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Peasley: Broadcaster has book signing scheduled

“You Can’t Dream Big Enough” is Orion Samuelson’s just published book about his more than 50 years as a leading agricultural commentator.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. He has provided a timely description of the constantly changing agricultural community. He discusses several things that should be accomplished to help both farmers and those of us who want three square meals a day.

We’re fortunate here in McHenry County that Samuelson will make a personal appearance at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Stage Left Café (next to the Opera House) to talk about his book and answer questions. He will then move to nearby Read Between The Lynes bookstore where owner Arlene Lynes has arranged a book-signing session.

As I read this book, I realize Samuelson certainly understands the many problems facing both farmers and consumers. He discusses them in a language consumers will understand and farmers will appreciate.

I was fortunate to meet Samuelson in 1960 when he took over WGN farm programming. I was working at the Illinois Agricultural Association five blocks from the WGN studios. I interviewed farmers and IAA staff members on timely topics and provided tape-recorded interviews to 100 radio stations. He used these interviews on his regular WGN radio farm programming. Since that first experience, I quickly learned to admire Samuelson’s understanding of agricultural issues.

Samuelson has talked with U.S. agriculture secretaries and accompanied them on several international trade missions. He keeps abreast of changes that occur in the farming community since he left a Wisconsin radio station to become WGN farm director. You will enjoy his commentary at Stage Left Café and appreciate his stories about Norwegian farmer Ole, which he inserts in his book. I feel confident you will enjoy “You Can’t Dream Big Enough.”

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The Woodstock High School holiday choral concert has been moved from Dec. 11 to Dec. 20. There are two seatings – 6 and 8 p.m. Other highlights include the Madrigal Dinner on Friday and Saturday, and the Woodstock North High School Madrigal Dessert Concert on Saturday and Dec. 9. For information, call 815-338-4370.

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The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is leading local efforts to collect items for “Operation Support Our Troops America.” Toiletries, small puzzle books and nonperishable food items will be sent to our troops. State Rep. Jack Franks has a drop box for donated items in his district office, 1193 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock.

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You can cut your organically grown Christmas tree at Pioneer Farm in McHenry. Alice and Bill Howenstine donate 10 percent of tree sales to McHenry County Defenders. The farm is open next weekend. Check the website for times and directions at

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. He may be reached at 815-338-1533.

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