Celebrating 110 Years
In the early years of Farm Bureau, Annual Meetings were held at various locations. In 1930 and 1931, the Annual Meeting took place at the new Fargo Theatre on Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.
On Jan. 7, 1932, the Annual Meeting was moved to the new Egyptian Theatre on North Second Street, DeKalb. It continued there for 42 years, until 1974. The program consisted of joint meetings of the Kishwaukee Service Co. (FS) and DeKalb County Farm Bureau and then years later joint meetings of Country Companies and Farm Bureau. The meeting included reports by Farm Bureau and affiliated groups. Entertainment featured guest speakers, music, and other performers. The meeting ran from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Thousands attended! The Egyptian’s capacity was 1,400 and most years it was filled to capacity.
In the early 1930’s lunch was provided at the Masonic Hall. Then in the mid-1930’s members selected from about 12 different churches and other halls to go for lunch. The lunch break was between the morning and afternoon sessions at the Egyptian Theatre. Lunches were the same at each location: roast beef, potatoes, green beans, jello and pie.
On Feb. 22, 1975, a new location was selected for the Annual Meeting – the Holmes Student Center in the heart of the NIU campus. It took on different formats through 2001. But most remember it as the Dinner-Dance with dinner, the annual meeting, program, entertainment and dancing to two bands.
From February 2002 to the present, the Annual Meeting has been held at the Farm Bureau Building on Peace Road in Sycamore. The meeting is open to members, but is mostly attended by the Board of Directors.
“At the age of 18, I was recognized at the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in 1957 as a national 4-H winner in Recreation by President Howard Mullins. I continued to attend the meetings for several years. It was a community effort of the city, Egyptian Theatre and churches working together. Later I was on the Dinner-Dance Committee and helped find bands for the annual meeting.” Bob Diedrich, DeKalb
“The first Farm Bureau Annual Meeting I remember was in 1974. I went with my parents and grandparents. We went to a church on the south side of DeKalb and then the Egyptian Theatre where we saw The Harmonicats perform and heard Paul Harvey. We sat in the balcony. It was a big deal for me as a 7th grader.” Mark Tuttle, Somonauk
“As Women’s Committee Chairman I had the privilege of leading the Pledge of Allegiance and also provided a prayer at the Farm Bureau Annual Meetings in the 1970s. In 1973, I was recognized as a farm women featured in Times magazine. We always enjoyed going to the Farm Bureau Annual Meetings to get together with others.” Marcia Hueber, Malta