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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Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

In the past year, our big, little boy and our blue-eyed girl have grown tremendously. Together, they’ve scaled the treehouse- yes, we’ve literally found them sitting on the roof- and every slide in town.  They’ve chased calves with their motorized toy tractor.  Quite frankly no one’s toes are safe when either of them are in the driver’s seat. The past year has undoubtedly highlighted their differences.  Our blue-eyed girl is no longer the quiet little girl who entered the world one hot Father’s Day.  Instead she bubbles about her day before tearing through her latest book.  This week it’s The Magic Treehouse Adventure on the Amazon.  The week before it was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  She’s all books.  All Harry Potter.  And all imaginary adventures even if it’s past her bedtime. Our big little boy on the other hand has made noise from the hot night he entered the world.  His books of choice ...

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Farm Bureau Schedules Staff Exchange Program for Legislators and Staff

On Tuesday, July 11 and Tuesday, July 25 Cook County Farm Bureau® is hosting a Cook County farm-business/food processor tour for Cook County government officials and staff.  The program is designed to provide Cook County legislators and their staffs with an enhanced understanding of Cook County farms-businesses and how they relate to Cook County government. All tour sites will be located in Cook County.  There are no repeat sites from prior programs. On Tuesday, July 11 tour participants will depart from the Cook County Farm Bureau® office in Countryside.  This tour will include a visit to Nufarm Limited in Alsip and Chicago Heights.  Nufarm is one of the world's leading crop protection and specialist seeds companies and produces products to help farmers protect their crops against damage caused by weeds, pests and disease.  On Tuesday, July 25 tour participants will depart from the Cook County building.  This tour will include a visit to the North Lawndale Youth F ...

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2017 Recipe Collection is Available!

16 Cook County Farm Bureau® members submitted recipes using fresh, local ingredients that are available to be purchased from member Farm Stands and Farm Markets.  To receive a free Recipe Brochure call the CCFB office at 708.354.3276 or email Debbie at to request one or download a copy by clicking on the photo below! 

Commissioner Schneider to host a Fishing Derby

Join Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider at his annual Fishing Derby on Sunday, June 4 from 9 a.m. until noon at Busse Woods Grove 25.

Solar Companies Seeking Land in Illinois

Farmers continue to receive offers; IFB lawyer advises them to examine fine print closely.  

Farmers throughout Illinois continue to receive letters from solar companies offering cash in exchange for use of their land. And the interest continues to grow.
Garrett Thalgott, an Illinois Farm Bureau attorney, said the number of solar companies looking for land in Illinois has increased in the last year. The number of farmers receiving offer letters has also increased. 

Thalgott suggests landowners be cautious and consult a lawyer before signing anything. He encourages farmers to weigh any offers against what the farmer could be giving up. 

Illinois Farm Bureau offers the following tips when considering a solar lease agreement: - Research the company.
- Seek the advice of an attorney.
- Know that there is bargaining power in numbers.
- Contact the Farm Services Agency if the land is included in a government farm program.

By Deana Stroisch, FarmWeek

Distracted Driving Law Applies to Tractors on Public Roads

State hands-free calling rules also apply to farm equipment on roads. Talking or texting with a hand-held device is illegal while operating any motor vehicle, including farm equipment, on a public road.  The Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week was held April 24-28, 2017.  This week was dedicated to raising awareness of the law regarding handheld phone use for talking or texting which is prohibited by all motor vehicle operators when on a public road. It is important to note that this ban applies to operators of implements of husbandry such as tractors and self-propelled farm equipment. In addition, all cell phone use including hands-free devices is prohibited: while driving in a school zone while driving in a highway construction zone if you are a novice driver Texting while driving is prohibited for all Illinois drivers. As farmers move from field to field this spring, the Cook County Farm ...

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