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Downwind

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“I thought there would be more for me!” Jill in our office came to me recently to ask if what she heard on the news was true?…“That President Obama banned pork products being served in prison?”. My response… I had not heard that but I’m not sure why he would.”  In my head, I thought “Surely not…doesn’t he have a few more important situations to figure out?” Pres. Obama has suddenly taken the position of being tough on crime. Talk about true punishment! So…off to Googleland I went to attempt to find out more about the story… Here are the details according to the Washington Post… ·        Effective in the new fiscal year, October 1, pork is eliminated from the menu of federal prisons. ·        There are 122 federal prisons in the United States with 205,000 federal inmates (that is an average of 1680 prisoners per facility&h ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The “age” of membership Most people in the world celebrate birthdays. In the USA, there are certain traditional milestone birthdays that people reach and celebrate that have more significance than others…  As a kid, all of the age 1 – 9  birthdays were big (although birthdays 1 – 3 are probably more for the adults).  Age 10…finally achieving the age of “double digits”…big change! Age 13… finally becoming a big kid…a teenager…maturity? Age Sweet 16… finally old enough to qualify for driver’s license (Hey…What’s with kids today waiting until they are 17 or 18 to get the driver’s license? When I was a teen, getting your driver’s license at age 16 was “everything”) Age 17…Access to rated R movies Age 18… finally old enough for the right to vote (And buy tobacco, buy lottery tickets, get a credit card and get married without your parent’s pe ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Don’t throw sand” When I was a youngster, around age 6, I was fortunate enough to have a father who constructed a great sandbox for me and my siblings to play in. That sandbox was perfectly square… perfectly solid… perfectly filled with soft sand. What a wonderful place for kids (and cats) to enjoy. Thank you, Dad! I remember taking my farm toys -tractors, wagons, and other replica farm implements - out to the sandbox. Mom provided popcorn seeds as the farm commodity to plant, cultivate, harvest, and handle in the sand box.  I spent many hours “farming” that make believe sand farm… Plowing, planting, growing, and harvesting. I did not always view my younger siblings as “assets” on my make-believe farm in that sandbox. My sister and brothers had this habit of digging potholes in my best sand cornfields. They didn’t seem to know how to plow straight sand rows. They seem to enjoy playing “Jolly Green Giant” by walking throu ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Lessons that “stick” My wife asked me what I was thinking about one morning as she watched me “pace off” distance while I brushed my teeth (brushing my teeth has no significance in this story aside from showing I can multi-task).  I explained to Mrs. Rohrer that I was measuring distance from point to point(I determined it was 45 feet) and calculating the number of repeats of that 45 feet would be necessary to total a mile (She then realized that I was really thinking about another one of my strange exercise training routines…she has quit asking me how I can be sure it was 45 feet).  In my head, I calculated that covering this distance of 45 feet would require over 117 “repeats” of that distance to equal one mile. I felt no need to pull out a tape measure to verify that the distance was 45 feet… I was confident in my pacing of that distance…simply needed to divide the 5280 feet in a mile to come up with 117 repeats of 45 feet to hit my mile ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“The Making of a Superhero” The Cook – Page Beekeepers Association started it!  It’s their fault, Mom.  They were the ones that decided to be so generous. They had to donate a handcrafted, custom built garden beehive to the Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation’s Silent Auction last November. And for some strange reason, my wife and I saw it on the auction and knew that we had to have it. How appealing.  I did not even want bees.  I “rationalized” that it would make a great and unusual gift for one of those people in our lives that already have everything (I think my wife held back her true feelings on my great idea).  Sometimes, I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree and seemingly, many times, I am the dimmest. Yes, we bought the “soon to be constructed” beehive. Self-doubt and buyer’s regret started immediately. We spent the next few months wondering “what have we done? Who will really accept the gift of a beehi ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“just a little ditty” I really enjoy listening to “talk” radio...not sure this is totally “normal” but there are a number of stations to choose from so someone must listen besides me! I especially like tuning in from 5 AM to 6 AM during the week as I start my morning.  I absorb the news of the day and listen to the thoughts and attitudes of the various talking heads regarding political, social, economic and trivial. I discover what the weather in the traffic is predicted around the Chicagoland area for the day. Hearing the issues and news stories activate my mind and I begin the transition from a sleep coma to work mode. A couple weeks ago, I was engaged in active listening of talk radio, probably thinking about how the world is going south, and found myself humming the jingle of kars-4-kids…Donate your car today! I don’t listen to the commercials…at least on purpose.  Somehow, that jingle seeped into my thick headcap.  That i ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The State of Volunteerism in CCFB The week of April 12-18 was National Volunteer Week across the Country…did you celebrate?  Were you properly appreciated?  Most people understand volunteerism.  It is a “non-paid” position in which a person freely offers to take part in an enterprise, task, or event.  I used “quote marks” around non-paid because payment comes hopefully in many forms beyond monetary payment… -        Payment in the form of contacts made with others -        Payment in the form of new friends -        Payment in the form of strengthening an industry -        Payment in the form of knowledge and sacrifice -        Payment in the form of teaching job/life skills -        Payment in the form of fun and new experiences There ...

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