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Tree and Pond Stocking Sale

Our friends at the Will/Cook Soil and water Conservation District asked us to help promote an upcoming program.  See below: The Will/South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the Spring 2013 Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website - and can be picked up at the Will/South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District office during business hours.   U.S. Mail, email and fax copies can also be requested by calling (815) 462-3106 x 3. The District has a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees available this fall.  Stock ranges in size from 8 inches to 6-foot linear stock, and one, two and three gallon potted stock. Fish varieties for sale include Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Redear, Hybrid Sunfish, Hybrid Redear, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by April 19th. All other orders must be received by Monda ...

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Emanuel Launches Urban Farming Initative for the City of Chicago

Mayor Emanuel launches a new plan to transform vacant city lots into farmland and beginning farmers looking for a way into the market into successful entrepreneurs.

Wagner Farm to Host its First-Ever Northshore Baconfest on Apr. 27

Wagner Farm, one of the last working dairy farms in Cook County, is teaming up with Cook County Farm Bureau, Kraft, First Farm Credit Services, Catered by Design, and the Lloyd & Kathryn Bettis Foundation to host the first-ever Northshore Baconfest the evening of April 27.  Bacon is generously being provided by Oscar Mayer, a Kraft Foods brand.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Friends of Wagner Farm, a 501(c)(3) organization, which exists to support Wagner Farm in its mission to provide visitors with memorable educational experiences about farming and its history.  The evening will feature chefs serving up tastings of imaginative bacon creations.  Tickets are available at

Forest Preserve opens Acres for Farming

At the end of February, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County opened over 1,000-acres and 12 sites for hay mowing and over 680-acres and four sites for row crop production, which is up from 2008 when the District opened five sites for hay mowing and one site for row crop production.  

Bids for the parcels were due in March and opened during a public bid opening.  

In 2008, Cook County Farm Bureau drafted a resolution supporting the continued use of hay mowing as a management technique for unrestored, conducive Forest Preserve sites.  The resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Liz Gorman was unanimously approved by the Board.  

The District’s decision to open additional, appropriate acres is applauded by the Farm Bureau and is in line with existing Farm Bureau policy.

The expansion of farming in the Forest Preserve remains a priority of Cook CFB.

Hay and Row Crop Acres Available

Farmers interested in row crop or grass hay acres are encouraged to visit  Individuals will need to create an account to view the bid packets for just over 1,000-acres of hay ground and over 600-acres of row crop ground.  The bid packets include the locations of 11 hay sites throughout Cook County and four row crop sites in Northwest and South Cook County.  Row crop bids are due March 6 with hay crop bids due the week after.

Sauerkraut, the Latest Super Food

Saurerkraut or literally “sour cabbage” is finely chopped raw cabbage that has been fermented.   It’s the fermentation process that involves Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus, all lactic acid bacteria that gives sauerkraut its distinctive sour flavor and its shelf life.  In 2002, a study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry not only gave sauerkraut a chance at claiming the “super food prize”, but also brought to light the potential positive health benefits from the fermentation process.  According to the study, a substance produced by fermented cabbage, isothiocyanates, helped prevent the growth of cancer.   Even before the study in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was published, alternative health experts were shouting the health benefits of sauerkraut.  Raw cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower and brussel sprouts, is high in vitamins A and C.  Some studies have even demonstrated a re ...

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Cook County Farm Bureau Board of Directors Plan for the Future


The Cook County Farm Bureau Board of Directors spent the last two days in Strategic Planning for the organization, setting focus in the areas of Ag Literacy, Membership Relations, Commodities/Marketing, Public Policy and Public Relations.  The Directors also spent time looking at volunteerism as well as membership recruitment. From left clockwise around the table, President Jim Gutzmer, Pat Horcher, Harold Stuenkel, Janet McCabe, Mike Rauch, Mark Yunker, Jim Brandau, Gerald Kopping, and Facilitator, Eric Duchinsky.



Open House set for Pipeline Project

Enbridge Energy is proposed to expand its pipeline system, which runs from Flanagan in Illinois to Griffith in Indiana.  The existing pipeline, which Line 78 will mostly follows runs through Livingston, Grundy, Kankakee, Will and Cook Counties.  Potentially affected landowners have been notified and the public is invited to attend and informational session about the project.  Open houses are scheduled for: Monday, March 11 from 5 till 7:30 PM at the Kankakee Hilton Garden Inn (455 Riverstone Pkwy, Kankakee, IL); Tuesday, March 12 from 5 till 7:30 PM at the Peotone American Legion (109 E. North St., Peotone, IL); Wednesday, March 13 from 5 till 7:30 PM at the Sauk Village Senior Center (21801 Torrence Ave., Sauk Village, IL); and Thursday, March 14 from 5 till 7:30 PM at Andorra Banquets and Catering, San Loria Room (1112 Rte. 41, Schererville, IN). The open houses will be a come-and-go style format; the public may attend at any point during the hours of 5 till 7:30 PM.  People will be abl ...

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Opportunities for Suburban kids to Learn about Agriculture

Cook County Farm Bureau's forth grade “in school” presenter, Toni DeLaurentis is featured in a recent article highlighting the Cook County Ag in the Classroom program.

4-H Members Prepare Meal for Ronald McDonald House Families

4-H Club members from Cook County recently prepared dinner for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola Hospital.  Although 4-H members do many community service projects throughout the year, numerous members expressed that they “really enjoyed this one because we got to cook”.