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Today's News

  • State, U.S. cattle are at record lows

    The total number of cattle and calves in Illinois on Jan. 1 was 1.07 million head, which is 3 percent below last year's total, and the lowest cattle inventory on record for the state.
    Beef cow inventory was down 6 percent from 2011, to 331,000, while milk cows were up 1 percent, to 99,000.
    Nationally, the number of cattle and calves was also down. As of Jan. 1, the number of cattle and calves was 90.8 million head, 2 percent below the 92.7 million recorded on Jan. 1, 2011.

  • Loan opportunities expand to help beginning farmers

    Expanding loan opportunities to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers is the goal of a program recently introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Illinois Farm Service Agency.
    "U.S.D.A. continues to find ways to improve our services for farmers and ranchers by streamlining processes, accelerating delivery and using innovative solutions to 21st century agricultural issues," said Scherrie Giamanco, Illinois FSA executive director.

  • Farm Briefs

    Woolsey Brothers dinner is March 1
    Woolsey Brothers Farm Supply will be holding its annual customer appreciation dinner on Thursday, March 1.
    The event will include a meal  and entertainment by country music Moe Bandy. Two times are being offered for the event – one at noon and one at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held at the Crawford Hale American Legion Home.
    Woolsey Brothers Farm Supply has been hosting events for its customers for 51 years.

    Illinois Beef Expo to run Feb. 23-26

  • Good news, bad news

    The good news: We haven’t had any really cold weather this winter.
    The bad news: We haven’t had any really cold weather this winter.
    Though a mild winter like the one we’re having is comfortable for humans, it also allows bugs and diseases to survive over the winter months.

  • Brownstown Schools will honor Kistler

    The Brownstown School District Board of Education will host an open house on Friday, Feb. 24, to honor a long-time district employee who is retiring at the end of February.


    Nancy Kistler has served as district bookkeeper, secretary and treasurer since Feb. 26, 1979. She will retire on Feb. 29.
    The open house will be held from 2-4 p.m. in the Brownstown Elementary School cafeteria. Cake and punch will be served.

  • Taylor elected VVFD chief

    Ed Taylor Jr. was elected chief of the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department at the department’s annual meeting last Wednesday.

  • Calendar of Events

    Thursday, February 16

    ✔ TOPS IL 2490 will meet from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is from 9-9:30 a.m. For more information, contact Dovie Heaton-Bergin at 283-1729.
    ✔ A meeting of the Downtown Vandalia Merchants Co-op will be held at 5 p.m. at Old Town Cheese on Gallatin Street.
    ✔ TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6:20 p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m.
    Friday, February 17

  • New wood shop producing customized products

    A series featuring businesses along Gallatin Street in downtown Vandalia continues, with new businesses first being introduced, followed by those businesses that have faithfully persevered through the years to keep the downtown area alive in a friendly manner while providing quality merchandise.

  • A Lincoln Weekend

    This past weekend featured a variety of activities designed to celebrate Vandalia's ties to Abraham Lincoln and the early days of Illinois.

  • County keeping tabs on hirings

    As Fayette County continues to keep close tabs on its spending, the chairman of the county board is asking department heads to come before the board when planning to hire new employees.
    At the close of Tuesday’s county board meeting, board Chairman Steve Knebel clarified a letter regarding new hires that he had recently sent to department heads.
    “I’m not going to call it a hiring freeze,” he said, but explained that the county board has budgeted specific amounts for salaries.