The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Samuelson's In Town

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

Having Orion Samuelson, the "Voice of Agriculture" personally come to Carthage, Monday evening to speak to customers and guests of First State Bank of Illinois (La Harpe) was a real treat for farm families who have listened to him over the radio for so many years.

You could hear the excitement in their voices as they waited his arrival and then for his speech as they visited about listening to him on the radio as a youngster, and now as an adult.

The picture I snapped during the dinner as Orion was talking with Lee Garlach of First State's Bettendorf, IA office, and First State's President Dean Heinzmann, shows how Samuelson was enjoying Midwestern Illinois folks as much as his guests were enjoying him. In fact, Orion said, his paid job of talking about agriculture really isn't work at all.

First State Bank's annual "Ag Strategies" is always a full house, but with their special 30th year celebration and with guest speaker Orion Samuelson, it seems their move to the bigger winery facilities west of Carthage, came just in time to accomodate this record-breaking crowd.

Orion's body may be weak from two recent heart valve replacements but he definitely isn't weak in spirit or as a speaker. His powerful voice, love for the farmer, and his knowledge of agriculture, is a perfect fit.

Speaking out for agriculture, and all the opportunities there, Samuelson told youth in the crowd "You Can't Dream Big Enough!"

He said that he never would have dreamed he would some day interview the special people he's been fortunate to meet.

He never would have dreamed that a President someday would invite him to the White House. He never would have dreamed, he would have his own radio show in Chicago.

Samuelson, raised on a dairy farm near La Crosse, told me he too owns a weekly newspaper in Wisconsin. "That's where I get all my news," he said.

I see how local banks do so much for our communities and offer support for many activities to help kids, families, seniors, and businesses. Their plea is to remember to save and deposit. That's the money they use to loan back to the community.