From the monthly archives:

November, 2017

Farming for our Future Gala… Sowing the Seeds of Greatness

A fundraiser to benefit Agricultural Literacy through the CCFB Foundation

Early bird tickets ($100 per ticket) are now available for purchase. Visit the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation page for more sponsorship information. 

Harvest Season Emergency Declared, Overweight Permit Now Available

Gov. Bruce Rauner declared a state harvest season emergency earlier this month, giving road jurisdictions authority to issue Harvest Season Emergency Permits. Cook County farmers will need to seek a permit from the Cook County Transportation and Highway Department for Cook County roads.  A Transportation and Highway Department official indicated the department would use an automated permit, available at Under a harvest season emergency, a farmer with a permit may haul up to a maximum of 10 percent more than the standard weight restriction of the gross, axle and registered weight restrictions. Harvest season permits are not available for interstate highways. With individual permits, local authorities may put restrictions, such as which roads are designated for the permits or times of day the permit is valid, or special conditions, such as not valid during a rainstorm.   In addition, farmers need to talk to township road commissio ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Everyone is from somewhere” “Where are you from?”  is perhaps the most commonly asked question posed when we meet a stranger after “What’s your name?” It’s usually a way of generating safe conversation in which we seek to find common ground. Everyone is from “somewhere” right? When someone asks me where I am from, I have a tough time responding. Sure, I’m from somewhere. However, the person that asked this question doesn’t really want to hear my life story as I struggle to come up with a good answer. My parents, during my youth, farmed for various other larger farmers as they attempted to become established farmers for their “living”.  They continually sought better opportunities so that they could eventually farm for themselves (finally happening in 1983 when I was 18 years old).  This meant that we moved from farm to farm, town to town fairly frequently. Where am I from? I could say I’m from the cit ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

I grew up in a healthcare family. I could explain COBRA and DNRs before I could complete a multiplication table.  I also grew up in a farming family. Ultimately, I grew up trusting nurses, doctors, farmers, research and science. I grew up running between my mom’s and aunt’s offices after school while skirting between nurses, doctors, and patients.  Or running through my grandparents’ fields in search of my next great treasure or stray animal.  My farmer and I actually married next to one of those fields.   Between my upbringing and being married to a farmer, I’ve always had the luxury of knowing where my food came from and knowing the farmers who grow and raise my food because I was one of those farmers. I also remember raising crops before genetically engineered seeds were commercially available. Years ago, before GPS, my farmer’s “foamer” stopped working so he asked his then-girlfriend to hop in and out of the tractor, count rows, and then poi ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

If I mention the name Sarah Hale, what comes to mind?  I’m guessing not much as it was a name I was not familiar with until several years ago.  When doing teacher workshops at this time of the year I always like to bring in some information beyond turkeys and feasting which is how I ran across Sarah Hale and the book by Laurie Halse Anderson, Thank You Sarah: the Woman who Saved Thanksgiving. The book relates how Sarah, a magazine editor and author, persuaded President Lincoln to transform Thanksgiving Day into a national holiday. As the story goes, she wrote thousands of letters asking politicians to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.  Hale often wrote editorials and articles about the holiday and she lobbied state and federal officials to pass legislation creating a fixed, national day of thanks on the last Thursday of November—a unifying measure, she believed that could help ease growing tensions and divisions between the northern and southern parts of the country. When Zach ...

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