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ON-THE-ROAD SEMINAR: MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATIONS FOR ILLINOIS FARMERS

Trucking regulations are complicated, and farm exemptions compound that complexity.  Seems everyone has a different answer to your question.  We have worked with our friends at Will County Farm Bureau for members to attend a session to sort truth from conjecture and fact from rumor. Come join us at 6:00 pm at Will County Farm Bureau, 100 Manhatten Road in Joliet on March 30, 2017. The program is a two-hour seminar that focuses on trucking laws—both new and well-worn—specifically for farmers.  We’ll take a special look at the latest rules and you'll have the chance to ask those farm trucking questions for which for which answers are so elusive. Laws have been reshaped in the past 24 months with more changes scheduled for 2017!  Rules recently affected include:  the medical card, equipment inspection requirements, out-of-state CDL use, the USDOT Number, post-trip inspections, and something called the URS.  New for 2017 is the MSCR‑1, Process Agents and Electroni ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Sticks for Dinner? No. Thank you.” Today (2/16/17), as I write this month’s column, the local and national news is abuzz with the “Day without Immigrants” protests in which a number of restaurants and businesses across the country closed to demonstrate the importance of immigrant labor and immigrant people in the United States. Farming and agriculture in the United States depends on labor in order to provide food for this nation’s people…immigrant labor is an important part, especially in certain types of farms. What would happen if farmers decided to hold a similar event… a Day without Agriculture? What would that day look like? Would anyone care? Would anyone know? Would there be marches on Washington DC? Would there be Riots on the street? I don’t think so. Our food, fiber, and fuel system (fortunately) comes with plenty of bulk handling, warehouse storage, and freezer space…one day of “no farming/no agriculture” may have litt ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Growing up, I was what you would call the misguided teen.  I wore my hair in my face.  Maybe I had one too many ear piercings.  And let’s not forget the attitude and the eye rolling!  As a teen looking to the future, I career jumped (in my head) a lot. My family was (and still is) in health care so obviously, I was going to be a doctor.  But I'm horrible at math. I loved books, so clearly, I'd be a writer.  But I had a deep-rooted love affair with commas.  To the point that no editor would ever think it’s cute or clever. Maybe I'd be a cop and investigate the crimes committed against in my community. But I'm afraid of the dark (just ask the corgi mix puppy we just house trained).  I was yearbook editor my senior year (despite my affinity for commas) so clearly, I'd go into the newspaper business. But despite my curiosity the newspaper business just wasn’t for me. I interned in radio, so I'd be a drive time host. But I hate mornings and I&rsquo ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

