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CCFB News» August 2018

Family Food Bytes

08/09/2018 @ 11:15 am

Solar Power

According to the national Farm Service Agency, land with solar energy panels is nonagricultural land and is therefore not eligible to be part of a farm’s crop acreage base. Land enrolled under Ag Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) and Price Loss Coverage contract or ARC-IC (individual) contract must be used for an agricultural activity. (Farmweek Now)


Opioid Use

According to an American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) survey of 2,000 rural residents and farmers late last year, three out of every four farmers have been directly impacted by opioid abuse.


AFBF teamed up with the National Farmers Union (NFU) on an effort called Farm Town Strong to bring awareness to the issue. The effort aims to provide resources and information to help those in rural areas impacted by the epidemic. One of the tools is the website


“The fact that we’re working together on this shows it’s a big problem that we all need to address,” Atkinson said. “I think people tend to look at this issue and think of an urban, big-city problem, when in reality it’s hitting farm country harder than anywhere else.” (RFD Radio Network)


Transparency in Food Production

OSI Group, a leading meat and food supplier to some of the world’s biggest brands, got its start meeting customers face-to-face in the streets of Chicago. Otto Kolschowsky founded the company in 1909 as a family-owned meat market and butcher shop.


Now, 109 years later, OSI still finds consumer interaction as important as ever to keep up with an ever-changing marketplace. Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, chief sustainability officer and senior vice president of OSI Group, discussed food trends and keys to sustainability during a recent FarmWeek interview.“We specialize in providing further processed meat (including bacon, chicken, hamburger and sausage) and other products to some of the world’s leading brands,” Johnson-Hoffman said. “Our founder started with a pushcart in Chicago.”


OSI currently operates 65 facilities in 17 countries, with more than 20,000 employees. Much of the company’s recent expansion has been overseas, but growth continues in its home state of Illinois as OSI built a new plant in Geneva in 2012 to produce frozen entrees and other food products. In 2016, it acquired an existing processing facility in Chicago from Tyson.


A key to the company’s success involves providing customers what they want and adapting to the marketplace. Transparency also is a critical component of the sustainability equation, according to Johnson-Hoffman.


Sustainability of food-production systems start at the ground level with a focus on the environmental footprint, animal welfare, the well-being of people and impact on communities. (Farm Week)


About Family Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally and globally.

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