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From the monthly archives:

April, 2014

Surprise and Congratulations!

Staff member Diane Merrion, CCFB's Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, attended the Chicago High School for Ag Science's FFA Award Banquet last night primarily to present the recognition of the CCFB Foundation's Conserv FS FFA Scholarship to Senior Thomas Poole.

CHSAS surprised Diane with a very special recognition of her own, by presenting her with an honorary Chapter FFA degree for her efforts to work with the students at CHSAS, creation of the Summer Farm Camp held at the school and the wonderful interaction she provides between CHSAS, Ag in the Classroom and Cook County Farm Bureau.

What a wonderful tribute to Diane who works so hard on partnering to communicate the message of farm, food, agriculture, and it's relevance throughout Cook County!

Big Time Congratulations, Diane!

2nd Annual Northshore Baconfest Held at Wagner Farm

Cook County Farm Bureau was a cosponsor of this year's Second Annual Northshore Baconfest held on Saturday April 26th at Wagner Farm.  It was a time to celebrate all the things that go into making the sizzling sensation known to us all as bacon.  Proceeds from the event benefited 'The Friends of Wagner Farm' which supports Historic Wagner Farm in its mission of providing visitors with memorable educational experiences about agriculture and its history.

   


FARMLAND Documentary Premieres

More than a year in-the-making, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) privately premiered a new documentary in April in Washington, D.C. to offer the first, unrestricted viewing of a documentary it funded that follows the fortunes and misfortunes of six farmers and ranchers. Illinois Farm Bureau, along with beef, corn, dairy, pork and soybean organizations that make up the Illinois Farm Families program, has been working with U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to organize the Illinois premiere of "Farmland." USFRA, a national organization that includes Illinois Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and some 80-plus other state Farm Bureaus and other commodity and ag-related organizations, funded "Farmland" in an effort to step up dialogue with consumers about today's agriculture. James Moll, a filmmaker who has won Oscar and Emmy awards for previous documentaries, followed 20-something farmers and ranchers for a year, documenting weather challenges, decision-making ...

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Driftwatch helps identify pesticide - sensitive crops and beehives

Farmers and pesticide applicators will find more pesticide-sensitive crops and beehive locations on Driftwatch, an interactive Beesstate website. “Everything (registered) went up in every category this year,” reported Warren Goetsch, Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). Through Driftwatch, farmers and beekeepers voluntarily register, map pesticide-sensitive locations online, and provide their contact information at no charge. The site is intended for commercial operations, not small gardens. Earlier this year, Driftwatch provided locations for 1,309 bee hives; 4,726 certified organic acres and 4,005 organic acres; 1,366 fruit acres; 589 grape acres; 3,041 vegetable acres; and 429 organic livestock acres. Pesticide applicators may register and sign up for electronic notification when sensitive locations are registered within their service areas. About 80 pesticide applicators registered on the website. Any visitor may use the in ...

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2014 Cook County Farm Bureau Bookmark Contest

Pick up an Ag Book this summer and ... Travel into the world of agriculture! Enter our bookmark contest and have people from all over Cook County use it during their summer reading.  We’re already starting to receive entries for the bookmark contest.  We love to see all your creativity, so keep them coming! Design a bookmark showing how agriculture is a part of your life, every day.  Whether it’s milk from a cow, ethanol to fill your gas tank, cereal made with wheat, corn fresh from the field, or soy ink on your newspaper, we want to see how Ag is a part of your life! First and Second Place prizes will be awarded. First Place winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and the Second Place winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.  Winners will also receive an Ag themed book.  The winning bookmarks will be duplicated for distribution this summer at local libraries and at the Cook County Farm Bureau. Please visit www.cookcfb.org/ag-literacy to obta ...

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Last Chance to visit with a Master Gardener!

Master Gardeners will only be in the Cook County Farm Bureau office until November 14th!  If you have any questions regarding your soil test results, horticulture, plant disease issues and more, now is the chance to speak with a Master Gardener.

A large team of Master Gardeners have volunteered to staff the office Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 1pm through November 14th.  They are located inside the CCFB office suite located at 6438 Joliet Rd in Countryside.  You can reach a master gardener by calling (708)354-3276 or by email at mastergardener@cookcfb.org 

General topic areas that can be addressed include soil test recommendations, plant disease issues and treatments, horticulture related questions, pest identification and treatment, and more.  The program is a collaborative effort between CCFB and the Cook County University of Illinois Extension Service. 

CCFB Foundation, Local Foods, Urban Youth and Ag Students Benefit from Gifts

NORMAL – Growing local foods, urban youth interested in agriculture financing and students studying agriculture at a junior college are the newest recipients of donations from the 1st Farm Credit Services Donor Advised Fund through the IAA Foundation.  In 2014, $118,500 from the fund will be distributed to 14 groups, including Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation, Northern Illinois University’s School for Local Food Planning and Technical Assistance Program, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences Ag Finance Pathway and the Joliet Junior College’s Department of Agriculture and Horticulture Sciences. “Working with groups that serve farmers, children and consumers, who are growing and nurturing future leaders, fits in our mission,” said Roger Schrodt, 1st Farm Credit Services Board of Directors Vice Chairperson. “Farmers have a passion for planning for the future, planting and caring for plants and animals, tending them and helping them to grow. I comme ...

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It's time for a virtual hug for all of our volunteers!

A message from Bob Rohrer, Manager, Cook County Farm Bureau… On behalf of the Cook County Farm Bureau, I would like to publicly thank and honor the tremendous volunteers that serve our organization on a daily basis. We are privileged 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. 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 talented 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 t ...

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Ag Lit Bit

We used to have an electric fryer and it produced the best French fries, fried chicken and many more healthy foods (not!).  If given the choice, my kids would have demanded something fried with every meal because doesn’t everything taste better fried?! After making a few batches of food, however, I was left with the question of what to do with the grease.  It left me wondering what restaurants did with all of the used grease they used each day.  I envisioned their leftovers compared to my little home fryer.  It’s amazing to learn how many local schools are not only educating students on what to do with this “leftover grease”, but also creating their own labs to make biofuels.  Yes, biodiesel fuel is a renewable fuel made from oilseeds, as well as waste fats from cooking.  Vehicles using biodiesel emit fewer harmful toxins into the air.  Locally, high schools including Lane Tech and Bloom High School are making biodiesel in the ...

Read the rest of entry »

Ag Lit Bit

We used to have an electric fryer and it produced the best French fries, fried chicken and many more healthy foods (not!).  If given the choice, my kids would have demanded something fried with every meal because doesn’t everything taste better fried?! After making a few batches of food, however, I was left with the question of what to do with the grease.  It left me wondering what restaurants did with all of the used grease they used each day.  I envisioned their leftovers compared to my little home fryer.  It’s amazing to learn how many local schools are not only educating students on what to do with this “leftover grease”, but also creating their own labs to make biofuels.  Yes, biodiesel fuel is a renewable fuel made from oilseeds, as well as waste fats from cooking.  Vehicles using biodiesel emit fewer harmful toxins into the air.  Locally, high schools including Lane Tech and Bloom High School are making biodiesel in the ...

Read the rest of entry »

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