Five Questions with Pat Horcher, CCFB Board Member
What impresses you about the Cook County Farm Bureau?
The staff is impressive in how willing they are to try new membership programs and how quickly they will respond in creating activities like defensive driving classes, concealed carry or beekeeping. When this is combined with the information available from board members and, of course, the research capabilities of the Illinois University, there's really no other group that can provide resources like Farm Bureau can.
Why do you think that the Cook County Farm Bureau is important to your farming profession?
Farm Bureau is an umbrella type organization that represents farming in general, not just a specific production method or field of products. When this is combined with the research available from Illinois University and the legislative outreach programs to keep lawmakers informed about why and how farmers do what we do, Farm Bureau really secures itself as a resource for reliable information as well as a credible voice for all agriculture.
What is your favorite tractor?
My favorite tractor is an Allis Chalmers G. This is a tractor designed for small crop (vegetable) production. It has a planter system based on the planet jr push type seeders. There is a cultivator tool bar that attaches on to the same hooks that hold the planters. Everything is visible from the seat because there are no safety shields. A hammer and adjustable wrench are all the tools you need to change of the row width’s tool bars.
When you are not working on farming and Farm Bureau related business, what is something you like to spend time doing?
When I'm not doing farming related tasks or local government tasks, I like to do some woodworking and learn.
What is the most important reason members should join the Cook County Farm Bureau?
The most important reason to join Farm Bureau is the unbelievable volume of resources and information that membership gives you access to.
When the Farm Bureau answers your questions about soil conditions and recommendations for improvements or why certain practices are used in conventional farming or organic growing, there is generally research available backing the info. Aside from the farming or gardening info, agricultural political outreach, and environmental info, there are member benefits like seminars for estate planning, wills and trusts, defensive driving courses, concealed carry certification courses, beekeeping, and more. Really anything members might ask for will be considered. If none of that appeals to you, your membership can simply get you discounts on a lot of stuff from vehicles to prescription. If you're someone who is just looking at the bottom line, the membership cost can be earned back several times over as soon as you get your card.