Since 1920, Cook County Farm Bureau® has served families involved or interested in farming and agriculture. Service is at the heart of everything we do, from assisting members broaden their consumer base to supporting students seeking higher education. We are investing in our communities by supporting nonprofit organizations through financial support and engaging our members and employees in our volunteer efforts.
Our Giving Philosophy
Cook County Farm Bureau’s mission is to serve all our members of the Cook County Farm Bureau® with meaningful and beneficial programs that reflect our agricultural heritage. Our corporate giving priorities embody this mission by supporting nonprofit organizations in our core areas of focus: investing in agricultural leaders, enriching the local community, and championing agriculture.
Investing in Agricultural Leaders
We strive to inspire and empower agricultural leaders through education opportunities and community activities.
Enriching the Local Community
We create rich and diverse opportunities for community growth by providing resources for those families and communities in need.
We champion agriculture and agricultural innovation by supporting causes that improve the agricultural industry and the lives and businesses of our farmer members.
Our corporate giving efforts are rooted in Cook County in which our members, volunteers, and employees live and work. In addition to supporting community efforts, our contributions also benefit state or nationwide causes that enhance the agricultural industry.
A copy of our "Cook County Farm Bureau Supports the Community" booklet is available here.
All requests for support should be submitted in writing to Robert Rohrer, Manager, Cook County Farm Bureau® Board of Directors at 6438 Joliet Rd., Countryside, IL 60525.
Farm Bureau's Investment in Local Communities
Throughout 2022 and 2023, Cook County Farm Bureau® has remained engaged and committed to partnering with and supporting local farmers, students, and non-profits.
Support for Farmers
Cook County Farm Bureau continues to support farmers through marketing enhancement programs like ‘Live Local, Shop Local’ and ‘Local Farm Products’ locator both of which connect farmers to consumers and consumers to local fresh produce, local dairy products, breweries, and more. Both tools are available at cookcfb.org.
In addition to marketing tools, Farm Bureau supports local farmers through advocacy at the local, state, and national levels. Farm Bureau leaders continue to advise the Assessor’s office and the Department of Building and Zoning regarding agriculture and farms in the county. Recently, when Cook County updated the Zoning Code regarding the keeping of animals, the Farm Bureau was not only an active participant in the discussion, but also negotiated language favorable to the care and keeping of livestock, including horses.
For many decades, the Cook County Farm Bureau has assisted farm owners in filing property tax appeals and protests. The Illinois Farmland Assessment Act of 1977 specified that farmland is assessed based on soil productivity as opposed to fair market value in 101 Illinois counties. However, the Act excludes Cook County and does not specify how farmland in the county would be assessed. Farm Bureau leaders identified this oversight and immediately met with the Cook County President and Assessor to develop the Farmland Affidavit and valuation process. The Farmland Affidavit can be credited as one of the reasons that Cook County agriculture continues to flourish and grow today.
Support for Service Members
Farm Bureau’s Young Leader Committee has historically provided support for local nonprofits including donations of food, clothing, and toys. In 2022 Cook County Farm Bureau Young Leaders prepared dinner for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate as their service project for the year.
Food Pantry Support
Together with affiliated partners, Cook County Farm Bureau donated much needed food staples and essential non-food items to six Cook County food pantries. Donations were raised in celebration of Food Checkout Day, which celebrates the healthy and nutritious food local farmers grow and raise by providing food or cash donations to people in need. In light of the tremendous pressure created by COVID-19, CCFB matched members' monetary donations. Over $11,000 was donated to local Cook County pantries. In addition, CCFB donated meat purchased from the Lake County Fair 4H Auction to partner food pantries. The year 2023 marks the 23rd anniversary of Food Checkout Day and Cook County Farm Bureau’s largest effort to date to support local families in need.
In 2023, the Cook County Farm Bureau® Foundation awarded $11,000 to 4 students pursuing an agriculture-related degree and in 2022, the CCFB Foundation awarded $15,500 to 6 students. The scholarship program is designed to provide college students pursuing a degree in agriculture, agribusiness, or agriculture-related course of study with financial support, sent directly to the school. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of scholastic ability and financial need. Applicants must be Farm Bureau members or dependents of Farm Bureau members in good standing.
Cook County Farm Bureau remains committed to educating youth about agriculture. During the 2020-2021 school year, Agricultural Literacy presenters connected with over 12,700 Cook County youth in over 550 classrooms.
Support of Local Nonprofits
As a non-profit Cook County Farm Bureau is acutely aware of the power of non-profit associations and the tremendous outcomes that can occur when non-profit entities work together for a common outcome. To that end, Farm Bureau financially supported Wagner Farm in Glenview, Lake County Fair Animal Auction, Greater Chicagoland Food Depository, and Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Similarly, Farm Bureau has financially supported like-minded groups including the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation, Illinois Specialty Growers, Cook DuPage Beekeepers Association, Chicago Farmers organization, and the Animal Agriculture Alliance.