Orion Samuelson has been named a 2013 Illinoisan of the Day by the Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation. He will be honored on Tuesday, August 13, at this year’s fair in Springfield.
While famed for half a century of farm broadcasting, Samuelson is now being honored for his years supporting youth groups such as the Future Farmers of America – FFA – and 4-H and the Heifer Project International. In addition to his national success on the airwaves for WGN and the Tribune Radio Network, his nomination highlights his volunteer service and calls him “a role model for generations of rural youth” and adds, “He is truly an ambassador for progress in rural America.” On the same day as his Illinoisan of the Day ceremony, Samuelson will be hosting the fair’s Ag Day awards and will serve as emcee of the annual Governor’s Sale of Champions.
Each spring the museum foundation seeks nominations of Prairie State residents who volunteer in their communities, work to brighten lives of their neighbors and represent the best of Illinois citizenship. Winners’ names were announced July 13 at the foundation’s annual fund-raiser, the Corndog Kick-off, held on the fairgrounds in Springfield.
As part of this year’s ceremony during the Illinois State Fair, Samuelson will be a guest on his special day. He will be escorted to the Farm Bureau stage under the Commodities Pavilion along Grandstand Avenue. At noon Samuelson will be interviewed publicly and honored with gifts including a proclamation from Governor Pat Quinn declaring August 13, 2013, Orion Samuelson Day all across the Prairie State.
Other winners this year are Ron Kirts of Sainte Marie, Martha Jackson of Litchfield, John Durbin of Lovington, Jean Ferris of Savanna, Ed Brozak of Streator, Lori Oldenettel of Jacksonville, Robert Large, also of Jacksonville, brothers Russell and Richard Krause of East St. Louis, and the couple Mark and Cheryl Pence from Springfield.
The nonprofit State Fair Museum Foundation works to preserve fair artifacts and memories. Its collection will be free and open to the public during the fair, August 9-18, under the north end of the Grandstand.