Education & Agriculture

CorpsEmployees from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Carlyle Lake Project Office deposit Christmas trees into Carlyle Lake, near the Allen Branch Boat Ramp, as part of their continuing fish habitation project. (Photo by Allen Huelskamp)    Personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Carlyle Lake Project Office completed their Christmas tree fish habitat project on March 16 at the lake.
    The project, a joint effort of the Corps and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, helps improve the fish habitat at the lake and ensure better fishing opportunities in the future.
    The Corps of Engineers began their call for the trees in late December 2020. 
    Trees were collected at Plant Land in Breese, the Allen Boat Ramp parking lot in Eldon Hazlet State Park, and the Little Prairie Nature Trail parking lot at the lake.
    The project took about half the day, closer to four hours, according to Darren Murphy, a natural resources specialist at the Corps' Carlyle Lake Project Office.
    This year's call for trees brought in about 400 specimens.
    The number was a little bit less than in years past. Murphy said they did away with some of the tree drop-off points this year.
    The parties involved launched from the Allen Branch Boat Ramp at the lake and distributed the trees around that area.
    The Corps usually gets a larger number of trees and puts out a call to area groups and organizations for assistance.
    This year, the COVID-19 pandemic limited that outside participation.
    Murphy did say members of the McKendree University and Greenville University bass fishing teams took part in the event, along with employees from the Corps and the IDNR. 
    The volunteers have, in the past, helped Corps of Engineer rangers and staff build tree reefs, or supply boats to place the trees in the lake.
    "It was a little bit smaller this year," Murphy said of the number of outside participants.
    He said groups like students from Carlyle High School traditionally have helped out.
    But because of COVID-19, and students having to limit their exposure reduced the students' participation.
    Corps was to have conducted their 2020 project on March 28 of that year, at the Dam East High Water Boat Ramp in the Dam East Recreation Area.
    It was postponed due to the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when a large number of activities were also being canceled, to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.
    That year, the Corps of Engineers had collected over 600 trees that had been discarded after the holiday season.

evanscarterLeft: George Evans; right: Jennings Carter    Kaskaskia College administrators and staff received an overview of the institution's Master Facilities Improvement Plan on March 22.
    The presentation, from college President George Evans, came during the Board of Trustees' regular meeting.
    Evans' presentation touched on the projects identified as an immediate need.
    There some projects that are an immediate need "that we're still addressing," Evans said, even though the college is just completing the first phase of the plan.
    Trustees passed the plan in 2015, as a 15-year plan. The plan is still in its first phase of implementation. Phase 1 runs from 2020 to 2023. There are 45 projects that are listed under Phase 1. Of those, 22 projects have been completed.
    The board has been involved with the process every step of the way, Evans said.
    All of the projects completed over the past year and a half were Protection Health Safety projects.
    HVAC projects were done with money that was allocated through various levies, and that includes a gymnasium roof project.
    The little bridge repairs also fall into that category, as does the pedestrian bridge project, behind the Lifelong Learning Center.
    Other projects that fall into the category are the replacement of hallway flooring tiling.
    Evans said contractors are working on the entire Administration/Science and Technology building, on the first and second floors, as well as the Science and Technology Annex.

The Breese Journal has been asking for submissions from you, the readers, about your farm equipment restoration projects. Listed below, in the order they appeared in the Breese Journal, are your responses. Click on the photographs to see a larger version!

William Strotheide
    William Strotheide of Beaver Prairie, a farmer, has something in common with John Fischer of Carlyle: they're both fans of Minneapolis-Moline's G1000 tractor.
    Strotheide said he favors the G1000 because it's big, and is a nice farm vehicle to handle.
    He said his was restored out of necessity, usually meaning it was a working piece of equipment on the farm.
    He did his restoration all on his own, but to his knowledge, he doesn't know if it's still in use for regular farm work.
    Strotheide, who has done two restoration projects, said "they were all challenging."
    He's not sure what his dream project would be, but Strotheide said anyone should think twice before they're about to get into a restoration project. 
    Why? "Once you get started, you keep going and that's how you get through" that project.


Richter MichaelMichael J. Richter
    Michael J. Richter, of Highland, a dairy replacement manager, favors Farmall tractors as his restoration badge of choice.
    Richter said his favorite is the Farmall Super H, because it is simple and easy to operate, as tractors go.
    His Farmall Super H is the only one he's restored to date. It was handed down from his father, who purchased the tractor from the AC dealer in Highland over 60 years ago.
    The restoration was done out of honor because every family member has operated this particular tractor, Richter said.
    Richter said his tractor has been repaired twice by a Mr. Frerker in Breese, his father's cousin's son.
    While the Super H doesn't do much in the way of farm tasks anymore, Richter said it is used for hayrides the family has each October on his mother's birthday.
    Richter said his dream project would be pulling the family trolley from Kentucky Horse Park with the Super H.
    He said, for anyone contemplating such a restoration project to take their time and enjoy their work "because if done right, it will be better than new and last for generations."

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