From the monthly archives:

June, 2017

USEPA Begins Process to Rescind the Waters of the US Rule

Earlier this summer, USEPA issued its proposed rule to rescind the 2015 Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule.  This is the first of a two-part approach Administrator Pruitt plans to take to rescind and then replace the WOTUS rule.  Both parts of the plan will undergo notice and comment, and therefore, Farm Bureau and interested members will have opportunities at both times to file public comments.  The 2015 WOTUS rule- marketed by the USEPA as the “clean water rule” had more to do with land than water. ·       It was a land-grab that created confusion and uncertainty for regulators and farmers, ranchers and others who depend on their ability to work the land. ·       It imposed enormous regulatory road blocks and costs for simply moving dirt in low spots on the landscape. ·       The rule’s definition of “tributary” was so broa ...

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Cook County Minimum Wage Increase to go into Effect on July 1

Under an ordinance approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Cook County employers will be required to pay the following hourly rates: ·       $10.00 per hour beginning on July 1, 2017 ·       $11.00 per hour or the greater of the hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act beginning on July 1, 2018 ·       $12.00 per hour or the greater of the hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act beginning on July 1, 2019 ·       $13.00 per hour or the greater of the hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act beginning on July 1, 2020 Beginning on July 1, 2021 and on every July 1 thereafter, the greater of: ·       The minimum wage set by the Minimum Wage Law or ·       The minimum hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act or ·      ...

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Farm Bureau Participates in Wagner Dairy Breakfast

COUNTRY Financial Agency Manager Joe Youngman discusses food trivia with consumers during the 2017 Wagner Farm Dairy Breakfast.  Cook County Farm Bureau® sponsored the 4-H Livestock Stock Show.

Farm Bureau Schedules Staff Exchange Program for Legislators and Staff

On Monday, July 10 and Tuesday, July 25 Cook County Farm Bureau® is hosting a Cook County farm-business/food processor tour for Cook County government officials and staff.  The program is designed to provide Cook County legislators and their staffs with an enhanced understanding of Cook County farms-businesses and how they relate to Cook County government. All tour sites will be located in Cook County.  There are no repeat sites from prior programs. On Monday, July 10 tour participants will depart from the Cook County Farm Bureau® office in Countryside.  This tour will include a visit to Nufarm Limited in Alsip and Chicago Heights.  Nufarm is one of the world's leading crop protection and specialist seeds companies and produces products to help farmers protect their crops against damage caused by weeds, pests and disease.  On Tuesday, July 25 tour participants will depart from the Cook County building.  This tour will include a visit to the North Lawndale Youth Fa ...

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Immigration Attorney to Farmers: Be Prepared

Immigration Attorney to Farmers: Be Prepared By Deana Stroisch, FarmWeek Lawyer offers nine recommendations for if the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement visits your farm. Farmers should be prepared for increased immigration enforcement and worksite audits, an immigration attorney with Fragomen Worldwide (provides immigration services globally in coordination with its affiliates around the world) advises. “Developing that company action plan and having a discussion with your management and with your employees on the ground as to what they should do if the government comes knocking on your door is important,” said Anna Morzy, a partner with Fragomen Worldwide. Does your staff know how to reach you in case of emergency? Do you have an attorney? Morzy spoke during an hourlong webinar sponsored by Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition and Fragomen. Within his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump issued a number of executive orders centered on immigratio ...

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American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's Recommended Reading

The American Farm Bureau Federation Foundation for Agriculture recommends the following books as preferred reading material for kids this Summer. For detail about the books, go to:

By Ellen Lawrence By Gina Hagler


By Jody Jensen Shaffer By Ryan Jacobson


IAA Credit Union is Growing!

IAA Credit Union is Growing, By: Sean Wells, CEO of IAA Credit Union  IAA Credit Union is growing! Ten years ago, we closed-out our first-quarter financials with $116 million in managed assets and 12,829 members. This was soon after I had started and just before the “Great Recession” which officially started in December of that year. As we close the first quarter of 2017, I’m happy to report that we have grown to $237 million in managed assets and 16,214 members. We’ve more than doubled in assets and increased members by more than 25%!  This is significant because Credit Unions need to grow to best serve our members. Because returning value to our members is our highest priority, we put a great deal of effort into increasing memberships. As a financial cooperative we must strive to serve our members with the most convenient, cost effective tools and best rates possible while generating revenue to cover the cost of doing business. Membership and asset growth keep ...

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Cook County Farm Bureau Volunteer of the Year...

The Cook County Farm Bureau® (CCFB) Volunteer of the Year Award is an award which recognizes individuals from the CCFB who have made a significant contribution to organization through his or her dedication to, and support of, the accrediting process.

“We would like to recognize those individuals who give their time and talents to promote the goals of agriculture in the Cook County Farm Bureau.”—Jim Bloomstrand, Chairman of the Member Relations Team

The program will run on an annual basis from September 1- August 31.  All entries will be submitted to the CCFB Member Relations team to screen candidate forms.  After the team screens the forms, they will be presented to the CCFB board for recipient approval and a winner will be selected.

CLICK HERE for application.

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The magic of rejection What is the “magic” that makes some organizations successful (my favorite baseball team!) when others fall on their face (my favorite football team!)?  Fairy dust? Money? Voodoo? Leadership? Just blind luck? I want my favorite organization (Cook County Farm Bureau®) to have the “magic” to enjoy unbridled success for members. In April, I took an Executive Leadership online course to explore the topic. Of no surprise, disruptive change and the extreme pace of change was forefront. Change is inevitable. The organizations and leaders that have the skills to steer through change will survive and adapt. And those that don’t change become Blockbuster Video, Blackberry, Woolworths, Circuit City, Montgomery Wards, Pan-American Airlines, Pullman Company, MCI WorldCom, Oldsmobile, Compaq Computers, and DeLorean Motors. Did those companies plan to fail or fail to plan? Something that prevents organizations from changing and evolving is leadership’ ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Horses and more One of the benefits of being an Ag Literacy Coordinator is reaching new audiences to share the message of agriculture in the classroom.  While we reach an amazing number of students in classrooms throughout Cook County, we also are given the opportunity to go beyond the school walls.  One of these programs occurred last month at Kopping Stables in Lemont, IL.  Kopping is the host site of a Holistic Riding Equestrian Therapy Program run by Ms. Marlene Karman.  Her programs are focused on the special needs community, including students from a local high school.  What a joy it was to be asked to provide supplemental education to these students about agriculture and its connection to horses, cattle, food, and much more.  The hands-on learning aspect of agriculture made an immediate impact on these special needs students.  Ag education has a tendency to do that. This was one of many “custom” programs that we’ve been lucky enough to be asked to ...

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