The new Tazewell County Farm Bureau manager wants to serve the community and agriculture while also sharing her education with children and using social media to create a dialogue with Tazewell residents.

Emily Rogier, a recent arrival to Tazewell County from the University of Illinois replaced retiring Tazewell County Farm Bureau manager Doug Godke in early May. 

Godke had served as manager of the Tazewell County Farm Bureau for 35 years and had previously worked for the Stark County Farm Bureau for seven years. By contrast, Rogier completed her formal education only a few months ago. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and consumer science in May 2016, and a Master of Science degree in agricultural production last December. 

While she does not yet have Godke’s decades of Farm Bureau service on her resume, Rogier’s background includes extensive hands-on agricultural experience.

Rogier grew up in Highland, a small town in southwestern Illinois that she described as ‘a farming community to the core.’ From an early age, she worked on her family’s grain and livestock farm. Her family raised corn, soybeans, wheat, hogs, chickens and goats. She was also heavily involved in local 4-H programs during her formative years.

“My two passions in life are serving others and serving agriculture,” said Rogier. “That’s what inspired me to leave the farm and become the first generation in my family to go to college. Through the University of Illinois, I also interned with the Maschhoffs (pork production company) in Carlyle, Illinois.” 

Rogier acknowledged that filling Godke’s departing shoes will be a challenge. But she is excited by the prospect of being part of the Tazewell County community and hopes to implement changes she believes will help the Farm Bureau better serve that community.

“I want to connect with our members and help bring a social media presence back to the Farm Bureau,” she said. “We could use this platform to create a dialog with the county and its residents.”

Rogier also plans for the Farm Bureau to reach out extensively to local educators through Ag in the Classroom programs. 

“I feel extremely blessed and very humbled to receive the education I’ve had, so I want to be able to share those opportunities I’ve had with children,” she said. “I want dialogs with teachers and students, to help show them what a day on the farm is like. Getting into schools, and getting involved in other aspects of the community, whether that is helping plan AG Safety Days or setting up field trips. I think that will help give teachers what they need to show what American agriculture is like and hopefully interest children in agriculture.”

So far, Rogier’s colleagues at the Tazewell County Farm Bureau appear to be impressed with Rogier’s vigor and attention to detail.

“She’s been fun to work with,” said Debra Gebhardt, Tazewell County membership secretary and bookkeeper. “She is very energetic, and she has a great memory for people’s names and faces. She seems to have it all together and she catches on quickly. I think it will be a fun ride.”