From the monthly archives:

February, 2018

Bring Your Classroom Alive! Cook County Teacher PD Workshop 2/27/18

Join the fun at our hands-on educator PD featuring the topics of seeds, eggs and embryology.  Learn new ways to bring science, math and language arts to your curriculum using agriculture resources.  Attendees will walk away with free resources and lesson plans.  Pre-registration required by emailing or calling us at 708-354-3276.  

Farmers and Farm Owners are Reminded to Respond to the Census of Agriculture

Did you know the Census of Agriculture data helps shape policy for American agriculture – from creating and funding farm programs to boosting services for communities and the agriculture? Respond now at


Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program

Applications are now available for nurse practitioner scholarships through the Illinois Farm Bureau® Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program.  There will be five scholarships, worth $4,000 each, granted this year. The scholarship program, now in its twenty sixth year, helps encourage and develop the pool of rural health practitioners to help meet primary health care needs in rural Illinois.  Students who receive scholarships agree to practice for two years in an approved rural area in Illinois. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be Illinois residents and be a Registered Nurse accepted or enrolled in an accredited Nurse Practitioner Program.  Funding is provided by the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program. Applications are available at county Farm Bureaus® throughout the state, on the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program website at, or by writing Donna Gallivan, Program Manager, Illinois Farm Bureau, PO Box 2901, Bloomington, IL ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

You may know this recently popular tune: O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How dry and brittle are your branches O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How dry and brittle are your branches   O once, you were such a lovely green Fire resistant and so very clean Now presents are gone and needles fall How dry and brittle are your branches   Sure, I took some liberties with the words. Such a happy little song before Christmas becomes a little sadder after Christmas as that fresh tree becomes much less “fresh”.  For those procrastinators out there, IT IS FEBRUARY on the calendar, and that means, it’s time to take the tree down! It is always a bit sad when it becomes time for the “real” Christmas tree to come down. The green conifer “soldier” has fearlessly done its job of holding up the myriad of bright lights, sentimental decorations, keepsake items, kids’ mystery creations, expressions of the season, glitz and glamour…day after day, ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

I have a confession: I’m a “Potterhead.” Surprised? Maybe. But you should know that I’m an avid reader and not just of shoe magazines.  Since learning to read, I immersed myself in stories of Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, Goosebumps, Sweet Valley High, and The Saddle Club.  Like legions of young girls before me, I imagined myself solving mysteries while riding trails by night on my trusty steed. As I got older, my reading preferences shifted from R. L. Stine to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Michael Crichton. On rare occasion - usually when I stole one from my grandma - I’d throw in a Harlequin romance novel. But I’m more of a dinosaur-kind of girl. After college, my thrill-seeking tastes gave way to less Stephen King and more Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen, David Baldacci, and Karin Slaughter.  My farmer calls them my “body count books” and he may have a point.  But candidly, Stephen King started to scare me after I left the comfort of room ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Smell the Roses  This month features the holiday that some love and some loath.  Whatever way you look at it, Valentine’s Day is hard to avoid.  It’s also a huge economic boom often bringing in over $18 billion according to the National Retail Federation.  Approximately one-third of that total represents floral sales, which falls just below candy and cards.   Customs officials at airports begin working to make sure that the flowers a loved one receives contain only flowers!  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checks the millions of flowers coming into the U.S. for insects, diseases and even hidden narcotics.  Teachers who attend our Summer Ag Institutes are fascinated with the tour we receive at O’Hare Airport where we learn so much about the importance of Agriculture Customs and Border Patrol, a topic few Americans pay attention to unless they travel abroad. The majority of fresh flowers are imported - mainly from South America - and inspected a ...

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