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From the monthly archives:

April, 2015

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The State of Volunteerism in CCFB The week of April 12-18 was National Volunteer Week across the Country…did you celebrate?  Were you properly appreciated?  Most people understand volunteerism.  It is a “non-paid” position in which a person freely offers to take part in an enterprise, task, or event.  I used “quote marks” around non-paid because payment comes hopefully in many forms beyond monetary payment… -        Payment in the form of contacts made with others -        Payment in the form of new friends -        Payment in the form of strengthening an industry -        Payment in the form of knowledge and sacrifice -        Payment in the form of teaching job/life skills -        Payment in the form of fun and new experiences There ...

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Farm Bureau Concerned About Funding Proposal

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s (CMAP) Go To 2040 plan lays out numerous goals for the Chicago metropolitan area, including effective transportation and the conservation of open space.  To fund the priorities set forth in the Go To 2040 plan, CMAP has proposed a quarter-cent sales tax on purchases made in the Chicago metropolitan area, which is defined as the counties in the Regional Transportation Authority service area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will).  CMAP estimates that the quarter-cent sales tax would raise $300 million.  CMAP’s proposal sets a precedent for other regional planning commissions including: the Bi-State Regional Commission (Rock Island), Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (Marion), North Central Illinois Council of Governments (Ottawa), South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission (Harrisburg), and the Western Illinois Regional Council (Macomb) to propose a sales tax on purchases made in ...

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National Volunteer Week

It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to publicly thank and honor the tremendous group of volunteers that serve our organization, the Cook County Farm Bureau, on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.  We are blessed 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. Your talents and skills are on display for the world to see and what the world “sees” is Excellence!  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 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 v ...

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Antibiotic use in Chickens

In March, McDonald’s announced that they would phase out the use of chickens treated with antibiotics used in humans.  The shift will occur over the next two years. McDonald’s move will likely drive other fast food chains to implement similar changes.  Food chains like Panera and Chick-fil-A have already taken steps to eliminate the use of antibiotics. Since 2009, the use of antibiotics, also used in humans, by farmers raising animals for food has increased by 16 percent, according to the Food and Drug Administration.  FDA also noted that the sales of such drugs declined during that same period. To date, Wendy’s and Burger King already prohibit the use of growth promoting antibiotics.  McDonald’s chicken suppliers will still be able to use ionophores, which are additives use to promote growth and increase feed efficiency. According to the National Chicken Council a majority of antibiotics used by chicken farmers are used to prevent diseases.  Additionally, ...

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GMO Talks Scheduled for May 6

Farm Bureau members and non-members are invited to attend GMO Talks on Wednesday, May 6 at the Farm Bureau office. 

Kim Morton, a member of the Speakers Bureau will address the history, testing, and safety of GMO foods and farm products while answering questions from the audience.

GMOs are now found in up to 80 percent of the American food supply.  Today, food is less expensive for everyone because farmers produce more with lower overhead.  In the absence of GMO corn, soybeans and sugar beets, those crops would be 30 percent more expensive. In addition, GMOs have a far more sustainable environmental footprint, requiring less water and fewer pesticides.

The discussion will begin at 6 pm on Wednesday, May 6 at the Farm Bureau office located at 6438 Joliet Road in Countryside.  GMO Talks is a free program but reservations are required.  Call (708) 354-3276 by Friday, May 1 to reserve your spot.

Manifolds, Manolos and Manure

Surprisingly very few, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle announced that she would not be endorsing a candidate in the April mayoral run-off.  While her announcement can be seen as a positive for embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, it is clearly a blow to challenger and Preckwinkle’s floor leader Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. At one time, Preckwinkle was thought to be Rahm’s major challenger.  That was until she announced that she would not be running for mayor.  Instead Rahm was challenged by Garcia, second ward alderman Bob Fioretti, executive Willie Wilson, and community activist William “Dock” Walls.  Receiving a third fewer votes than he did in 2011, Rahm now faces Chicago’s first mayoral runoff in recent history. Despite Rahm’s political war chest and heavy hitting former boss, Garcia capitalized on a weakened incumbent.  A weakened incumbent who now has to sing a new message, one about being best poised to ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Science, pie and leadership” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson (A sentence from the Declaration of Independence) Amazing words of power…world changing words…written by a Revolutionary leader at age 33. April 13 happens to be the birthday of Thomas Jefferson. I know this because I have a “smart phone”. I have a really smart because it posted Jefferson’s birthday on my activities calendar, knowing full well that I would care! How did it know? In case you don’t remember Thomas Jefferson, let me refresh your memory. He was this guy born in 1743, third child to a wealthy plantation family, studied and read, becoming very well educated… highly successful lawyer…Governor of Virginia…author of a little document called the Declaration of Ind ...

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