SunBlog_View

News

From the category archives:

Downwind

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Downwind I spent a lot of time watching the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games last month. There were plenty of memorable moments… some shocking, some uplifting, some appalling, and some amazing. Other moments were plenty forgettable. The games provide the World a chance to see many traditional event favorites. It also provides a great, once every four years, opportunity to see more obscure sports as well as a few events that do not seem like sports. Many people have daydreamed about being an Olympic athlete…I know I did growing up. Nearly all of us “dreamers” didn’t have a prayer. However, as I reflect back, I realize I did a lot of Olympic training when I was growing up on the farm for a number of Olympic events and did not even know it at the time. Here is a quick list of Olympic events that I trained for on the farm… ·         Fencing… the key was the equipment, especially a good pair of pliers &mi ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

writing is therapy Reading, 'Riting, "Rithmetic"…the 3 “Rs” of education back in the day.  My lovely Mother was kind enough to keep my grade school report cards that reflected my skills at three “R’s”… not pretty.  And consistently, from year to year, my report cards carried comments from various teachers about how lousy my ‘Riting was…messy, illegible, rushed.  I did not really care…there was Baseball to go play and all that ‘Riting was in the way of fun. The irony is not lost on me now as I write constantly and consistently every day in some way. I recently read a blog article that touted the ”The Psychological Benefits of Writing Regularly” by Gregory Ciotti. The article related various positive attributes to the process and practice of “writing”… Improved memory, thinking, expression, and creativity were identified. It begs the question, who really “writes” now days? The ar ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Simple” I like life to be “simple”. Example… I simply pay $101 to the Secretary of State to receive a tiny sticker to put on my license plate so that I do not receive a “love note” from a police officer. My SUV is 12 years old with 130,000 miles on it. I don’t drive it a lot but it gets me where I want to go when I want to be there. It has been dependable in the city, on the farm and in the mountains. The only issue is the “Check Engine Light” is lit frequently.  I’ve had it checked out by various mechanics over the years and the diagnosis has been consistent… “The gas cap does not maintain a perfect seal, causing the check engine light to pop on. Try buying a new gas cap”. Simple. Being a Man, I’ve felt no rush to buy a new one since it was “only” a gas cap. That was “Fine” until I realized my state license plate renewal was due April 30th and the calendar said May. Most Illinoisans ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

and now the “rest” of the story... As the regular readers of this column know, I frequently share in this space personal stories which may embarrasses me, but will help me make a farm or food related point. Many times, sharing these stories exposes my family as players in the stories as well…thankfully; I have a wonderful wife, kids, parents, siblings and family that allow me to still live and interact with them. I have a few updates regarding some of the stories I have told previously in this column. Please go to the CCFB website www.cookcfb.org to read the original from the archives in case you missed them. *** From the July 2015 Downwind “Making of a Super Hero”…When my wife and I decided that we did not have the energy nor time to use a beehive that we had purchased at the CCFB Foundation’s silent auction, we thought it would be a splendid idea to re-gift the beehive to someone with great skills and ability…my mother.  So, Easter 2015, we gifted ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Take the safe way home” Most of my Farm Bureau manager colleagues have college degrees in Agriculture, Ag Communications, Ag Business or another logic path to Farm Bureau glory. I do not. The primary reason was that I suffered from “Sus scrofa domesticus syndrome”, treatable by complete removal of all live hogs from my life. During my junior year, my college, apparently growing weary of my aimless nature, told me that I had to declare a major…no more wandering around taking random classes without direction. Feeling the pressure of a momentous decision which would affect the rest of my life, I reviewed my listing of classes passed for earned college credits…a potential major had to be lurking in the shadows somewhere. My review revealed that I had several potential major options…Bowling, Asian History Studies or Occupational Safety.  Someone (perhaps Mom or Dad) had mentioned to me once that a job needed to be in my future following college. I carefully p ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Leave the driving to me” Most of us that spend time on the highway have seen drivers engaged in activities that don’t seem to actually relate to driving… Driver’s eating, applying makeup, shaving, playing with their phones, reading, and other more nefarious acts.  I’ve seen dogs, some quite large, sitting on the lap of the driver with tongue lolling out, ears flapping like a wind sock from the open window jet stream (referring to the dog usually, not the driver).  I’m writing as if I am innocent. The approach to solving the problem of distracted driving has been to pass laws, making distracted driving illegal. So far, I’m not seeing a great deal of distracted driving “rehabilitation”. Habits die hard. The distracted driving solution of the not too distant future may be to just let distracted drivers be distracted… Instead, let the cars drive themselves and take the driver out of the equation. I’m not quite ready for this ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“writing rocks!” How is “progress” measured?  Technology is sometimes the answer. From candles to LED light bulbs, from pedestrian to jet airplane transportation, from Pony Express to the cell phone…progress. Take a look at your cell phone (I know you have one within reach). Do you ever marvel at the progress in technology the rests in that little plastic box weighing only a few ounces? Just think of all the equipment that the little box replaced in a few short years… ·        A cordless telephone ·        An answering machine ·        A watch ·        A tape recorder ·        A video camera ·        A polaroid camera ·        A sound system ·    ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

What is your food’s resume? Food is mostly just food to me. I primarily focus on food that tastes good, how much I can stuff in my mouth while maintaining a bit of dignity, and ultimately achieving the “full” comfort feeling in my gut. I grew up in the time of “clean your plate because there are starving children somewhere”. I am not influenced by the compulsion to eat less fat, fewer calories, avoid trans-fatty acids, seek organic, find non-GMO, worry about pesticide free, or satisfy any other trends.  I’ve felt inundated in recent years by the world of food and how so many people care about their food’s “resume”. I miss the days in which people enjoyed food simply because food was available-o-plenty. Americans did not have to go scrounging, begging, and growing food themselves like so much of the rest of the world.  They did not feel the need to read the food’s resume to decide if it was worthy of sitting on their plate. My son likes ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Another 100 please” When a person is busy living, one normally does not think about the process when moments become “history”.  For over 28 years, while working for Farm Bureau, I‘ve been focused on “To do” lists, phone calls, meetings and building relationships with members to improve agriculture, farm life, and a create a strong County Farm Bureau. As a FB employee, I want to do a good job, watch the organization thrive, and keep my head down! (lessons from whack-a-mole).  However, I have awakened to the realization that simply “being a part of the process” results in creation of “history”.  In December, at the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) Annual Meeting in Chicago, the thousands of participating farmers spent time celebrating the 100 year birthday of Illinois Farm Bureau as an organization.  This Centennial recognition provided the opportunity to relive 100 years of organizational life, decisions, strategies, peopl ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“a really beautiful crop” Most people have a favorite crop. My lovely wife loves sweet corn and popcorn equally…she always says you can only have one “favorite” but she would probably be hard pressed to pick one over the other. One of my sons really loves asparagus. My buddy Rick loves field corn so much that he calls it “the greatest crop in the world” and will spent his entire summer looking at it all over the Country.  I have a daughter who is a big fan of broccoli. Everyone, it seems, has a favorite crop. My favorite crop is known as a “tree” and I really like my favorite crop in the form of “wood” (Red Oak “flavored” wood specifically!).  Admittedly, wood is quite tough on the teeth and the palate but it has amazing visual and practical appeal on a “plate”. Yes, I love those crops called trees. I have always considered trees to be a wonderful renewable resource…cultivatable with a really long cr ...

Read the rest of entry »