Dr. Marilyn Nash>LPL Interviews N-Z>LPL Interviews K-Z, Segment 1


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Philip Nelson is one of six children who are all involved in agriculture. He is the president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. Philip was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana on June 12, 1957. His dad was a staff sergeant in the Air Force. After four years in the Air Force his father Stanley returned to the farm with Philip's grandfather Leonard. Phillip learned to drive a tractor at age six. Four generations ago, Phillip's ancestors came from near Oslo, Norway. They came sometime in the 1800s. The house was built in the late 1800s/early 1900s. It was one of the biggest farmhouses in the area and was used frequently as a funeral home. Phillip has two brothers, one who works for Farm Credit Services in Bloomington, and another who works in the agriculture lending business. Three sisters, one is married to a farmer in Waterman, IL, one married to a farmer near Springfield, IL, and one married to a fertilizer salesman in Janesville, WI. When Phillip was younger, they farmed 480 acres, now they farm 1800 acres. Mentions current hog operation. Son and daughter have beef operation. As a child he did a lot of grinding and manure hauling. His sisters would milk the cows. Day started at 5 o'clock & did chores before school. Went to a small grade school and then Newark High School.
The local Lutheran church has had very strong rural roots. The church has grown greatly in the past twelve years. Mostly farmers attend the church. As children, the four oldest kids in his family sang Christmas songs in Norwegian at church services. Some of the older members of the church are very fond of lutefisk and lefse. Lutefisk is a Norwegian dish of fish prepared in lye. The church is a member of the American Free Lutheran Churches.