Hi, I’m Meli. One of my duties as hostess of the “Gathering” web site is to tell you about the scheduled activities and attractions of the next conference. It is now my pleasure to begin to introduce our evening speakers for 2016.
Evening Speaker - Thursday, March 17
Don McKinley of Quincy, Illinois will be the featured speaker during the Thursday evening program. His presentation FROM CLAM SHELLS TO SPACE will trace the evolution of farm equipment from the early settlers to the present including the two major revolutions that have occurred in agriculture. He will suggest that we are presently in a third revolution. He will attempt to answer the question as to why these revolutions have taken place in this country.
Don will discuss some of the major contributions that Deere & Company have made to agriculture during the last 175 years.
Tracing the evolution of farm equipment and implements has been a passion of Don’s since he retired. He was born in southwest Iowa and worked on the family farm until he graduated from college.
Don McKinley is a walking encyclopedia of agriculture history, an excellent speaker, retired after 33 years as an elementary principal. He is a two-cylinder and implement restorer, collector, longtime Gathering planner and co-creator with his son-in-law, Marvin Huber, of a highly acclaimed 1930’s Agriculture Museum on their small acreage in Quincy, Illinois.
This will be an informative and entertaining evening…one you won’t want to miss! Don McKinley is truly a gem in the John Deere antique tractor and implement hobby.
Banquet Keynote Speaker - Saturday, March 19
A gentleman from down on the farm, Jerry Apps will be the” Gathering of the Green” banquet keynote speaker. This well-known Wisconsin author, historian and PBS personality will share his experiences growing up on the family farm in central Wisconsin along with humorous anecdotes – a mixture of wit and wisdom. Jerry often shares memories like “I remember the Sears & Roebuck catalog that came each spring and fall, creating never-ending wishes and eventually ending up in the little house in back of the big house.” Jerry Apps is a Professor Emeritus (retired) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and award winning author of more than 30 books, many of them on rural history and country life – with topics ranging from barns, one-room country schools, country boy pranks and early farm tractors to name a few. An excellent public speaker, Dr. Apps is often the keynote at agricultural organizations, historical societies and civic groups. Gathering planners are certain that conference attendees will enjoy a banquet evening with Jerry Apps.