From the monthly archives:

September, 2017

Tree and Pond Stocking Sale

The Will-South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the fall Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website ~ and can be picked up at the Will-South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District office during business hours.   U.S. Mail, email and fax copies can also be requested by calling (815) 462-3106 x 3. The District has a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees available this fall.  Stock ranges in size from 8 inches to 6-foot linear stock, and one, two and three gallon potted stock. Fish varieties for sale include Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Redear, Hybrid Sunfish, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by September 22nd. All other orders must be received by Monday, October 2nd.  Orders are pre-paid only. Tree orders will be available for pickup on Friday, October 6th, 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Satur ...

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Beanie Baby Travels to D.C.

Congratulations to Sandridge Elementary School in Lynwood, Illinois who was named the Illinois Elementary School of the Year by The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project for their outstanding energy education project: The Power of Wind. We asked 4th grade teacher, Ms. Alice Miller, about the project and process leading up to their recognition.   “I work for Sandridge Elementary, a small, one school district located in Lynwood, Illinois.  We may not have the financial resources many other schools enjoy but our students are a smart, scrappy, can-do kind of group.  Hoping to open new doors for them several years ago, I began to research opportunities that would bring materials and support to assist our students in their learning of science and the world around them.  I was fortunate to find the Cook County Farm Bureau as well as NEED.  Ag in the Classroom, through summer field trips, teacher education, and workshops has done much to further our knowledge and e ...

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“Food Evolution” the Movie Coming to Chicago in October

Have a non-farmer friend, relative, your doctor, lawyer, dietitian, kid’s teachers or other influencers in the Chicagoland area that could be enlightened and entertained about today’s agriculture? Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB), Cook County Farm Bureau, Illinois Farm Families (IFF), Illinois Science Council and the Chicago chapter of the Institute of Food Technologists will host a public screening of "Food Evolution" on Tuesday, October 3, 7:00 p.m. at the Arc Light Theater in Chicago.

Tickets are available at

An early bird discount is available for tickets purchased prior to Sept. 18.  Tickets are $15 if purchased after Sept. 18 but prior to Oct. 3 or $20 at the door.  Seats are limited.

To learn more about “Food Evolution” and to view the trailer visit:

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Democracy is Not Easy” Courage. Patriotism. Heroism. Bravery. Right over wrong. Liberty. My wife and I love going to Washington, D.C. to soak in history, learn more about the famous, not-so-famous and the infamous figures that have influenced the course of our great country. We go from landmark to historic marker, from tribute to memorial absorbing the moments, times and people of impact. History captured in granite, marble, quotes, and photos. The words, phrases, images and quotes etched into stone and metal transcend the centuries and generations, bringing tears and smiles, inspiration and humbleness, sadness and pride.  I marvel at the situations in which ordinary men and women rise to occasions. I marvel at the circumstances that lift and elevate the average to historic proportions.  Our son recently began his service to the United States of America through the Army and has been assigned to 3rd US Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard” stationed at Fort Myer next to Ar ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

The Power of the Beanie Baby Nothing draws more comments and praise than the infamous beanie baby.  No I’m not talking about those beanie babies that TY popularized when my kids were small.  The ones that had parents crazy when a “new” one came on the market or the ones that McDonalds were offering in Happy Meals that had us eating those meals just to get a mini-version of those babies.  I’m talking about the Ag in the Classroom make and take project that involves a small bag, Soil Moist, water and the #2 crop grown in Illinois, soybeans.  This month we are highlighting a school that used the beanie baby to bring attention to the soybean and its importance in our state.  Farmers will soon be out in their fields harvesting this crop which will be shipped via road, river and rail throughout the USA and the world. About half of Illinois soybeans are exported. Luckily, we’re uniquely situated when it comes to shipping soybeans. We have:​ • Semis  ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

My blue-eyed girl will readily tell anyone who will listen that her parents run on coffee, and definitely not decaf coffee. In fact, there are very few things that I’d trade for my coffee. One of those things happens to be an ice cold fountain Dr. Pepper (but not in the morning). That same blue-eyed girl will also tell you that her parents don’t chase sales. My husband is notorious for figuring out how much traveling to a different store to save money will cost you in the long run. He tells his brother and mother at every opportunity. And happily, he will tell his brother how much money he’s wasted trying to decide what to buy and where to buy it. I have to admit, Toni Preckwinkle’s sugar tax isn’t going to deter me from having a Dr. Pepper with lunch. But I’m not buying a six- or twelve-pack either. And I’m especially not buying a Diet Dr. Pepper and paying a sugar tax for no sugar.  Imagine that. Cook County is collecting a sugar tax on diet beverages made ...

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