Funk Farms celebrates its 200th anniversary with a free event, inviting the public for a fun-filled day at the farm on June 22.
Funk Farms celebrates its 200th anniversary with a free event, inviting the public for a fun-filled day at the farm on June 22.

Urbana, IL (June 13, 2024) — The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will take part in the 200th-anniversary celebration of Funk Farms, one of the oldest and most historically significant farms in the Midwest. 

The free event — featuring food, local venders, and live music — will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at Funk Farms, 5959 N 1100 East Road, Shirley, IL.

In honor of the bicentennial, College of ACES Dean Germán Bollero will be a panelist discussing “Pioneers Built from the Soil Up: How the Funk Family Shaped American History,” a new book by acclaimed author Chris Bodenner. 

Bodener, Bollero, and the other panelists will detail the Funk Family’s support for family attorney Abraham Lincoln’s run for the Presidency; their outsized influence on global agriculture; their backing of the Union during the Civil War; their position leading Chicago’s Union Stockyards; and their role in the founding of Northwestern and Illinois Wesleyan universities.

“The Funk Family's legacy is a testament to visionary leadership in agriculture and education — their work has laid a foundation that continues to influence our practices and principles in modern agriculture and academia,” Bollero said. “This event not only commemorates the rich heritage of Funk Farms but also emphasizes the importance of sustainable agriculture and community stewardship — values that align closely with the mission of the College of ACES.”

The celebration promises a rich array of activities, including live music, educational sessions, food trucks, and various other commercial vendors, designed to engage attendees of all ages and interests. Among the exhibitors, the College of ACES and the University of Illinois Extension will host booths to connect with alumni and community members. Local Extension staff serving Livingston, McLean, and Woodford Counties will be on hand with demonstrations, information, and fun giveaways.

"We are looking forward to connecting with our alumni, friends, and community members at this historic celebration," said Kimberly Bishop, ACES assistant dean of advancement. "Events like Funk Farms’ 200th anniversary offer a unique opportunity to celebrate our shared heritage, engage with our extended ACES family, and showcase the impactful work and resources of the College of ACES and Illinois Extension."

Admission and parking are free for visitors. A full schedule of events and a list of vendors can be found at funkfarms200.com.