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Beginning Farmer Loans Expanded

As of Nov. 7, USDA plans to increase the microloan borrowing limit for beginning and family farmers to $50,000.  

USDA will further simplify lending processes, update required "farming experience" to include other valuable experiences, and expand eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated.  

The microloan changes will allow beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay.

In addition to farm-related experience, other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm loan eligibility, such as operation or management of a nonfarm business, leadership positions while serving in the military or advanced education in an agricultural field.

Pumpkin Field Day - September 4th - Free Program

Register on-line HERE.  Come join us on September 4, 2014 at 10:00 am for the 2014 Pumpkin Field Day at Ewing Demonstration Center!  We have over 50 pumpkin varieties planted in the field in addition to field demonstration plots on disease, insect, and weed management.  Hear from Extension Specialists, Educators, and local growers on a variety of topics relating to pumpkin production.  Make your plans to attend this FREE program today!

Farm Lease Seminar - Registration Open!

Lease program brought to you by The Chicago Farmers.  Help us start our new year strong at our first meeting on September 8, 2014.  We welcome Dr. Gary Schnitkey, a Professor at the U of I, whose research emphasis includes farm profitability, to give us his thoughts on the grain farm outlook and cash rents for 2015.  Join us for a great opportunity to reconnect and to get a perspective on the future of your farm investment.
11:30 AM Registration
12:00 PM Lunch
12:30 PM  Presentation
For on-line registration visit Chicago Farmers (www.chicagofarmers.org) or call at 312-388-3276 (FARM). Register by September 5th.  
Member Early Bird before 9/1-$25.....Member after 9/1-$35.....Guest Early bird before 9/1-$50.....Guest after 9/1-$60


Big Hopes for Kalettes, a Kale, Brussels Sprouts Hybrid

Kale has gotten big.  And now it's getting small.  Kalettes, the first new vegetable to reach the U.S. market since broccolini joined produce departments in 1998, are set to debut this fall.  The compact clusters of frilly green leaves are a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale, a vegetable whose reputation has soared since scientists a decade ago sought its help in making a maligned brassica more appealing.  (George H.W. Bush famously classified Brussels sprouts avoidance as a valuable presidential perk.)  Brussels sprouts were slumping, recalls Lisa Friedrich, marketing specialist for British vegetable seed breeder Tozer Seeds.  She adds that the hybridization was initially designed to lessen the bitterness that bothers Brussels sprouts detractors. 

Action Request!

Illinois Farm Bureau has activated a call to action urging members to call the White House before 4 p.m. on Thursday, to urge President Barack Obama to “ditch the rule” defining “waters of the U.S.” “If the drains and ditches that cross between, among and within farm fields and pastures are regulated as ‘navigable waters,’ the implications for farmers and ranchers will be disastrous,” according to the action request. Calls to the White House, 202-456-1111, should be made between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CST Tuesday through Thursday. Here is a suggested script of what to say: My name is ______________________ and I’m calling from __________ in the President’s home state of Illinois.   I am strongly opposed to the EPA’s new definition of waters of the United States.   EPA’s rule ignores the will of Congress and flies in the face of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions.   As a farmer who does NOT want the EPA looking over my s ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

In January of 2009, Patrick J. Quinn assumed governorship of Illinois after his predecessor and two-time running mate, Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly and removed from office.  Blagojevich is now serving time in federal prison. Quinn’s political platform includes spending cuts, tax increases, increased ethical standards, public-sector union protections, and environmental restraints.  However, in May Quinn supporters and opponents alike learned that federal prosecutors and the Cook County State’s Attorney launched investigations into his Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a $55 million anti-violence grant program.  Quinn launched the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative for Cook County during his heated 2010 gubernatorial race against Senator Bill Brady.  His political opponents argue that Quinn used the program to shore up his support in Cook County, one of only four counties that Quinn won in the 2010 General Election. According to the Bellev ...

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Pedal Tractor Contest Winner

Congratulations to Laurie Longfield of Wheeling!! Laurie is this year's winner of the John Deere Pedal Tractor Contest that was held at the Wagner Farm Dairy Breakfast on Saturday June 14th.

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2014 Cook County Farm Bureau Bookmark Contest

Pick up an Ag Book this summer and ... Travel into the world of agriculture! Enter our bookmark contest and have people from all over Cook County use it during their summer reading.  We’re already starting to receive entries for the bookmark contest.  We love to see all your creativity, so keep them coming! Design a bookmark showing how agriculture is a part of your life, every day.  Whether it’s milk from a cow, ethanol to fill your gas tank, cereal made with wheat, corn fresh from the field, or soy ink on your newspaper, we want to see how Ag is a part of your life! First and Second Place prizes will be awarded. First Place winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and the Second Place winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card.  Winners will also receive an Ag themed book.  The winning bookmarks will be duplicated for distribution this summer at local libraries and at the Cook County Farm Bureau. Please visit www.cookcfb.org/ag-literacy to obta ...

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Zeldenrust Farm Market Helps "Countdown" to Food Checkout Day

Thank you Zeldenrust Farm Market for taking time out of spring planting to help countdown the three remaining days to Food Checkout Day! This program highlights the safe and nutritious food that local farmers, like Zeldenrust Farm Market, grow while providing needed food to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.



 

Leaders Count Down the Days till Food Checkout Day

Leaders from the Commodities and Marketing took a few minutes to "count down" the remaining days till Food Checkout Day.  As a reminder, food donations can be dropped off at the Farm Bureau office or your local Country Financial Agency.

Member Relations Team members joined in on the fun and "counted down" the days till Food Checkout Day.

Thank you Ag in the Classroom and Public Policy Team members for taking time out of your schedules to "count down" the final days to Food Checkout Day!

A huge thank you to Public Relations Team members for their work on this year's Food Checkout Day!