LA SALLE, Ill. — The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews editorial staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses.

Some of the topics the staff reports on include crop and livestock management, agribusiness and new products, market information and national and state political issues.


Their work earned the prestigious Meritorious Service in Communication Award from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in 2007.


With field editors working throughout Illinois and Indiana, AgriNews readers receive news tailored to their farm areas every week.


Local producers also share their stories each week on the newspaper’s From the Fields and From the Barns pages.


Rotating each week, weekly special sections include PorkNews, BeefNews, Farm Family Life and MoneyNews. The newspaper also publishes more than 20 special sections during the year.


Since its inception, AgriNews’ goal has remained the same. It still is focused on reporting events — both big and small — that impact the lives of farm families.


“Whatever it is that makes farming a way of life is reported on in AgriNews,” said Publisher Lynn Barker.


AgriNews was started by the family-owned News Tribune in LaSalle in 1977. News Tribune advertising director Lou Lesniak, who served as AgriNews publisher until he retired in 1994, saw a need for a newspaper printed solely for farm families.


The newspaper, which was first published as Ag-News, initially covered a three-county area. A year later, it was expanded to include three editions in 24 Illinois counties.


By the end of 1980, the newspaper was circulating in every county in Illinois. The newspaper then was converted from publishing two to three times a month into a weekly publication, and the three different editions were combined into one.


“With reader and advertising acceptance high, we knew we had to start printing weekly to serve our readers and advertisers,” Barker recalled.


Company management started planning a newspaper for Indiana in 1982. It was patterned after the Illinois publication, but the Hoosier newspaper was independent.


AgriNews entered a new era in 1997. A new system allowed almost all of the newspaper to be designed on computer. An electronic version of the newspaper also was introduced online at www.agrinews-pubs.com.

The website was expanded in 1998 to include news, weather and a searchable archive of past stories, as well as display and classified ads and subscription information, and was further enhanced in 2000.

A new monthly publication, CountryNews, was unveiled in April 2000. Focused on gardening, crafts, antiques and local festivals, the newspaper is distributed on its own to rural residents who do not necessarily farm.


AgriNews now is using the rapidly growing Twitter online microblogging service. Internet users can get breaking news, links to top stories and more at www.twitter.com/agnews.


Twitter originally was created as a way to keep in touch with friends by answering the question, “What are you doing?” Posts, which are called tweets, have to be 140 words or less.


The popular farm newspaper also has joined the virtual watercooler on Facebook. News updates and fun videos can be accessed on the social networking website, which boasts more than 400 million active users worldwide, at http://tinyurl.com/FBAgriNews.


AgriNews recently launched a comprehensive stop to buy and sell farm equipment online — AgStop.com. The new website boasts an extensive database of tractors, planting equipment, tillage machinery, sprayers and combines, as well as trucks, trailers and cars and other miscellaneous items.


Distance never has been an obstacle to AgriNews when it comes to gathering the news.


During the past two decades, members of the editorial department have traversed the nation, covering events such as the National FFA Convention, the North American International Livestock Exposition, the National Farm Machinery Show and the Commodity Classic, the annual meeting of the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association.


Reporters also have made trips to Washington to be on hand for changes in farm legislation, but AgriNews’ coverage of important stories has extended well beyond the borders of the continental United States.


For example, reporters have traveled to Argentina, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Japan, Mexico and the former Soviet Union.


To suggest a story idea, contact Executive Editor James Henry at (800) 426-9438, ext. 190 or editorial@agrinews-pubs.com.

Subscriptions to Illinois AgriNews — $22 for one year, $35 for two years and $40 for three years — and Indiana AgriNews — $15 for one year, $25 for two years and $30 for three years — can be ordered by contacting the Circulation Department at (800) 426-9438, ext. 119 or circulation@agrinews-pubs.com.

For rates on print and Internet advertising, contact Vice President of Sales and Marketing Marguerite Allen at (800) 426-9438, ext. 181 or advertising@agrinews-pubs.com.