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Beanie Baby Travels to D.C.

Congratulations to Sandridge Elementary School in Lynwood, Illinois who was named the Illinois Elementary School of the Year by The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project for their outstanding energy education project: The Power of Wind. We asked 4th grade teacher, Ms. Alice Miller, about the project and process leading up to their recognition.   “I work for Sandridge Elementary, a small, one school district located in Lynwood, Illinois.  We may not have the financial resources many other schools enjoy but our students are a smart, scrappy, can-do kind of group.  Hoping to open new doors for them several years ago, I began to research opportunities that would bring materials and support to assist our students in their learning of science and the world around them.  I was fortunate to find the Cook County Farm Bureau as well as NEED.  Ag in the Classroom, through summer field trips, teacher education, and workshops has done much to further our knowledge and e ...

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Tree and Pond Stocking Sale

The Will-South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the fall Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website ~ https://will-scookswcd.org 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, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by September 22nd. All other orders must be received by Monday, October 2nd.  Orders are pre-paid only. Tree orders will be available for pickup on Friday, October 6th, 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Satur ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam Where the deer in the antelope play Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day  Home, home on the range… A few months ago, I was out in the Big Horn Mountains fishing with some buddies. I marveled, as we traversed through and around the low-lying ranches of the country, about how much wildlife is fed high quality, irrigated alfalfa and hay grasses grown by the ranchers.  Of course, those crops in the form of hay are intended to go to the gullets of cows and sheep during the cold winter months. The lush valleys of hay crops, nestled between mountains, attract hundreds of deer and antelope, especially in the evening hours, to gorge on the finest product the rancher has to offer. I often wonder if the ranchers get upset with these natural grass thieves. I snapped these photos of deer and antelope “playing” in the hay fields in August as we drove through one of these valleys.   ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

aMAZE-ing Ag!  Corn and Cubs are not the most likely topics to combine, but this combination is proving to be a huge hit at a corn maze in Illinois.  Ever since I read the articles about local corn mazes, I just couldn’t stop myself from investigating if this could possibly involve another career in ag.  The answer is a resounding YES!  In fact, corn mazes have become such a popular supplemental income option for farmers that there are now businesses that exist solely to help farmers build and run mazes. A few I ran across include Corn Mazes, Maze Play, Precision Mazes and The MAiZE.  There are a few basic steps to creating the end product which include the use of technology. One example of the process is described as follows. GPS tracking is used to create a path for the corn maze to be cut. It starts by creating a grid plot, either on graph paper or digitally. Then a vehicle is fitted with a GPS tracking device which is driven around the land where ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Let me tell you a story about my blue-eyed girl’s blue-eyed rabbit.  A little over a month ago we brought home this teeny-tiny New Holland Lop bunny.  He’s nothing but ears and a fluffy tail.  In a flurry of activity, we bought a hutch (we couldn’t find our old one), food, water bottle, and shavings.  Everything you’d need to bring a bunny home.  About a week later, we bought him a litter box since bunnies supposedly can be litter box trained.  Our blue-eyed bunny decided that the litter box is just not for him and instead opted to use it as his new bed and proceeded to sleep in it.  So, we bought a second litter box thinking that he could sleep in one and use the second one for its intended purposes.  Negative.  He naps in one then moves to the other.  You can guess what he does in the remaining corners of his hutch.  What you’d might have guessed about me by this time is that I’m a little picky about things.&nbs ...

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2016-2017 Annual Foundation Report

The 2016-2017 Foundation Annual Report is now available.  Click here to read.



Signup Begins for 2017-2019 CCFB Action Teams/Volunteer Opportunities

Click on flyer to enlarge

Farm and Food Bytes

Soy-based tires hit the road (FarmWeekNow). Tires made of rubber containing soybean oil will be available from Goodyear. Through the support of the Soybean Checkoff, Goodyear unveiled its new Assurance WeatherReady tires for passenger vehicles at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur. The new soy-based tires, offered in a wide range of sizes that fit more than three-quarters of cars, minivans and sports utility vehicles, hit the road this month. Goodyear researchers found that soy oil keeps rubber more viable at lower temperatures. Governor signs law addressing ag teacher shortage (Kay Shipman, FarmWeek). A newly created state task force soon will study the challenges that have Illinois high schools scrambling to find and retain agriculture teachers. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 1991, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, and Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign. Illinois Farm Bureau® supported the legislation. The state agriculture education task force will recommend ways to recruit and retain ag teach ...

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2017 Live Local Food Conference

2017 Illinois Farm Bureau Local Regional Food Conference Nov. 6-7 Doubletree Hilton in Bloomington,IL Early bird registration available through October 13! Live local and support your local food system. Are you a local farmer, processor, distributer, or retailer? Do you own a small business? Give back to your community while bringing fresh food and local businesses together. Know your impact and what buying and selling local can bring your local economy. Attend the Local Regional Food Conference Conference and learn how to grow your business from the best. #LiveLocal Date:  November 6 & 7 Conference Location and Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton 10 Brickyard Dr. Bloomington, IL Special guestroom block rate $130/night (wifi & breakfast included) *Make sure to request the “Illinois Farm Bureau Block" block rate when booking by phone. Phone 309-664-6446 Conference Registration: Standard Conference Registration for IFB Members anytime: Day 1: $70 |Day 2: $50 Two Day Package: $100 ...

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Solar Farm Lease Considerations and Questions

In recent months, Northern Illinois farmers and landowners have been receiving contacts from various solar farm companies inquiring about leasing property to create solar energy systems. Mr.Garrett Thalgott, Office of the General Counsel for the Illinois Farm Bureau, has spoken to farmers and landowners regarding solar farm proposals and the contracts that are being proposed.  From these presentations, he has put together a summary listing of items that should be considered and questions that should be asked before a landowner enters into an agreement with a solar company.  Garrett emphasized that not all solar farm contracts are the same, and these considerations are not intended to be exhaustive. There is no substitute for careful and exhaustive review of every term with trusted advisors. 1. Solar energy leases/easements a. Legally binding agreements b. Should be carefully reviewed c. Recommend consulting with an attorney experienced in long-term lease and easement contracts 2. Conside ...

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