Secondary Feature

2017 Best of Illinois Winners

The Illinois Country Living Magazine staff thanks everyone who submitted entries to the 2017 Best of Illinois Reader’s Choice Contest. We received online and mail-in ballots nominating top honorees in the Northern, Central and Southern regions. Here we proudly identify the deserving winners of each category.   Eats Destination and Recrecation The Arts Getaways Shopping […]

Butterflies, cookies and love

After answering the door to her farmhouse, Nancy Agney led me to her living room. As she turned, I noticed a gold filigree butterfly pin she was wearing on her back. I thought that was an odd spot to wear a pin and she went on to tell me about Courtney. Courtney was the daughter of […]

Living with severe allergies

Eleven-year-old Miles Kaufmann was extremely excited to take a family vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. A lot of planning went into the trip – where they would go, what they would see, the rides he wanted to experience. The one thing, however, that created the most excitement was eating in the park restaurants. […]

Lineman up on electric pole

Illinois linemen “bring the light” to rural Bolivia

Twelve volunteer linemen, supported by 19 Illinois electric cooperatives and a matching grant from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) International Projects grant program, traveled to Bolivia on March 13. The three-week project included tackling the electrification of 62 homes, an orphanage, school and a community center in remote mountain villages, as part […]

Use your outdoor voice

Why does food taste better when it’s cooked over a campfire? Why is a star-filled sky the best nightlight ever made? Why is the call of birds the coolest concert around? Why does a body of water simultaneously excite and calm us? The answers may be elusive, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that […]

Irrigation in Illinois: Where there’s a well, there’s a way

As you drive through Illinois, it’s obvious from miles of green-ribboned fields that the state is a leading producer of corn and soybeans. But, you might be surprised to learn what other crops you might find in the state, and why they can be grown here. Thousands of years ago, when the last glaciers moved […]


Scott Hornblower remembers the very first day of his job at the Bloomington headquarters of agricultural cooperative GROWMARK. He knew exactly where to park, he was confident in the location of his office, and even was able to speak to a number of his colleagues on the way in the building. Not only was Hornblower […]

Three alternatives: the financial roadmap to college

New changes to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) will impact approximately 22 million college students and families. Starting this year, students and parents can submit the FAFSA® application in October using the previous tax year’s income information. No longer will parents have to rush to make sure their taxes are filed […]

Farming exhibit with photos and antique farm implements

Farming in the great corn belt

More than 200 years of farming history will come to life on March 25 when the McLean County Museum of History opens its newest exhibit – Challenges, Choices and Change: Farming in the Great Corn Belt. The permanent exhibit housed in the Franklin Family Gallery has been almost four years in the making and will […]