For Sale I bet you have had occasion to spend some time on Craigslist or perusing your local Classified Ads to find a deal on a new table, chair, car or collectible.  If you’re like me you start with the Chicago listings and then fine tune it down to your local suburb or area.  If there is one couch, there are hundreds.  Same for most things I’ve searched.  We recently moved and experienced the mad rush when you list something for “FREE”.  Interesting experience and great way to reinforce the concept that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.  There are other classifieds to explore such as the ones in this monthly Cooperator, the classifieds in FarmWeek and hundreds of online forums.  I recently pulled out the FarmWeek classifieds and realized how stark the difference is between the ag-related “For Sale” listings and those in my local ads.  Angus crossbred heifers, hog feeders, bales of hay, wheat straw, used John D ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Downwind by Bob Rohrer Hey James Bond fans… Do you remember the opening scene of the 2006 movie Casino Royale (with Daniel Craig as 007)? Bond chases a man through a construction zone /building in Madagascar.  (Nothing unusual about Bond chasing a guy in a movie)  However this chase scene is more unusual…the man who Bond is chasing is an expert Parkour-ist with wonderful agility and speed. Amazing! Parkour is the sport of running, jumping, climbing, balancing, flipping and rolling rapidly, usually through an urban environment.  When you see someone with extreme parkour skills, like the man that Bond was chasing, it seems as if the person glides and flies through areas that a normal person would have trouble walking and climbing through (like a lead footed Bob Rohrer for example).  People with this ability to Parkour seem to be able to defy gravity. How do they do that? Parkour requires extraordinary skill and the trade-off is seemingly broken bones, a smashed face, and se ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Soon families and college-aged students will prepare for the annual exodus to warmer climates, vacation rentals, and hotels situated along cascading currents of water.  Chlorinated and otherwise.  Spring also ushers in the every two-year trek of new Illinois General Assembly members.  As well as the exodus of experienced legislators. This year’s trek will be led by Representative Theresa Mah who claimed the second House district.  Mah who was on faculty at the University of Chicago will represent the Pilsen, Chinatown, Bridgeport, McKinley Park, Brighton Park and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.  Mah’s service record includes rallying the Chinese American community to push for a single district in 2012.  In Springfield, she’ll continue her work for working families, education, job growth, and immigration reform.  Mah was endorsed by Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia among others. Mah will be joined by Representative Juliana Stratt ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Share your stories The American Farm Bureau Foundation for agriculture unveiled their 2017 Book of the Year, Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle. Below is the speech given by Eugenie Doyle on January 8, 2017 as she accepted her award. “Thank you, this award is delicious!   Writing, much like farming, involves long hours of work and little acclaim. And that’s okay. We don’t chose those careers for their promise of celebrity status. Still, it is encouraging to have our work recognized and I thank you.  I want to say thank to my editor at Chronicle, Melissa Manlove, and of the brilliant illustrator of STF, Becca Stadtlander. Clearly a picture book is not a picture book without visual images, and I am capable only of drawing with words.  I mention these two collaborators because they represented for me a challenge familiar to any farmer trying to illuminate the world of agriculture to those who through no fault of their own, are ag illiterates. To her great credit, my edi ...

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Ag Adventures Year Long Word Search Contest Winner Chosen

We were pleased to present a Cook County Agriculture Basket, packed with local farm and food agricultural products and goodness, to member Christine Grzebielucha and her husband Mark last night. Chris was one of 28 Cook County Farm Bureau members who completed all 12 word search activities as a part of the Ag Adventures for Families page of the Cooperator in 2016.

Her name was randomly drawn as a winner for her persistency. The Grzebieluchas have been members for over 30 years! They also had very nice things to say about their Country Financial Rep, Bob Smith as well! Kudos!



Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

You may not be aware of this, but February is one of my least favorite months.  Close in rank only to November and December.  I even like August more with the hustle and bustle of school starting and summer vacations drawing to a close. Every year, February ushers in fuzzy little cupids with their misguided bow-and-arrows and my birthday.  And in my family, it marks the closing of winter and the opening of spring preparations.  With it comes fewer boot days and warmer weather. But February also brings with it a partnership that is near and dear to my heart, Food Checkout Day.  In 2011, when I started coordinating the event for Farm Bureau I knew almost nothing about Ronald McDonald House Charities®.  And come to find out what I did know was for the most part incorrect. My first Food Checkout Day featured just a touch of snow and a massive Fire v. Police shopping spree throw down.  It may have also been the last year that the Police won.  Hmmm.  As represen ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Where are they now? It’s the start of a new year which brings new opportunities to make those resolutions/goals you set forth on January 1st come to fruition.  We are excited to start 2017 with many scheduled visits to schools with one of our three program offerings from Ag in the Classroom and we’re lining up a summer filled with new programs and one lucky new intern.  Ag in the Classroom spends a good deal of time in classrooms (no surprise there) teaching students about agriculture as it relates to the farm to table concept.  We also spend a lot of time talking with students about career choices and the vast opportunities in our field. While they may not know what they want to be when they are in 4th grade, 7th grade or high school, we are there to educate them on the possibilities that exist in agriculture. There is no better way to determine a career choice than to get some actual experience, which is what we provide to our summer interns.  To put it into perspective I th ...

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