Farm Bureau Actively Opposed Beverage Tax

For nearly 100 years the Cook County Farm Bureau® has strived to bridge the gap between farmers and our urban neighbors. As a partner in the food and beverage industry we are concerned about a beverage tax in Cook County. Cook County residents already face heightened taxes that negatively impact the county’s business climate, like the increase in sales tax.  Commissioners should not be considering another tax that will hurt businesses and job growth in Cook County. A beverage tax will hurt families in Cook County by increasing costs and cutting jobs. The beverage industry’s presence is felt across the state from can manufacturers to delivery drivers to grocers, restaurants, and our member’s movie theaters. Nearly 100,000 Illinois residents are either directly or indirectly employed by the non-alcoholic beverage industry.  These jobs create $6.2 billion in wages. The proposed tax will add 68 cents to the price of a two-liter bottle.  This is a 68 percent tax on a comm ...

Read the rest of entry »

Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Male and Female Pine cones, pumpkin blossoms, corn, presidential candidates. All involve males and females.  On November 8th we will have a new President and, as of this writing, we don’t know if it will be a historic first female or another male filling the role.   As I was working with teachers to prepare for fall and winter lessons I began to explore the role of males and females in nature and agriculture.  While gathering pine cones from the farm bureau parking lot (with the intent to discuss conifers), I was intrigued by the varying sizes and shapes of the cones.  Upon further investigation I came to understand the role of the male and female pine cones (who knew?) during pollination and how in spring the female pine cones accept pollen from the male pine cones as it is released through the air. What an interesting connection to our earlier lesson on how corn is pollinated by the male tassel reaching the female silks resulting in those delicious kernels of corn. &nbs ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Farm Bureau is not Free Beware of the Word “free”.  Free advice.  A Free meal to listen to the pitch for the condo. A Free puppy. Winning a free car (taxes are only $10,000). Free, complimentary hotel breakfast. Free friend labor. Free usually comes with a cost. A few years ago, my wife and I were offered a “free” hot tub from one of her coworkers. All we had to do was “simply pick it up”. The message was “the hot tub works great but is being underutilized”. Another weak moment…we needed a hot tub like a kick in the head. The “simply pick it up” process was immediately complicated…multiple personalities of our family/friend helpers, the borrowing of a trailer and equipment, logistics, and hot tube size challenges. I recall many hands moving the giant, awkward monolith off a deck, through narrow fence gates, onto an undersized trailer, through  flower gardens (by rolling it like a snowball) to its new home… the b ...

Read the rest of entry »

Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

Over 20 years ago, our family farm was shockingly different than the farm it is today.  What isn’t different is our commitment to caring for our animals and raising a high quality food product.  Regardless if we’re milking 100 cows or 400 cows, we provide them with high quality care; feed that is tailored to each animals’ stage of life; shelter from the harsh Midwest weather; and veterinarian care when needed. Like many other farms, our farm is located in an unincorporated area.  On our main farm, we have two wells.  One that supplies only the dairy barn and one that supplies the dairy barn and house.  We have a septic system.  Our animals’ waste is stored in manure lagoons or slurry stores and then injected into the soil minimizing run-off.  Our policing is provided by the county.  Fire services are provided by the fire protection district.  Unfortunately, this is a service we’ve had to rely on before.  Like many of our neig ...

Read the rest of entry »

Hot Issues in Agriculture: Cook County Sugary Beverage Tax

Cook County Sugary Beverage Tax Cook County Commissioners are considering a tax that would be imposed on non-– alcoholic beverages containing sugar including sports drinks, juices, please, and sodas sold in Cook County. The proposal is to tax these beverages sold at a rate of one penny per ounce.  The purpose of the tax will be to help close the budget deficit that the Cook County Board anticipates estimated at $174 million.  The argument has also been made that the tax will cause people to purchase less of these products in exchange for healthier alternatives. The proposed tax is projected to generate $74 million in the first year and 150 million in the next full budget year. There are approximately 68 ounces in a 2 liter soda container which would result in a 68 cent increase at the register in Cook County businesses.  These beverages are also subject to local and state sales tax. The non – alcoholic beverage industry plays a significant economic impact in Cook County and the s ...

Read the rest of entry »

Fall Faces of Farming

More than 97% of all farms in Illinois are family owned and operated.  Goebbert's family farm and farmstand, South Barrington 

Faces of Cook County Family Farming

Faces of Farming

Faces of Cook County Farming

Winners named at the Giant Pumpkin, Local Honey, Dessert & Decorating Contests held Saturday!

Thank you to Puckerville Farms in Lemont for hosting the 16th annual Giant Pumpkin Contest & Activities!  Here are this years winners:


Giant Pumpkin - Adult Division        Giant Pumpkin - Youth Division Local Honey Contest Winner
1st place: Roger Freeman 511 pounds 1st place:  John Piecuch, Jr - 101 lbs 1st Place:  Mike Davies

Pumpkin -Dessert 1st Place Winner:  Maricela Rivera
12-16 Years Youth Decorating  7-11 Years Decorating  0-6 Years Decorating

Thank you to all who came out in the weather and enjoyed this long standing Fall event!