It's a Perfect Weekend to Take Farm Photos

Fall is in the air this weekend! As combines take to the fields, pumpkins are plucked from their vines, and leaves begin to turn gold, it's a great time to bring rural life in Illinois into focus through Illinois Farm Bureau's member photo contest. Do you think you can capture the rich diversity of our state's agricultural landscape and its people through a photo? If so, then start snapping this weekend. You have three categories to choose from: Country Roads, Growing Places, and Farm Friends. Photos will be judged on focus, content, color, tone, composition, and appeal. If your photo is chosen as a finalist, you could also earn a cash prize.  Grand prize is $150; first place brings in $75 (3 are chosen); second place captures $25 (3 are chosen); and Members' Choice earns $50 (chosen by member votes at IFB's 2012 Annual Meeting). Winners will be announced in IFB's magazine for non-farmers (Partners) and IFB's newspaper (FarmWeek.) Winning photos will a ...

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Cook County Farm Bureau Receives National Award

The Cook County Farm Bureau President Jim Gutzmer and Vice-President Mike Rauch received, on behalf of the members of the organization, a national recognition award for our efforts related to Food Checkout Day benefit for Ronald McDonald House on October 3, 2012. The “Summit Award” is the American Society of Association Executives most prestigious Association Award and Cook County Farm Bureau is one of six associations across the country to be recognized in 2012. The Summit Awards dinner held October 3 at the National Building Museum in Washington DC served as the backdrop for the presentation. Hundreds of Association leaders, the executives, government officials, and business and community leaders from across the country gathered for an evening to celebrate the value of associations and their impact on society. Farm Bureau President Jim Gutzmer said, “We are honored to be singled out and recognized for the efforts that the members of our organization make to recognize the quality and a ...

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Volunteers Plant Garden at World's Largest Ronald McDonald House

Farm Bureau leaders, Dan (pictured) and Karen Biernacki along with their oldest daughter Jessica prepared and planted a rooftop flower garden on top of the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago.  The Biernacki's and Ted's Greenhouse in Tinley Park donated the plants for the fall planting of kale, califlower, beets, carrots, corn, mums, pansies and hardy grasses.  The garden is tendered by Cook County Farm Bureau in recognition of the organization's long-standing relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

Harvest Time - A Bounty of Ideas Teacher Workshop

Join us on October 17th from our Countryside Office to learn ideas to bring into your K-8 classrooms.  Follow the journey from farm to table and explore the connections between history and the harvest.  Special speaker from the Illinois Soybean Association will share free resources and ideas. Earn 2 CPDU's and walk away materials, examples and giveaways!

Life Lessons by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

I have been reminiscing in recent columns about my childhood on the farm and the various life lessons learned along the way.  Last month, my memories got me all wet as I wrote about my childhood lessons learned from Water and Mud. While I was writing, paragraph after paragraph “flowed” until it reached novel stage. Knowing most members only read novels from popular authors, I decided to break the column into part 1 and part 2.  This is part two of...”Water and Mud”. Lesson 11: Essentials of a kid’s farm life… Water and Mud (part two) On the farm, the garden hose (we called it the “watering hose”) was our rural version of the urbanite’s water fountain. We had water hydrants of various locations for watering livestock and washing equipment and irrigating plants. Nearly each water hydrant had a watering hose attached to deliver the water where was needed...water troughs, water tanks, equipment washing areas, and such. Equally important for me, ...

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Manifolds, Manolos and Manure

As a child my husband would follow his dad and grandpa around their DeKalb County home asking when he’d be big enough to milk cows, drive a tractor, pick corn.  Farm.  As he grew taller and older so did his desire to become a third generation family farmer. As the years past, our farm changed.  It grew.  We added cows.  Family members.  Farmland. For the generations who don’t remember the droughts of the ‘80s this year has been (to say the least) a learning experience.  For many of us we’ve never weathered a year where our fields were planted by April and seemingly on track for record breaking high yields just to be burnt up or abandoned by mid-August.  According to the National Agricultural Statistics Services, 74 percent of corn fields, 57 percent of soybeans fields, 94 percent of sorghum fields, and 95 percent of pastures were rated poor or very poor.  This year’s drought has impacted nearly 90 percent of the nation’s corn cro ...

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It's That Time of Year...

As you already know, membership dues billings were sent to all members beginning the week of September 17th.  We respectfully request your assistance by renewing your membership prior to the November 6th due date.  Your Farm Bureau membership gives you access to outstanding benefits, programs and services such as:  eligibility for Preferred Companies in Country Financial, IAA Credit Union, Bail Bond Cards, events, trips, entertainment, discount programs, agricultural news and information, landowners group, policy development, the Cooperator, and much more. Please plan on sending your renewal or stop by the Farm Bureau office today to maintain your active membership in your organization. Member Renewals can be paid online.  Deadline date is November 6th.  Reinstatement's and new memberships MUST BE PAID BY CALLING  (708)354-3276 or mailing a check to our office. Thank you to the members who have already renewed their membership. Should you have any questions or problems, please ...

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Representatives from Japanese Trade Organization Visit Cook County Farm

Masahide Horota from the Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Research Division of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Ko Hikasa, Consul with the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago examine a soybean field with Cook County Farm Bureau Vice-President and grain farmer Mike Rauch.  Horota and Hikasa traveled to Rauch’s Tinely Park farm to discuss the impacts of the drought and his anticipated yield.

Federal law links a CDL driver’s license with medical cards

Illinois holders of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) may be required to have a valid medical card. CDL drivers are encouraged to appear in-person at a CDL testing facility to affirm whether they are required to have a medical card and whether they operate on an interstate or intrastate basis. Generally, those interstate drivers who are required by law to have a medical card will have to have their medical card in-hand at the time of that visit. This requirement was effective January 30, 2012, and must be completed by January 30, 2014. Those drivers whose CDL expires within that two-year period can fulfill the requirement when they go in to have their CDL renewed. Those whose CDL expires after January 30, 2014, will have to make a special trip to one of 47 CDL testing facilities prior to that deadline to complete the task. The purpose of the law is to finally link the medical card to the CDL. It will also make that medical record a part of the federal electronic database on CDL drivers known as & ...

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Foodie News Update - August 2012

Foodie News - Highlighting the foods consumers want, beyond what they need