From the monthly archives:

March, 2015

Farm Bureau Leaders Visit with a Local Representative

Cook and McHenry County Farm Bureau leaders visited with State Representative Jamie Andrade during a late March visit to his Chicago district.  Leaders toured WMS Gaming, which was recently acquired by Scientific Games and Revolution Brewing, the City's second largest craft brewery.

CCFB hosts Ag Day

More than 400 third grade students visited Chicago High School for Agriculture Sciences Thursday, 3/26/15  to experience Illinois agriculture in celebration of National Agriculture Day. Ag Day honors those farmers who are sustaining future generations by feeding, fueling, and clothing the world.  This annual Ag Day event is sponsored by the Cook County Farm Bureau® Foundation.Participating schools include Wadsworth STEM, Mount Greenwood and Sherwood School (all in Chicago) and St. Cletus School (LaGrange), Walker School (Bedford Park), Graves and Walsh Schools (Summit).    Students learned about some of the top Illinois agriculture commodities and spent two hours rotating through stations focusing on bees, soil, corn, soybeans, horticulture, dairy/beef, pork, embryology and how farmers care for their animals at the “live animal” station. &n ...

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County Farm Bureaus to Offer ROPS Incentive Program

Tractor overturns continue to be the leading cause of farm-related deaths. Rollover Protection Structures (ROPS) are the only proven devices to protect a tractor operator in the event of an overturn. ROPS are 99% effective when used with a seatbelt; the survival potential without a ROPS is 20%. Currently only about 60% of farm tractors have a ROPS. A new program offered by Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is about to change that.  The Quality of Life ACTION TEAM has created a ROPS Incentive Program for Illinois Farm Bureau members. IFB members can apply for a cash incentive to retrofit their farm tractor with a factory-built, dealer-installed Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) and seat belt. To be eligible, the applicant must: ·       Be a current Farm Bureau member. ·       Use the tractor in production agriculture. ·       Have a factory retro-fitted rollover protection structure (ROPS) avail ...

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Flower & Garden Show is Underway...

The Cook County Farm Bureau has been at the Chicago Flower & Garden show since Saturday and will continue to be there until the last day on Sunday March 22nd.  If you plan on attending, be sure to stop by our booth!  Here are some highlights of the show so far: Cook CFB leaders, Greg Stack and Jim Gutzmer install the mural wall in the Healing Garden at this year's Flower and Garden Show. The mural is a replica of the glass paneled wall at the rooftop garden at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie.    Dan Biernacki, Farm Bureau board member and owner of Ted's Greenhouse in Tinley Park adds plants, bushes and flowers to the Healing Garden at this year's Flower and Garden Show.  All of the plants, trees, and materials in the garden were donated by Dan and Karen Biernacki.  Julie Michaels, Farm Bureau volunteer interacts with guests in the Healing Garden on opening day of the Flower and Garden Show.  The Healing Garden replicas the rooftop garden ...

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Training Scheduled for Farmers Market Employees

In partnership with Zeldenrust Farm Market, Cook County Farm Bureau’s Speakers Bureau will offer training for farmer market and farmstand employees. 

The training on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 4:00 pm will focus on common questions employees receive and how to address those questions.  Kim Morton, Speakers Bureau member will address common customer questions about GMOs and naturally grown plants and produce.

Farmstand owners and employees are invited to attend the training on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 4:00 pm at Zeldenrust Farm Market, 1001 Glenwood-Dyer Road, Chicago Heights.  The training is free to attend but reservations are required by calling the Farm Bureau office at (708) 354-3276 by April 7.

Ag Lit Bit - The Artic

What comes to mind when you hear “The Artic”?  Perhaps it is the weather Chicago endured this winter.  Or you may think of Boston and the wicked Artic blasts and snow they experienced this year.  Or you may think of Polar Bears (they live in areas where they can hunt seals including Alaska, Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway).   What might not come to mind is apple.  The Artic Apple.  If you aren’t already familiar with it, you will be soon.  The Artic Apple, which will be available in Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties, are genetically engineered in a way to suppress the production of an enzyme that causes browning when cells in the apple are injured during packing, shipping or even from slicing. Controversial? Yes, indeed.  Some consumers are thrilled with the thought of their children not tossing away apple slices because they’re brown and unappealing, while others are incensed with the thought of a genetically engineered appl ...

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Come See Us at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show: March 14th to the 22nd!

March 14-22 at Chicago’s Navy Pier Booth #304 We are working with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana to create the beautiful rooftop garden vignette found on the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.  Seeing this replica of the rooftop “healing garden”, tendered by Cook County Farm Bureau leaders, provides a glimpse of the caring provided by the charity.  The name of the garden is ‘Serenity in the City: Growing Green for Body & Soul’.  Be sure to visit Garden #20. Special Activity Monday, March 16th at Noon:  On the Garden Living Stage, we will have area farmers and City Moms discussing how food is raised and cared for on modern farms.  The hour-long session will also include a Q & A. Weekday ticket prices:   $17  Weekend ticket prices:  $19  Children ages 4-12         $5   Hours: Sun thru Weds 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 ...

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Farmland Available at Walmart Stores March 3

Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll’s feature-length documentary, “Farmland,” will be available on DVD beginning Tuesday, March 3, at Walmart and The availability of the documentary at retail locations across the country and online provides another opportunity for viewers to experience the film, which offers a firsthand glimpse inside the world of farming by showcasing the lives of six young farmers and ranchers in their twenties. The documentary is also now available to rent on DVD from Netflix and to purchase on Amazon, with continued availability for rent and purchase via digital download on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On-Demand, Sony PlayStation,, Xbox and YouTube.

Farmers Opening Their Doors at this year's Flower & Garden Show

Join us as we open our doors and introduce you to the people who grow your food.  Farming looks different today and you may wonder how it all works.  Area family farmers and moms will discuss how your food is raised and cared for on modern farms.  The hour long discussion will end with the moderator taking questions from the audience.  Farmers will also be available near the Garden Living Stage for additional conversation after the discussion.

The discussion will be held at this year's Flower and Garden Show on Monday, March 16 at noon.  For additional information, contact Bona at (708) 354-3276 or via email at

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Discrimination? I am a white male (in case you didn’t notice from my mug shot photo). It is rare for those of us in white male demographic to cry “discrimination”. In fact, in my 49+ years of life, I have never used those words in connection with something that happened with me. January 31, 2015 was the first time the word crossed my mind. That day, our church was hosting a blood drive. My wife wanted to be first in line and get “it” out of the way so she stopped by early to donate. Meanwhile, I wanted to get in some “Bobtime” so I decided to donate later if I had time. After going out for a run, enjoying coffee with a buddy, attending my son’s basketball game and chatting with my wife about her experience giving blood, I decided that I had no more excuses and would head to the church to do my civic duty. As I waited for a person to register me to donate, one of the workers from the Blood Donor Company whispered to me “ Hey…will you come over ...

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