The State of Volunteerism in CCFB

The week of April 12-18 was National Volunteer Week across the Country…did you celebrate?  Were you properly appreciated? 

Most people understand volunteerism.  It is a “non-paid” position in which a person freely offers to take part in an enterprise, task, or event.  I used “quote marks” around non-paid because payment comes hopefully in many forms beyond monetary payment…

-        Payment in the form of contacts made with others

-        Payment in the form of new friends

-        Payment in the form of strengthening an industry

-        Payment in the form of knowledge and sacrifice

-        Payment in the form of teaching job/life skills

-        Payment in the form of fun and new experiences

There are some that say volunteering is going out of style…I just think it is evolving.  People don’t have time to give open-end hours to a cause like they did in the past.  Efficient use of time and talents are the new rule!  According to in 2013, 62.6 million Americans volunteered 7.7 billion hours.  That is 1 in 4 adults in the USA…and that rank has been fairly steady over the past 10 years.

Cook County Farm Bureau is very fortunate to have an outstanding group of volunteers that gives frequently to the organization.  The “gifts” we call volunteers are what make us who and what the CCFB is.  We are an organization of people.  People are the engine of this organization.  People give Farm Bureau personality.  People…not a building. People…not a corporation.  People…not a computer.  People…not an industrial machine.  Cook County Farm Bureau is people.

Reprinted (with my permission) is a copy of a public letter I wrote and posted April 12th to try to capture the power of what volunteers mean to CCFB.

It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to publicly thank and honor the tremendous group of volunteers that serve our organization, the Cook County Farm Bureau, on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.


We are blessed to have so many outstanding volunteers that serve on the Board of Directors, Team Structure, and in a multitude of programming activities and advisory roles throughout the year. Your talents and skills are on display for the world to see and what the world “sees” is Excellence!


The many successes achieved by the Cook County Farm Bureau, the CCFB Foundation, the Ag Literacy program, and the Political Action Committee are a direct result of the commitment and energy of local farmers, farm owners, and agricultural supporters that give beyond your personal lives to further the cause of a greater and stronger agriculture in Cook County.


Sunday marked the beginning of National Volunteer Week. This week is a 40 year tradition of honoring the work in service of volunteers in the United States. Established by President Nixon in 1974, the week is about celebrating the contributions, time, knowledge, and expertise of the myriads of individuals that give themselves to the further meant of people and organizations in an effort to strengthen communities for today and tomorrow.


We recognize that volunteerism is neither easy nor convenient. We know that there are times when life is so busy that it’s hard to give up precious moments to serve agriculture and your organization. Please know that we appreciate the efforts that Cook County Farm Bureau volunteers make throughout the year to make this organization effective, essential, and relevant.


At Cook County Farm Bureau, we certainly mark this week with great appreciation, holding the knowledge that we can’t do what we do without your involvement.

Thank you to all who contribute to a strong Cook County Farm Bureau!

  Bob Rohrer, Manager

The most powerful tool we have is to say “thank you.”  Say it in many ways.  Say it frequently.  Say it with the sincerity felt.

Thank you…I can’t say it enough!

P.S. If any of our members want to help us accomplish the mission of CCFB in small or big ways, please contact me, any board member, or a staff member about volunteer opportunities.