Farm Bureau welcomes new manager

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Pictured is new Monroe County Farm Bureau certified manager Erin Dierkes in her Waterloo office. 

The Monroe County Farm Bureau recently hired a new certified manager.

Erin Dierkes, a 22-year-old recent masters graduate, has stepped in to fill the position left by longtime manager Brenda Seboldt.

Dierkes attended Kaskaskia College after high school, where she double majored in ag business and animal science before transferring to Murray State University to complete both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ag business.

A Carlyle native, Dierkes said she developed an affinity for agriculture through her community and a number of organizations she participated in through school.

“I didn’t grow up on a farm or anything, but I’ve been around agriculture my whole life growing up in Clinton County, and I was also very active in FFA,” Dierkes said.

Prior to accepting her current position in Monroe County, Dierkes interned at the Madison County Farm Bureau. She also went through the farm bureau training program.

Seboldt, who had held the certified manager position in Monroe County for 26 years, recently left to work for the Illinois Farm Bureau – though she will still remain in Monroe County.

Asked about the future of the Monroe County Farm Bureau, Seboldt emphasized the importance of building relations with local, state and national officials to properly express the importance of agriculture. 

Community engagement is similarly important to her.

“We need to increase our consumer engagement to keep relaying the message of where your food comes from and the impact of agriculture in Monroe County,” Seboldt said.

Seboldt assisted the Monroe County Farm Bureau Board of Directors in the hiring process for a new certified manager. Seboldt added she is hopeful for what Dierkes will contribute to the county in her new position.

“She brings a vast variety of experiences and she’s going do a really good job,” Seboldt said. “She’s eager and ready to learn about Monroe County and the variety of programs that the Monroe County Farm Bureau is engaged in.”

Seboldt said the certified manager position was quite broad, saying, “As the manager, you’re a jack of all trades.” 

Responsibilities include recruitment, education and public awareness.

When asked about her expectations for the position, Dierkes said she is most excited for the programs and events she’ll be involved in. She is especially looking forward to the Monroe County Fair at the end of this month.

“I’m just excited to keep the farm bureau as active as it was with Brenda, and maybe get some new programs out there too,” Dierkes said.

For more information on the Monroe County Farm Bureau, visit the office at 513 Park Street in Waterloo, call 618-939-6197, or email mcfarm@htc.net.

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