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Congratulations - 2017 Cookfresh Community Garden Grant Recipients!

IDOA Now Accepting Specialty Crop Grant Proposals

Grant Application - Deadline April 28th

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been allocated funds next federal fiscal year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.  These funds will support projects that are intended to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crop industry. Applications for funds are due April 28, 2017.  Program details and application available online at: https://www.agr.state.il.us/speciality-crop-grants/ or by calling (217)524-9129.

The USDA defines specialty crops as "fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruit, horticulture and nursery crops (including floricuture)."

Farm Bureau partners with local charity to celebrate Food Checkout Day

Since 2001 the Cook County farmers and the Cook County Farm Bureau® have been celebrating Food Checkout Day.  Food Checkout Day highlights the safe and nutritious food grown by local farmers grow while also drawing attention to those families who struggle to find solutions to feeding their families healthy food on a tight budget.  Through Farm Bureau’s partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Farm Bureau members are able to assist families during the most difficult time of their lives, when their child is ill. Cook County Farm Bureau® members celebrate Food Checkout Day by collecting food items, hosting a scavenger hunt and shopping spree to benefit local Ronald McDonald Houses and by encouraging farmers, sponsors, Country Financial Agencies, 4-H members, and students to participate in a food drive.  “Cook County and Illinois farmers are committed to growing safe and nutritious food for our families and for o ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

You may not be aware of this, but February is one of my least favorite months.  Close in rank only to November and December.  I even like August more with the hustle and bustle of school starting and summer vacations drawing to a close. Every year, February ushers in fuzzy little cupids with their misguided bow-and-arrows and my birthday.  And in my family, it marks the closing of winter and the opening of spring preparations.  With it comes fewer boot days and warmer weather. But February also brings with it a partnership that is near and dear to my heart, Food Checkout Day.  In 2011, when I started coordinating the event for Farm Bureau I knew almost nothing about Ronald McDonald House Charities®.  And come to find out what I did know was for the most part incorrect. My first Food Checkout Day featured just a touch of snow and a massive Fire v. Police shopping spree throw down.  It may have also been the last year that the Police won.  Hmmm.  As represen ...

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Ag in the Classroom Summer Internship

We are now accepting applications for our 2017 Agriculture in the Classroom summer internship.  This position works extensively with children and adults throughout our summer programming.  If you are majoring in agriculture and have a passion for sharing your ag knowledge with others, consider this opportunity by visiting our website at: http://www.cookcfb.org/foundation/internships.  Position is located in Countryside, IL from late May through early August.  



Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Male and Female Pine cones, pumpkin blossoms, corn, presidential candidates. All involve males and females.  On November 8th we will have a new President and, as of this writing, we don’t know if it will be a historic first female or another male filling the role.   As I was working with teachers to prepare for fall and winter lessons I began to explore the role of males and females in nature and agriculture.  While gathering pine cones from the farm bureau parking lot (with the intent to discuss conifers), I was intrigued by the varying sizes and shapes of the cones.  Upon further investigation I came to understand the role of the male and female pine cones (who knew?) during pollination and how in spring the female pine cones accept pollen from the male pine cones as it is released through the air. What an interesting connection to our earlier lesson on how corn is pollinated by the male tassel reaching the female silks resulting in those delicious kernels of corn. &nbs ...

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Join the CCFB Young Leader Group and Toy Box Connection Holiday Toy Drive

Make a teenager’s holiday wish come true! The Cook County Farm Bureau Young Leader Group is hosting a holiday toy drive where we collect unwrapped new/gently used toys for children between the ages of 13-19. Item Donations: DVD’s                                        All clean and working toys Puzzles and games                              Video games & systems Books                                     Sports equipment Musical instruments      & ...

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Hot Issues in Agriculture - Chicago Tribune series on pork production in Illinois

Hot Issues in Agriculture | Chicago Tribune series on pork production in Illinois Some of our members may have read or heard about the Chicago Tribune series on pork production in Illinois entitled “The high price of cheap pork”.  The articles focused on facility siting, local resident input, animal welfare, and the environment. The Illinois Pork Producers Association became aware of the development of the series earlier in the year. As a result, the IPPA had multiple contacts with the reporters over the months and helped provide 30+ people to be interviewed. They include farmers, government agency officials, university researchers and veterinarians. Virtually none of the information from those interviews was included in the articles. Both IPPA’s and NPB’s presidents have written letters to the editor of the Tribune regarding the series  and IFB President Richard Guebert, Jr. released a statement to Farm Bureau’s membership regarding the series: PPA Tribune Le ...

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Nominations accepted for Farmer of the Year.

Winners will be announced in the 2018 Farmers' Almanac and will be offered reimbursement for a one-year membership to their county Farm Bureau and a lifetime subscription to the Farmers' Almanac. If you know a farmer deserving of recognition for dedication and hard work, consider nominating him or her for the Farmers’ Almanac Farmer of the Year. Farmers’ Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, will honor three farmers. Nominations must be 300 words or less and meet the following criteria: * Supporting the tradition: How long has the nominee been in their field? How did he or she get involved in agriculture and why? * Innovation in agriculture: How has the nominee embraced technology or new ways of farming and ranching? * Community involvement: How has the nominee engaged his/her community to support agriculture and/or teach us more about farming overall? * Inspiration: How is the nominee a true leader in agriculture and why does he or she deserve to be recogniz ...

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Today (March 15th) is National Ag Day!

Today, March 15, is National Agriculture Day... A day to celebrate agriculture! But where would we be without agriculture?

• We would be hungry (Food)
• We would be cold (Clothing)
• We would be wet (Shelter)
• We would be immobile (Fuel)

And so many of us would not be doing what we have the privilege of doing now… because we'd have to farm so we wouldn't be hungry, cold, wet, or immobile!
So take a moment to celebrate Agriculture and its impact on Our Everything, Every Day!

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