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Tree and Pond Stocking Sale

The Will-South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the fall Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website ~ https://will-scookswcd.org and can be picked up at the Will-South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District office during business hours.   U.S. Mail, email and fax copies can also be requested by calling (815) 462-3106 x 3. The District has a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees available this fall.  Stock ranges in size from 8 inches to 6-foot linear stock, and one, two and three gallon potted stock. Fish varieties for sale include Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Redear, Hybrid Sunfish, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by September 22nd. All other orders must be received by Monday, October 2nd.  Orders are pre-paid only. Tree orders will be available for pickup on Friday, October 6th, 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Satur ...

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Beanie Baby Travels to D.C.

Congratulations to Sandridge Elementary School in Lynwood, Illinois who was named the Illinois Elementary School of the Year by The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project for their outstanding energy education project: The Power of Wind. We asked 4th grade teacher, Ms. Alice Miller, about the project and process leading up to their recognition.   “I work for Sandridge Elementary, a small, one school district located in Lynwood, Illinois.  We may not have the financial resources many other schools enjoy but our students are a smart, scrappy, can-do kind of group.  Hoping to open new doors for them several years ago, I began to research opportunities that would bring materials and support to assist our students in their learning of science and the world around them.  I was fortunate to find the Cook County Farm Bureau as well as NEED.  Ag in the Classroom, through summer field trips, teacher education, and workshops has done much to further our knowledge and e ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Democracy is Not Easy” Courage. Patriotism. Heroism. Bravery. Right over wrong. Liberty. My wife and I love going to Washington, D.C. to soak in history, learn more about the famous, not-so-famous and the infamous figures that have influenced the course of our great country. We go from landmark to historic marker, from tribute to memorial absorbing the moments, times and people of impact. History captured in granite, marble, quotes, and photos. The words, phrases, images and quotes etched into stone and metal transcend the centuries and generations, bringing tears and smiles, inspiration and humbleness, sadness and pride.  I marvel at the situations in which ordinary men and women rise to occasions. I marvel at the circumstances that lift and elevate the average to historic proportions.  Our son recently began his service to the United States of America through the Army and has been assigned to 3rd US Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard” stationed at Fort Myer next to Ar ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

The Power of the Beanie Baby Nothing draws more comments and praise than the infamous beanie baby.  No I’m not talking about those beanie babies that TY popularized when my kids were small.  The ones that had parents crazy when a “new” one came on the market or the ones that McDonalds were offering in Happy Meals that had us eating those meals just to get a mini-version of those babies.  I’m talking about the Ag in the Classroom make and take project that involves a small bag, Soil Moist, water and the #2 crop grown in Illinois, soybeans.  This month we are highlighting a school that used the beanie baby to bring attention to the soybean and its importance in our state.  Farmers will soon be out in their fields harvesting this crop which will be shipped via road, river and rail throughout the USA and the world. About half of Illinois soybeans are exported. Luckily, we’re uniquely situated when it comes to shipping soybeans. We have:​ • Semis  ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

My blue-eyed girl will readily tell anyone who will listen that her parents run on coffee, and definitely not decaf coffee. In fact, there are very few things that I’d trade for my coffee. One of those things happens to be an ice cold fountain Dr. Pepper (but not in the morning). That same blue-eyed girl will also tell you that her parents don’t chase sales. My husband is notorious for figuring out how much traveling to a different store to save money will cost you in the long run. He tells his brother and mother at every opportunity. And happily, he will tell his brother how much money he’s wasted trying to decide what to buy and where to buy it. I have to admit, Toni Preckwinkle’s sugar tax isn’t going to deter me from having a Dr. Pepper with lunch. But I’m not buying a six- or twelve-pack either. And I’m especially not buying a Diet Dr. Pepper and paying a sugar tax for no sugar.  Imagine that. Cook County is collecting a sugar tax on diet beverages made ...

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The newest edition of “Motor Vehicle Rules for Illinois Farmers” is now available.

The newest edition of “Motor Vehicle Rules for Illinois Farmers” is now available. This publication—and individual topic pages—can be found online at http://www.ilfb.org/policy-issues/current-issues/transportation-infrastructure.aspx.  This publication expands on the previous version and includes: ·         FVD & CFV Exemptions ·         Driver Qualifications & the FVD ·         Driver Qualifications & the CFV ·         CFV Designation Application with Form ·         DOT Physical Certification ·         USDOT Number & the UCR ·         Size & Weight Limits ·     &nb ...

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From the Farm Desk

STATE HIGHWAYS AND INTERSTATES NOT MOWED? HERE’S WHY (IlCorn ) - The Illinois Department of Transportation has undertaken a committed and purposed effort to alter mowing policies with the desired outcome being improved habitat for the Monarch butterfly, which is being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as an Endangered Species. IDOT’s plan is worth recognizing and considering as an example for other mowing situations. IDOT’s request to other landowners is to try not to “help” mow. If it isn’t mowed, it’s likely because it’s being left on purpose. FARMLAND VALUES STABILIZE; FUTURE DEPENDENT ON FARM ECONOMY (FarmWeekNow.com)– Farmland values during the first quarter were unchanged in the Chicago Federal Reserve District, snapping a strong of five consecutive quarters of declines. The two key drivers of farmland values are net farm income and interest rates. Farmland values and some cash-rental rates previously responded to declinin ...

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IDOA Cost Share Funding Available

The Will-South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) has announced the availability of funding to support agricultural and urban landowners interested in participating in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). 

Practices include cover crops, grassed waterways, grade stabilization structures and rain gardens among others.   

Funds are being targeted to specific townships and will be based upon a 60 percent cost share program.  

Interested individuals should contact the SWCD at (815) 462-3106 x3 or info@will-scooksecd.org for additional information.   

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

My First “Ride”  Most Americans hold great nostalgia about the first car they owned.  Your first “ride” usually wasn’t the best, flashiest, nicest, or coolest. Many times, it reflected a piece of one’s personality: “how fast it would go, how cheap it was, how great it cornered, how practical it was, how ugly it was, how many times it broke down, how many people could fit in it, etc.” Perhaps it was a true “classic”…a Gremlin, A big boat, a Ford Pinto, a Chevy Chevette, a VW bug, a station wagon, or the a perfect color for a rattletrap.  That first ride provided a great feeling of independence; you didn’t have to ask your parents to borrow the car any longer! Prior to my “first ride”, I was fortunate to have access to farm vehicles of various types and sizes. I remember the Farmer’s (my father) 1976 F 100 Ford pickup truck that my brothers and I borrowed for several years. This truck was really attractiv ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Earlier this year, my blue-eyed girl learned about our local food pantry.  Along with 20 of her closest friends, they learned about how they and their families can help families in need in our community.  They learned about collecting, dividing, and repacking food.  They learned about their community and the families in that community.  Volunteering is not something new to her.  She travels with me to various activities and gives freely of her time.  Last year, she gave a Saturday to help raise money for her traveling softball team.  This year, she spent a Saturday helping to raise money for scholarships and her Sunday helping with an event to raise money for our conservation projects throughout the county. However, the food pantry was the first time she’s picked a cause to volunteer with.  As a parent, her excitement in choosing a cause simply made my heart swell.  No longer does she have to be prodded along, instead she’s the one prodding me along ...

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