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**New App/Web Platform Expands Member Benefits - Save even more!**

More than 300,000 discounts for hotels, restaurants, theme parks, movie theaters, prescriptions and more await Farm Bureau members.  Thanks to a new membership benefit web platform, there’s something for every member to enjoy! This new benefit platform provides access to member discounts while on the go. To access the new web platform, visit https://ilfb.abenity.com. Members must create an account and provide their three digit county code (Cook’s is 016) and dash followed by their membership ID number. Members can also go to the iPhone App Store, search ‘IL Farm Bureau Membership Benefits’ and download the app on their iPhone or iPad. Once downloaded, members may customize the app to include frequently used offers; search offers by business name, location and category; and provide instant in-store discounts at nearby restaurants and retailers. Members who have questions about the app or additional member benefits may contact the Cook County Farm Bureau at 708-354-3276 or the IF ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

DIY a Farm Attitude  “Do It Yourself” (DIY) TV shows flood the cable networks. My father, The Farmer, would probably say that farming is just one huge, never-ending DIY project.  Building, repairing, fixing, constructing, and creating is every day on the farm. Being part of the unpaid labor (I was worth it) on the farm, I was fortunate to be involved with many DIY projects during the years. A special thank you goes to the sharing nature of the Farmer. Here are a few quick DIY examples that I still carry skills (scars) from today… ·        We took a massive section of roof off of a confinement chicken grower building, hauled it 5 miles using a tractor and to jack it up 14 feet to set it on top of telephone poles that we had stuck in the ground. A DIY machine shed! ·        We tore down a barn and saved the wood and the roofing tin to construct a new shop (to complete DIY projects in comfort and s ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Five short years ago, I sat before a county committee to plead my case.  In 15 short minutes, I explained why I wanted to serve as a trustee for my local conservation district.  I didn’t want to become a trustee for the glamour or the pay (it’s a volunteer position after all) but because one of my earliest memories is of my mom chaperoning a school field trip to the Festival of the Sugar Maples, a site famous for its maple trees and delicious maple syrup.  I want my children to have those memories-of their grandma chaperoning school field trips-and the opportunity to explore the trails, fens, groves, savannahs, and bogs.  I want them to embrace open space and treasure the sacrifices that past generations have made to ensure that public open space is preserved into perpetuity.     Over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a highly skilled, professional, and innovative staff.  From the individuals who maintain the sites to the ecol ...

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Ag Lit Bit By Brittany Nash (Ag In the Classroom Intern)

Ag is in Session! For the past few weeks I have been part of the Cook County Farm Bureau® Ag in the Classroom as Diane Merrion’s intern. Despite school being out for summer, agriculture never takes a break and is always in session! I was able to accompany Diane to various programs that voice the importance of agriculture to the younger population that is engaging and eye-opening to our food’s future. My favorite part of teaching these lessons to our students is describing the process of how a bag of chips started on the farm and ends in our hands. This discussion leads to the realization of how many jobs agriculture can provide and emphasizes the types of careers that can be filled in between the farm and consumers! The kids are not the only ones asking the questions. The other adults in the room are equally as interested in what the Farm Bureau has to offer and the new knowledge we bring to them. It is important that we keep informing one another about agriculture so that we can be more co ...

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Immigration Attorney to Farmers: Be Prepared

Immigration Attorney to Farmers: Be Prepared By Deana Stroisch, FarmWeek Lawyer offers nine recommendations for if the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement visits your farm. Farmers should be prepared for increased immigration enforcement and worksite audits, an immigration attorney with Fragomen Worldwide (provides immigration services globally in coordination with its affiliates around the world) advises. “Developing that company action plan and having a discussion with your management and with your employees on the ground as to what they should do if the government comes knocking on your door is important,” said Anna Morzy, a partner with Fragomen Worldwide. Does your staff know how to reach you in case of emergency? Do you have an attorney? Morzy spoke during an hourlong webinar sponsored by Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition and Fragomen. Within his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump issued a number of executive orders centered on immigratio ...

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American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's Recommended Reading

The American Farm Bureau Federation Foundation for Agriculture recommends the following books as preferred reading material for kids this Summer. For detail about the books, go to: www.agfoundation.org

By Ellen Lawrence By Gina Hagler

       

By Jody Jensen Shaffer By Ryan Jacobson

                 

IAA Credit Union is Growing!

IAA Credit Union is Growing, By: Sean Wells, CEO of IAA Credit Union  IAA Credit Union is growing! Ten years ago, we closed-out our first-quarter financials with $116 million in managed assets and 12,829 members. This was soon after I had started and just before the “Great Recession” which officially started in December of that year. As we close the first quarter of 2017, I’m happy to report that we have grown to $237 million in managed assets and 16,214 members. We’ve more than doubled in assets and increased members by more than 25%!  This is significant because Credit Unions need to grow to best serve our members. Because returning value to our members is our highest priority, we put a great deal of effort into increasing memberships. As a financial cooperative we must strive to serve our members with the most convenient, cost effective tools and best rates possible while generating revenue to cover the cost of doing business. Membership and asset growth keep ...

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Cook County Farm Bureau Volunteer of the Year...

The Cook County Farm Bureau® (CCFB) Volunteer of the Year Award is an award which recognizes individuals from the CCFB who have made a significant contribution to organization through his or her dedication to, and support of, the accrediting process.

“We would like to recognize those individuals who give their time and talents to promote the goals of agriculture in the Cook County Farm Bureau.”—Jim Bloomstrand, Chairman of the Member Relations Team

The program will run on an annual basis from September 1- August 31.  All entries will be submitted to the CCFB Member Relations team to screen candidate forms.  After the team screens the forms, they will be presented to the CCFB board for recipient approval and a winner will be selected.

CLICK HERE for application.

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The magic of rejection What is the “magic” that makes some organizations successful (my favorite baseball team!) when others fall on their face (my favorite football team!)?  Fairy dust? Money? Voodoo? Leadership? Just blind luck? I want my favorite organization (Cook County Farm Bureau®) to have the “magic” to enjoy unbridled success for members. In April, I took an Executive Leadership online course to explore the topic. Of no surprise, disruptive change and the extreme pace of change was forefront. Change is inevitable. The organizations and leaders that have the skills to steer through change will survive and adapt. And those that don’t change become Blockbuster Video, Blackberry, Woolworths, Circuit City, Montgomery Wards, Pan-American Airlines, Pullman Company, MCI WorldCom, Oldsmobile, Compaq Computers, and DeLorean Motors. Did those companies plan to fail or fail to plan? Something that prevents organizations from changing and evolving is leadership’ ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Horses and more One of the benefits of being an Ag Literacy Coordinator is reaching new audiences to share the message of agriculture in the classroom.  While we reach an amazing number of students in classrooms throughout Cook County, we also are given the opportunity to go beyond the school walls.  One of these programs occurred last month at Kopping Stables in Lemont, IL.  Kopping is the host site of a Holistic Riding Equestrian Therapy Program run by Ms. Marlene Karman.  Her programs are focused on the special needs community, including students from a local high school.  What a joy it was to be asked to provide supplemental education to these students about agriculture and its connection to horses, cattle, food, and much more.  The hands-on learning aspect of agriculture made an immediate impact on these special needs students.  Ag education has a tendency to do that. This was one of many “custom” programs that we’ve been lucky enough to be asked to ...

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