how many meals you need and your pickup time.”

“I felt a need to support agriculture and invited my church family to support our rural community in and around Leaf River, Byron, Mt. Morris, and Forreston,” said Tara Hagemann, Farm Ministry Program Coordinator. “We show our support by praying for farmers, farm families, and agribusiness professionals, by handing out blessing bags full of goodies like beef sticks, water, treats, and fun things to read or listen to while in the tractor or combine during spring planting and fall harvest seasons. The After Harvest Party will be a culmination and highlight of a full season’s worth of work for area farmers before they prepare for winter or take care of livestock through the winter.”

The event will feature pork smoked by an award-winning church member, Marcus Wood, who credits @Gman2430Bbq.

“Not only is he using award-winning rubs, but he is also using his award-winning barbecue sauce. He will use a Gman2430 smoker, which has extra special meaning because Recteq Grills sent it in memory of his son, who passed away in our community of Leaf River in November 2017. All beef hot dogs sponsored by Johnson’s Processing and Hagemann All Natural Beef will also be cooked on Recteq Grills, and a selection of side dish salads and desserts will be available,” according to the release.

Sponsors, along with fun prizes for kids to win, a coloring area, and special door prize drawings just for kids.

Sponsors include Dekalb Implement Company, Forreston FFA, German American State Bank, Hagemann All Natural Beef, Johnson’s Processing, Muddy Boots & Whiskers, PolAgri Insurance and Sterling Federal Bank

For the latest information about the Farmer Appreciation After Harvest Party, visit: or contact Hagemann at 815-238-5778 or

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.