From the monthly archives:

March, 2013

Ag Day a Great Day

Over 400 third grade students, teachers and chaperones attended our first Ag Day event for 2013 at Chicago High School for Ag Sciences.  Rotating through eight stations in 15 minute increments, the students learned about Illinois agriculture including specialty crops, horticulture/worms, soybeans, corn, animals, dairy, pork and how food goes from the farm to the table.  Students walked away with their own beanie babies, butterflies in a bag, cow hats and a new understanding of how important agriculture is to all of our lives.  Two more Ag Days are scheduled for April 11th and April 18th at different locations.                                                                 & ...

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Gardening & Conservation Workshop

Our friends at the Will/Cook Soil and Water Conservation District asked us to help promote an upcoming program:

The Will/South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to announce that their Annual Conservation Gardening Night program will be held Thursday, April 11th.

Please join us at 7:00 pm for a program featuring University of Illniois Extension master Gardener Nancy Kuhajda.  Nancy, who is well known for her entertaining and informative presentations, will provide all the information needed to get your garden and landscape in shape for the fast approaching spring and summer growing seasons.

Topics will include composting, vegetable and flower gardening, tree planting, use of native plants and beneficial insects.  Tree seedlings and refreshments will also be available.

The program will be held at the SWCD, 1201 S. Gougar Road, New Lenox, Illinois, 60541.

For more information call the Will/South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District at (815)462-3106, ext. 3.


Leaders Discuss Farming with Callers on WGN Radio

Chris Gould, Illinois pork farmer, joined radio host, Mike McConnell, and WGN Radio callers to discuss Illinois farmers and farming practices in celebration of National Agriculture Day.  Gould’s visit was part of an agricultural literacy project organized by Bryan Blau, Brittany Dean, Shaen Inglis, Nick Nagele, Todd Price, and Ruth Zeldenrust.  Team members also spoke with freshmen at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences about careers in agriculture before taping a short piece for “This Week in Agribusiness”.  The completion of an agricultural literacy project is a requirement of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program.  Nagele, Price, and Zeldenrust are Cook County Farm Bureau volunteers.

Tree and Pond Stocking Sale

Our friends at the Will/Cook Soil and water Conservation District asked us to help promote an upcoming program.  See below: The Will/South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the Spring 2013 Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website - 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, Hybrid Redear, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by April 19th. All other orders must be received by Monda ...

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Emanuel Launches Urban Farming Initative for the City of Chicago

Mayor Emanuel launches a new plan to transform vacant city lots into farmland and beginning farmers looking for a way into the market into successful entrepreneurs.

2013 Cookfresh Community Urban Grant Recipients Named

Cook County Farm Bureau® Cookfresh® Community Garden Grant Program…
An assistance program designed for Community Gardens in Cook County to beautify their “places and palates.” The Cookfresh Cook County grant program offered five $300.00 grants to support urban agriculturists seeking assistance with a community garden. The community gardens will receive $300 in the form of Cook County Farm Bureau “Cookfresh Funds”.
Meet the 2013 Cookfresh Community Garden Grant Recipients:
• 65th & Woodlawn Community Garden
• The Sauk
• Roots Community Garden
• Back Yard Salad Bar
• Mercy Housing Lakefront Youth Urban Garden

To learn more about the recipients visit the Buy-Local/Programs page from the website.

Wagner Farm to Host its First-Ever Northshore Baconfest on Apr. 27

Wagner Farm, one of the last working dairy farms in Cook County, is teaming up with Cook County Farm Bureau, Kraft, First Farm Credit Services, Catered by Design, and the Lloyd & Kathryn Bettis Foundation to host the first-ever Northshore Baconfest the evening of April 27.  Bacon is generously being provided by Oscar Mayer, a Kraft Foods brand.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Friends of Wagner Farm, a 501(c)(3) organization, which exists to support Wagner Farm in its mission to provide visitors with memorable educational experiences about farming and its history.  The evening will feature chefs serving up tastings of imaginative bacon creations.  Tickets are available at

Farm Burea Leaders Meet with Candidates for Second Congressional District

Farm Bureau leaders from Cook, Kankakee and Will County Farm Bureaus met with Robin Kelly, Democratic candidate for the Second Congressional District and Paul McKinley, Republican candidate to discuss Farm Bureau policies and each candidates' position on pertinent farm and small business issue.  Candidates discussed their views on the Farm Bill, transportation upgrades, and ethanol policy. 

Forest Preserve opens Acres for Farming

At the end of February, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County opened over 1,000-acres and 12 sites for hay mowing and over 680-acres and four sites for row crop production, which is up from 2008 when the District opened five sites for hay mowing and one site for row crop production.  

Bids for the parcels were due in March and opened during a public bid opening.  

In 2008, Cook County Farm Bureau drafted a resolution supporting the continued use of hay mowing as a management technique for unrestored, conducive Forest Preserve sites.  The resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Liz Gorman was unanimously approved by the Board.  

The District’s decision to open additional, appropriate acres is applauded by the Farm Bureau and is in line with existing Farm Bureau policy.

The expansion of farming in the Forest Preserve remains a priority of Cook CFB.

Sportscasters Grudge Match

CBS sportscaster Ryan Baker takes the shopping prize during Cook County Farm Bureau®’s Food Checkout Day scavenger hunt at the Dominick’s store in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago.  Baker edged out ABC sportscaster Mark Giangreco by six items.  The entire shopping list, which was developed from the Ronald McDonald House® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana “wish list” was matched by Dominick’s in addition to their $10,000 Food Checkout Day donation.  The event raised nearly $18,000 for the charity.

You saw it on the CBS News on February 21st for Food Checkout Day...Now check it out again!

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