Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

Montgomery County
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-3941
FAX: 217-532-3944
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

Christian County
1120 N Webster St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-287-7246
FAX: 217-287-7248
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 11:30 am; 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Jersey County
201 W. Exchange St.
Suite A
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Phone: 618-498-2913
FAX: 618-498-5913
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4 pm and Thursday 8 am to 12 pm

Macoupin County
#60 Carlinville Plaza
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9604
FAX: 217-854-7804
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

News Release

Accent photo

Area Master Gardeners Tour Hand Farm, Learn About Organic Farming

FILLMORE, IL - On August 9th, Bernie Hand and family hosted area Master Gardeners at a tour of their farm. The Hand family got involved in organic farming in 2007, when Juanita Wright Potter, the owner of land off of Seven Sisters Road in Fillmore, suggested to Bernie Hand, who was renting the ground, that they initially allocate 40 acres to the effort. Wright Potter and Hand were both surprised to find that each had considered farming a portion of the land organically. Bernie, his brother, Dennis, their spouses, Pam and Terry and their families agreed to the suggestion. Eight years later, the Hand farm now has 240 acres apportioned for organic farming and another 120 acres in transition. This is in addition to 1200 acres of traditionally farmed land.


Hand explained that “Certified organic farm land comprise less than 1% of the global agricultural land”. During the tour he gave details of the very rigorous certification process and the high degree of documentation required to be certified as organic. Additionally, Hand explained that there was an increase in labor involved in the farming process due to employing principles, such as using livestock for weed control, as well as protecting the animals, land, and crops from chemicals or chemical residue.


For more information about the Master Gardener program, contact Andrew Holsinger at or by calling the Montgomery County Extension Office at 217-532-3941, or by contacting your local Extension office.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact our office. Universidad de Illinois ofrece igualdad de oportunidades en programas y empleo. Si usted necesita un ajuste razonable para participar en este programa, por favor póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina.


Photo Captions: (L to R): Dennis Hand (in red cap), Bernie Hand, Johan Holsinger, Andrew Holsinger, and Dean Wiese. Participants not included in the photo include: Gloria Wiese, Edna Nimmons, Jo Ann Keele, and Pam Ritchie.    

Local Contact: Andrew Holsinger, Extension Educator, Horticulture,