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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Living in suburbia can be a strange experience for a farm guy.  An example?  There are all these cars on the roads. Where do they all come from and where are they all going?  People are coming and going in a rush.  These people must be very important.  Shockingly, very few of these people on the highways pay attention to one another unless someone is mad at someone else. This is nothing like farm country where everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing!  We call it being neighborly.  Suburbia calls it being nosey.  It really does my heart good when someone in a car next to me, beside me, in front of me or behind me gives me a “wave”.  Such friendly folk! It reminds me of when I was growing up on the farm. Obviously, waving is a form of non-verbal communication and “the wave” was perfected in rural areas and especially on the farm...an unofficial form of sign language. There’s a rule in the farm areas.  I’m not s ...

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Nestle: A Worldwide and Local Chocolatier

Switzerland-based Nestle operates plants throughout the world, including in the Chicagoland region.   Founded in 1905, after the merger of Anglo-Swiss Milk Company and Farine Lactee Henri Nestle, Nestle now offers baby food, bottle water, breakfast cereals, coffee, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, pet foods, and snacks.  With a market capitalization of more than $200 billion, Nestle is the largest food company in the world.  Over 27% of the company’s sales come from drinks followed closely by dairy and food products and ready-prepared/ready-cooked dinners at 26% and 18%, respectively.  The company’s largest competitors include: PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Unilever and Mars. Nestle’s brands include Gerber, Gerber Graduates, Nestle Pure Life, Butterfinger, Crunch, Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine, Juicy Juice, Nesquik, Boost, Haagen-Dazs, Alpo, Beneful, and Purina.   Nestle’s core business principles include a commitment to nutrition, health and wellness; qu ...

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Farm Bureau Donates to Food Depository

Cook County Farm Bureau recently donated 182 pounds of meat to the Greater Chicagoland Food Depository.  Jim Gutzmer, pictured right delivered four boxes of meat from a hog purchased during the Lake County Fair 4-H animal auction to the depository. 

Farm Bureau Meets with Residents from the Breakers at Edgewater

Cook CFB leader, Karen Biernacki meets with residents from the Breakers at Edgewater, a senior living high rise in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago after a Speakers Bureau presentation about Ted’s Greenhouse.

Spudtastic History

While the origin of the modern-day French fry is unknown, it is widely accepted that either the Belgians or French introduced the crispy, fried potatoes.  Potatoes were originally introduced to Europe through the Spanish and Jimenez de Quesada.  About 20 years after Quesada and his forces encountered a village in Columbia, potatoes were introduced in Spain and Italy.   The potatoes of 1557 were quite a bit smaller and bitter than modern potatoes and were met with a quite a bit of resistance.  Many Europeans believed that potatoes caused a variety of diseases and poisonous.  Despite the resistance, historical accounts indicate that Belgians were likely frying potatoes as early as the late 17th century in the Meuse Valley between Dinant and Liege, in Belgium. Many Belgium families were accustomed to consuming small fish as part of their meal.  However, when rivers froze families would slice potatoes into long thin slices, and fry them like the fish. For the French, the popula ...

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Farm Bureau Submits Comments on Watershed Management Ordinance

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance. Article 2 (Applicability and General Provisions) provides that a watershed management permit from either the District or an authorized municipality is required for developments disturbing more than 0.5 acres, unless the development solely involves one or more of the following: agriculture or gardening that maintains existing grades and drainage patterns.  The Article does not define agriculture.  According to dictionary.com, agriculture is the science, art, or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, and feeding, breeding, and raising livestock or the production of crops, livestock, or poultry.  An additional definition is set forth by the Illinois Compiled Statutes. However, the act of farming, more specifically, the cultivating of land may involve the disruption of existing grades or drainage patterns, including the installation or replacement of tiles and terraces or the instal ...

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Harold Bergman Day!

Monday night, the Hoffman Estates Village Board proclaimed that June 30th, 2013 would be "Harold Bergman Day".  Bergman, 97 years young, farms in the southwest corner of Palatine Township raising hay for area horse owners. In 2007, the Cook County Farm Bureau wrote a special feature on Mr. Bergman, a longtime member of Cook County Farm Bureau.  Click here for the article. Following the presentation, Mayor McLeod asked if he wanted to make any remarks to which Bergman replied “Thank you for your caring attention to the citizens of Hoffman Estates” and sat down! Pat Barch (L), Historical Curator for the Village of Hoffman Estates, talks to Harold Bergman (C) and son Steve Bergman (R) prior to Village Presentation.   Steve Bergman, Harold Bergman and friends/neighbors wait in anticipation of Mr. Bergman's recognition. Harold Bergman, center, was recognized by the Village of Hoffman Estates for his long dedication to arming in the area.  Bergman is 97 years o ...

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Farm Bureau Considers Policy Changes

Seventy-eight percent of farmer members responding to the 2013 Viewpoint Survey believe that the focus of the Forest Preserve should be both public use and preservation.  To that end, Farm Bureau leaders are considering amending the local policy book with the following statement, “The focus of the Forest Preserve of Cook County remaining both public use and preservation.” In 1929, a land use commission recommended that the Forest Preserve District maintain a 80/20 balance in its land use, with 80 percent of the District’s land to be kept in as natural of a condition as possible, and 20 percent to be available for development of recreational activities that are compatible with the District’s mission. Eighty-two percent of Farm Bureau members oppose individuals serving concurrently as an elected mayor and an elected county board member.  This issue came to light after a suburban State’s Attorney crafted a legal opinion that found such dual roles “incompatible& ...

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Eli’s: A Chicago Tradition Since 1940

Eli’s Cheesecake came to fruition after the first Taste of Chicago in 1980.  Prior to 1980, Eli Schulman of Chicago opened Eli’s The Place for Steak in 1966 after testing entrepreneurial waters with Eli’s Ogden Huddle and Eli’s Stage Delicatessen.   Shortly after Eli’s The Place for Steak opened the celebrities followed, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Gayle Sayers, and Henry Youngman.  During the late 1970s, Schulman developed and refined the recipe for his soon-to-be famous original cheesecake.  The original plain cheesecake includes a combination of cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.    Eli’s Cheesecake became a standalone company after the first Taste of Chicago in 1980 with a small North Side plant.  In the mid-1990s, Elis Cheesecake Company moved to its current location in Chicago’s Dunning neighborhood.  Eli’s Cheesecake World is a 62,000-square-foot state-of-the-art bakery, bakery c ...

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CHSAS Students Receive Grant

Jessica Fischer, Chicago High School for Ag Science student, displayed some of her products (various types of muffins) that she sells through her small business, Merry Muffin Maids.  Jessica is one of the grant recipients for the Urban Youth Agriculture Grant (Supervised Ag Experience) provided by the Cook County Farm Bureau through funding by 1st Farm Credit.

 

 

Samuel Johnson (L) and Liam Kondelik (R) are partners (with 2 other students from Chicago Highschool for Ag Science) in a roasted pumpkin seeds small business.  They formed the company, the Punks, from a CCFB Foundation grant, through donor directed funds supplied by 1st Farm Credit.