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CCFB News» April 2024

Planting Seeds“Game Night”

04/04/2024 @ 8:30 am | By Katrina Milton, Director of Ag Literacy

Rainy days during my childhood were spent playing games indoors with my mom and cousin. My family is pretty competitive, and we lorded winning over each other for days afterwards, until the next game night.


My family always played games together: Parcheesi, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, Sorry!, Candy Land, Guess Who?, The Game of Life, Connect 4, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Hi Ho! Cherry-O, and Pretty Pretty Princess. We had an entertainment system shelving unit full of games from top to bottom.


When we weren’t playing board games, we played card games together. Our favorites were Rummy 500 and War. My mom and grandma always won at those, and they always won the $1 on the line for winning.


On March 8, I participated in Kane County Farm Bureau’s euchre tournament for the region’s Young Leaders. I decided to attend – even though I didn’t know how to play euchre. A crash-course “Euchre 101” lesson was held before the tournament, and after the first few hands, I was getting the hang of the game. My partner was also not very experienced at playing euchre, but together, we had a great time and even won a few hands. We even won a trophy – although not a trophy for coming in first place.

We won the “Trophy of Dubious Distinction,” which was awarded to the last place team. I brought back the trophy to the Cook County Farm Bureau, and I placed it outside the AITC bookshelf. Others might be embarrassed by the last place trophy, but I am choosing to display it with pride. I think the trophy shows that I attended the event, I did my best, I learned how to play euchre, and we were even able to score and hold our own while playing against more experienced players. By the end of the third and final round, I was ready for at least two more rounds because I was finally understanding all of the rules and strategies of the game. If only it were a Go Fish, Old Maid, or Crazy Eights tournament, I would have done a little bit better – maybe!


I had a lot of fun at the event, even though my team came in last place. I met with other Young Leaders from the region, even one who lives in my hometown! It made me realize that it really is a small world, and that we have a lot in common, more in common with one another than we have differences. It was also nice being in a room full of peers who shared similar interests and a passion for agriculture.


Being around other young leaders reminded me the importance of being a member of the younger generation involved in agriculture. There was a small group of about 20 people gathered, but for the size of our region, there could have always been more youth in attendance! According to the USDA, in 2022, 22.1 million full- and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors, which is 10.4% of total U.S. employment. The USDA also reported that in 2022, the average age of all U.S. farm producers was 58.1 years. Youth are needed more than ever in agriculture! If they don’t begin by learning about ag education at a young age, they may never learn where their food comes from, how corn is in car’s ethanol and soybean in bus’s biodiesel fuel, or that the cotton and wool clothing they wear are connected to farming.


I look forward to the next euchre tournament, where there will hopefully be more Young Leaders and youth involved and interested in agriculture in attendance. Although I am not a professional euchre player now, I look forward to practicing and getting better at the game. The only direction from here is up! If you have any tips and tricks, let me know!

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