Ed Yoder working on his family farm’s tractor.

Meet Edward D. Yoder

Why am I seeking election to the County Board of Macon County, Illinois?

If elected to the Macon County Board, I can provide engineering oversight to our County Highway Department and help rein in the ever-increasing tax burden on our citizens.

Unfortunately, it often appears that our fiscal concerns about questionable road projects don’t matter. Well, since these concerns matter to you and me, and they should matter to all of your county officials.

Oversight, fiscal responsibility, and listening to our citizen’s concerns are essential qualities of a county board member.  If elected, these are among the qualities I would bring in serving the people of Macon County, IL. 

I encourage you to read more about my background, what I support, and what I intend to do if elected.

I’m sincerely asking for your vote so I can serve you as a member of the Macon County Board. The Illinois primary election day is March 17, 2020. Early voting begins on February 6, 2020. Your vote can help determine how Macon County government will serve it’s citizens. I would deeply appreciate your support.

Ed Yoder working on his family farm’s tractor.

Ed Yoder next to his family farm’s semi tractor.

Ed Yoder next to his family farm’s semi tractor.

Ed Yoder's Experience

Vote on March 17

Illinois Republican Primary

February 6

Early Primary Voting Begins

Vote on March 17

Illinois Republican Primary

February 6

Early Primary Voting Begins

Ed’s Story

Ed Yoder’s Childhood

My family roots run deep in this community, stretching well past 100 years of living and working in Long Creek, Decatur, and Macon County. I was born in Decatur, Illinois. My mother, Cheryl Yoder, is a retired Teamster rural mail carrier, and my father, Edward D. Yoder, is a farmer and the Macon County Treasurer. I have one sister, one brother-in-law, and two nieces. This past September I gained one nephew by marriage. I was raised on a farm in rural Long Creek Township. My father’s parents farmed within the Village of Long Creek. I spent many summer days baling hay and working on their farm and my parent’s farm. Even at an early age, I was the “crew leader” of the hired hands while walking soybeans or baling hay. I know the Village of Long Creek and Long Creek Township very well from those days growing up. My mother’s parents lived along Esther Road in Long Creek. I spent many summer evenings sitting on their front porch and listening to the Cubs games on the AM radio.

Like most rural kids, I was active in 4-H and I went to the Illinois State Fair several times to win Champion awards in conservation, electricity and small engines. I was captivated by how things worked, and I tried my best to figure out how things worked. Also I was intrigued by history, especially local history. I read all I could about the history of Macon County, its towns, its people, and its local industries. I gained a deep found respect for my elders during this time, and I would spend as much time as I could to listen to their stories about this area. From their stories, I discovered that we live in a truly remarkable and special place!

I attended school in Cerro Gordo from K-12 without ever missing a day of school. By junior high, I realized that I had an interest in politics. I became involved in the student government, and I became class president once in junior high and again in high school. In high school I was active in the FFA, the scholastic team, and the annual Model United Nations held at University High School in Bloomington, Illinois. My Model UN Delegation team won the Best Delegation Award for three out of four years.

Ed Yoder’s Education

Edward Yoder working on his senior engineering design project at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

After high school, I attend Richland Community College. At first, I received an Associate in Applied Science in Industrial Drafting. Then I decided to continue community college to received an Associate in Science to transfer to a four-year university. While I was a student at Richland, I actually had an opportunity to be a representative on the RCC Student Council.

After RCC, I transferred to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign to receive my Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Engineering. My senior design project involved designing field service tools for John Deere combines that used rubber tracks instead of wheels. The U of I educational experience was the most intense 2-1/2 years of my life, and it is an experience that I will continue to carry with me for the rest of my life.

Upon completion of my engineering degree, I continued my education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale to receive my Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics. SIU’s Ag. Econ. graduate program was unique, because there was an emphasis on both the economics of agricultural production and rural economic development. My Master’s Thesis is entitled: “An Economic Study of the Quick Germ Technology for the Dry-Grind Process of Corn Ethanol Production and its Effects Upon the Corn Oil Market”.

Image: Ed working on his senior engineering design project at the University of Illinois

Ed Yoder’s Life Experience

When I finished my graduate school course work, I moved back to Decatur and worked for one year as an Adjunct Instructor at Richland Community College. I taught college level agriculture and drafting courses. I was even contemplating becoming a college professor. Instead I answered an ad in the newspaper and I was hired as a contract electrical engineer for the Caterpillar Motor Grader Product Group in Decatur, Illinois. Within a year, Caterpillar offered me a full time engineering position in the same job role. The highlight of that experience was being sent to Piracicaba, Brazil for two weeks to observe motor graders being built at the Caterpillar Piracicabe Facility.

A few months after returning home from Brazil, I transferred to the Caterpillar Global Mining Group in Decatur to be an electrical engineer on the Large Mining Trucks. This was a very different experience, because a large mining truck is a huge machine. It can flatten a full size pickup truck without even slowing down. I had the opportunity to visit the Appalachian coal mines in West Virginia, the iron ore mines in northern Minnesota, and the copper mines in the British Columbia Canadian Rockies to watch these huge trucks in action.

A few years later I transferred to the Mossville, Illinois’ Caterpillar Facility to work as a machine starting and charging systems integration engineer. I was on a team of four engineers who were considered to be subject matter experts on the design integration of electric starters, charging alternators, and vehicle batteries for Caterpillar and its subsidiaries. The best thing about working at Caterpillar was that it is truly a global company with global resources. Every day I routinely collaborated with design teams located all over the United States and around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Great Britain, Germany, India, Japan, and so on. Along the way I learned about teamwork, good communication, research and development, project management, large budgets, labor relations, customer relations, logistics, scheduling, and just about everything else that goes with corporate life.

After 10 years of corporate life, I decided that it was time to return to my home located in Decatur, Illinois. In 2014, I accepted my current position at Ameren Illinois Company as a gas engineer. My role at Ameren Illinois Company is very unique, for the Department where I work is responsible for gas meter accuracy.

This move home also allowed me to become much more active on my family’s grain farm. By early 2019, my family allowed me to become the Operations Manager for Yoder Farm Operators, LLC. As the Operations Manager, I am directly involved in the day to day work of running a farm, such as maintenance, field work, machinery purchase or lease selections, production scheduling, etc. All of our farms, except one, are located in Long Creek Township.

Ed Yoder's Wife, Sally and dog, Tilly

Presently I reside in Long Creek Township within the City of Decatur limits. I have owned the same house since 2006. My wife, Sally, graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelors of Medical Science in Nursing, and she holds an Illinois State License as a Registered Nurse. She travels to local care facilities to work as a Registered Nurse. Our dog, Tilly, is a Macon County Animal Shelter rescue. If it were not for the Macon County Animal Shelter that we have today, Tilly would have most likely been euthanized long before we would have had the chance to adopt her. We are big fans of the Macon County Animal Shelter!

 

Image: Ed’s Wife, Sally and dog, Tilly.