Harold Wilken began farming 33 years ago and credits his first landlady, 82-year-old Ivadelle Dubois, with trying to get him to "just say no" to synthetic chemical herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers.
In 2016, Harold was awarded the R.J. Vollmer Award for Sustainable Agriculture by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Wilken, with his wife Sandy and son Ross, are the proprietors of Janie's Farm in rural Danforth, IL. The farm's name honors Harold and Sandy's daughter Janie, who was killed in a car accident in 2001.
They grow corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, pumpkins, black beans, alfalfa, popcorn and seed corn on the 2,370 acres, with more than 1,900 acres certified organic. The Wilkens have added nearly 1,000 acres since 2008.