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CCFB News» November 2020

Downwind"Today is our intersection with our past and our future"

11/01/2020 @ 7:00 am | By Bob Rohrer CAE, FBCM, Manager

On Saturday, October 10, the Cook County Farm Bureau “present” intersected with Farm Bureau past and Farm Bureau future during a “Drive Through” Celebration in recognition of our 100-year anniversary. We were pleased that many members stopped by to chat, take a look at past archival materials, talk about the future, and pick up a gift bag. We had a great time.


There have been so many impactful contributions, conversations, and re-connections with members that took place over the past year related to the 100-year event.


A quick example: It was wonderful to see Jim and Esther Goebbert during the drive through celebration event and to catch up on the latest with them, their family, and farm. Jim was Cook County Farm Bureau President from 1980 through 1983 and served on the Board of Directors from 1975 through 2004, many of those years as Treasurer. He was also on the founding board of the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation. Jim, who turned 91 this past year, does not seem to have slowed down. I had an enjoyable conversation with Jim regarding the finances of the Cook County Farm Bureau and the

Foundation that he worked so hard to build during his time of service. I felt great pride hearing the words from Jim, “It looks like the organization’s finances are in great shape!”


Another example: Brooke Bestwing, co-owner of the Feed Store in Summit, stopped by in despite of being on crutches and recovering from a devastating major accident this summer. She wanted to see the paver she purchased in memory of her father as a part of the Centennial legacy Patio.


As the year draws to a close, so do our extra activities and projects designed to commemorate the past 100 years and maintain momentum for the future. And “extras”, there were many…


  • We wrote a 100-year Anniversary Coffee Table book
  • We held a 100-year member photo contest and used the photos to create a centennial calendar
  • We recognize some of our most senior members with the gate sign
  • We developed a Breakfast at the Farm Bureau event and then canceled the event due to COVID-19
  • We created the Centennial Legacy Patio with the help of so many of our members that donated a paver and Freeman Fence company to support Ag Literacy in Cook County
  • We planted a white oak tree as a character symbol of strength, longevity, service, stability, safety, achievement, peace, calmness, rebirth, and serenity
  • We buried and marked a time capsule packed full of year 2020 materials and information to help capture the spirit of this year when it is opened and revealed in the year 2070
  • We have held (and continue to hold) a number of special workshops including the upcoming planter workshops and the legacy seminar for farmers and small business owners
  • We pulled together a great gift bag for members with the help of our friends at Country Financial, T-Jet, Inc. and many members
  • We created a Virtual Tour of the CCFB Organization; check it out on our website
  • And so much more!


I would be lying if I said that I didn’t find some relief in wrapping up the celebratory projects and efforts, but it is all been worth it. So rewarding! We have been able to engage with so many members, leaders, donors, and supporters over the past year. We had many members and partners make “well wishes” videos, share photo albums with us, loan us antique tools and Farm Bureau items, and donate their precious time.


And I must proclaim a few shout outs!


  • The 100-Year Anniversary Committee for a fantastic job over the past two years of creating and imagining
  • The Cook County Farm Bureau staff for providing wonderful support of all of the concepts and ideas imagined
  • The Marketing Support Team at the Illinois Farm Bureau that offered great creativity and graphics
  • The outstanding members of the organization


The common denominator of this celebration has been people. Cook County Farm Bureau, for 100 years, has been made up of people. Today’s Cook County Farm Bureau is made up of people. Tomorrow’s Cook County Farm Bureau will be made up of people.


It’s great to have people!

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