Cook County Farm Bureau 2023 Year in Review
Cook County Farm Bureau 2023 Year in Review
The year 2023 featured plenty of “moments and headlines” for members and the organization. The Cook County Farm Bureau is proud to have provided another year full of service in 2023 to members. Here’s a brief recap of some the best highlights…
- We delivered an agricultural themed basket reward to Farm Bureau member Roselyn King of Des Plaines for winning the drawing for being one of the members completing all 12 months of the Ag Adventures word find puzzle in 2023.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau was recognized nationally for a County Activity of Excellence for the Party for the Pollinators program that impacted 5,500 individuals and included 17 community partners.
- Farm Bureau sponsored a Zoom Book Club in 2023 with participants seeing agriculture through the eyes of a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman in the book and documentary Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman. On March 14, a documentary screening and farmer panel was held for individuals in the Glenview area.
- Past Cook County Farm Bureau president Jim Gutzmer joined Cook County Farm Bureau lobbyist, Bona Heinsohn, in Springfield to meet with legislators, discussing Farm Bureau efforts in local government advocacy.
- The Ag Literacy Team sponsored two Ag Days programs for third-grade students at the Children’s Farm at the Center in Palos Park and at Wagner Farm in Glenview.
- The Public Relations Team sponsored our annual Food Checkout Day events to help replenish four Cook County food pantries with needed food and cash thanks to partnerships with the Farm Bureau PR team, board members, COUNTRY Financial agencies, and a host of supporting members.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau shepherded a Pro-Agriculture Resolution through the Cook County Board of commissioners.
- The Board of Directors, in celebration and recognition of the outstanding volunteers and supporting members, approved a donation of $1,450 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository as a part of Volunteer Appreciation Week.
- The Member Relations Team sponsored Member Appreciation Week April 17 – 21st with many great prize drawings, complementary memberships, and gifts.
- A contingent of leaders from the Cook County Farm Bureau presented to the Cook County Board of Commissioners an “Allies in Agriculture” plaque recognizing the passage of the pro-agriculture resolution to support and promote agriculture in the county.
- A special Discover Local four-page insert was provided to all members through the Co-Operator publication to help discover greenhouses, garden centers, farm stands, and area landscapers.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom program wrapped up a year of successful in-person and virtual presentations in Chicago and suburban classrooms reaching 22,389 students in 989 classrooms in 208 schools.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation “Raffle for Ag Education” drawing occurred with Tino Ramirez receiving the top prize.
- The Member Relations Team kicked off its annual photo contest with members submitting summer photos.First place: “Grandson smelling the Flowers” by Mary Kosiek
- The Cook County Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs Team worked with Cook County Commissioners and their staff, legislators, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District on a tour of Green Era in Chicago and the Use Community Garden of Evergreen Park.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau promoted the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy by helping to sponsor struvite (phosphorus source) research on specialty crop fields in Cook County.
- Farm Bureau “Partied with the Pollinators” in a program at Lincoln Park Zoo through an educational, family-friendly member program providing information on pollinator gardens, Monarch butterflies, bees, and flowering plants.
- Members of the Commodities/Marketing Team visited various Community Gardens that received support grants from the Team.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs Team helped sponsor and host a Farm Exploration program at Wagner Farm in Glenview for members of the Cook County Commissioners and their families as a way for them to gain insight about agriculture.
- Cook County Farm Bureau members and staff met with a number of different legislators as a part of the only Farm Bureau Adopt-A-Legislator program, providing legislators with important Illinois and Cook County farm production knowledge.
- The Commodity/Marketing Team sponsored its 23rd annual Giant Pumpkin contest, honey contest, pumpkin dessert contest, and carving contest for members.
- The Young Leaders had a virtual meet up with Wake County Farm Bureau Young Farmers to discuss the documentary Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman and to discuss agricultural practices in North Carolina and Illinois.
- The Member Relations Team announced its fall photo contest winner.
- The Ag Literacy Team, sponsored by the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation, hosted students with an interest in agriculture from several Cook County schools as a part of the Ag Leadership Academy program.
- The Member Relations Team hosted a Virtual Wills/Trust Seminar with 35 members attending and participating.
- The Cook County Farm Bureau was recognized at the Illinois Farm Bureau annual meeting with many awards including the Pinnacle Award for top County Farm Bureaus and the Liberty Bell for County Farm Bureaus with top-notch policy development and advocacy programming.
- The Shop Local Directory (available through the Cook County Farm Bureau website) expanded for better information and to allow local agricultural businesses to conduct e-commerce through it.
- The Master Gardner Resource Center and help desk served members from April through November by providing advice regarding soil test results, soil amendments, growing plants guidance, and researching related issues.