The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Questioning University Of Illinois Trustees

On Changing Their U of I Farm RentaL To A Bidding Process

The Wisdom of Barnyard Bruke

Recently I learned of an activity of the University of Illinois of Trustees that threaten the very structure of agriculture as I know it.

The University of Illinois Trustees chose to ignore the advice of their own University of Illinois Ag Specialist and change the very structure of which they rent farmland owned by the state.

Their argument centers on maximizing income for the university.

In fact, they specify that change of tenants is not bad because they are not running an entitlement service which grants producers long term tenancy.

As a concerned producer, with no ties whatsoever to any of the University of Illinois land, I called the University representative. It was true!

He did not express any concern about maintaining the fertility of the land, the soils, soil stewardship, or community continuity. In fact, his primary interest was one, in my perception, of absolute greed and the thunder with these other important concerns that rural communities have generally held.

Perhaps, to the readers surprise, I will state that I agreed with this university spokesman. I agreed that the state needs to maximize their resources. I agreed that the state should utilize every effort to save the taxpayers dollars. And I agreed with him that perhaps those needs override individuals concerns.

As such, I proposed to him that we begin as soon as possible taking bids for the cheapest individual department heads. In fact, taking bid in this matter, we most likely will get a president for the university of Illinois at a much cheaper cost than is now incurred.

I inquired, when is the last time that his job was bid. And when he expressed dismay, I politely told him to be patient, much like he is asking these producers to be patient, and perhaps he will get a chance to bid his job back in at a much lower price.

Now, I also recognize, that this process may not derive for the best quality to lead these jobs as department heads. I also recognize that it would be very disruptive to these individuals to lose their tenure and be sure from one year to the next who might underbid them for their jobs. And they might be forced to move from one university to the next every 3 years.

However, I pointed out to him that these are human issues. And after all, the state is not running an Entitlement Program nor are they putting heavy emphasis on these human and social issues.

Somehow, during the course of this conversation, I got the feeling from talking to this trustee spokesman that he felt the producer fell under a different category than the professor and the intellectual. Somehow he thought it all right to disrupt a producer in the bidding process from his job, from his work, and from his community and that tenure was certainly inconsistent with this state's desire not to run an entitlement program.

However, when his logic was applied to a level he could comprehend, at his area of expertise, he seemed to be more compassionate. Entitlement now made sense. when applied to him personally.

My friends, in rural America, I advocate that if this seems unfair to you, then contact your local politician. Contact the University of Illinois, and contact those trustees, expressing your opinion. Come to the defense of all that we value in rural America.

If one chooses not to defend these individuals that are adversely effected by ill-advised trustees of the University of Illinois, then when the chicken comes home to roost, who will defend you.

See you later.

Barnyard Bruke