SunBlog_View

News

From the category archives:

Downwind

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“food police” Do you hear the shouting? Don’t eat that! That food is poison! Ban it! Label now! The food police are out in force again ready to share, whether you want to hear it or not, what you should and shouldn’t consume. These same food cops are shouting at legislators to ban and label and tax and restrict and require and the list goes on. Food has become a four letter word in some circles today. When did food become so complicated… So political… So decisive? Sherman, let me take you back in the wayback machine… The ice age: humans ate random plants, animals when they could catch them, and bugs. These humans were quite pleased to do so. 10,000 BC: humans became farmers in an effort to enhance their ability to feed themselves…the world’s first industry began.   Soon after 10,000 BC: farmers began selecting the most productive plants and seeds from their crops for improved pro ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Public Relations” PT Barnum once famously said… “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”! I wonder if Justin Bieber believes that… (Yes kids, I know who he is…kind of…sure, I’ll sign the petition) I wonder if Lindsay Lohan believes that… (I was a big fan during the “Parent Trap” days when she was cute, young and innocent) I wonder if O.J. Simpson believes that… (He made me root for the Buffalo Bills as a kid, unfortunately) Okay, there may be exceptions to the bad publicity rule! However, I still said to myself… “There is no such thing as bad publicity” as I hung up the phone on Thursday, March 6.  I had received a phone call from Steve Sims of the Illinois Farm Bureau.  Steve manages certain programs and events that focus around public relations for the organization. He provides information, materials and details regarding Food Checkout Day as a part of his responsibili ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

"How About the Weather?" I have this self-imposed rule when writing a column… Never write about the weather. Why? We have about a 10 day delay between the drafting of the column and its arrival in your mailbox. Inevitably, if it’s cold and nasty when written, by the time it is delivered to your mailbox, it is sunny and 75°. In other words, writing about the weather provides me the opportunity to raise my ignoramus status. However, I am going to break my own rule. There have been piles of snow everywhere. The snow started early and was industrial sized, designed to last. According to the National Weather Service, nearly 68 inches of snow had fallen as of February 18 in Chicago, the fifth snowiest winter on record (so far).  Piles of snow have been a rare landscape feature in recent years. Last year, 30.1 inches of snow fell and 19.8 inches of white stuff fell in 2011- 12 winter according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. Snow has been a daily headline f ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Labels” My 15-year-old son has a great sense of humor and is very funny. More importantly, when he finds something that tickles his funnybone (and the funnybones of his family), he repeats it…over and over.  I suppose I encourage this by laughing at his “material” most all the time. Here’s an example. He loves to make fun of my dancing ability (as if there were such a thing) by swinging his hand back and forth like he’s conducting an orchestra, swiveling his hips and saying “do-tee-do- tee-do”. I’m not sure why it’s funny but I can’t stop cracking up. Tragically for me, the rest the family thinks it is pretty funny also. Here’s another example. My son will pick up one of our Lab dogs, Bill Otis, and set him in his lap like he’s a person.  He will then point Bill’s front legs at me and flex the dog’s legs straight while simultaneously saying “you’re fired” in his best Donald Trump vo ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Define Temporary In recent days, I’ve been trying to figure out what the word “temporary” means to people. I did a quick survey in the office and here’s what I learned: Diane… Temporary means “part-time, not forever, just for a short period of time”. Katie… Temporary means “not for long”. Debbie… Temporary means “not permanent”. Linda… Temporary means “part-time”. Sarah… Temporary means “intermittent”. Melanie… Temporary means “short term”. Kelly… Temporary means “not permanent”. I did a quick survey in my home and here’s what I was told: What does Temporary mean?... Jayne…“not permanent” Kenzie…“Lasting for a short period of time” Mason…“nonpermanent – anti-forever” Ben…”It won’t always be in place and that it is non-perma ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

B & G's, Please Definition: con·nois·seur /ˌkänəˈsər,-ˈso͝or/ noun: connoisseur; plural noun: connoisseurs an expert judge in matters of taste. "aconnoisseur of music" synonyms:  expert, authority, specialist, pundit, savant; arbiter of taste, aesthete;  gourmet, epicure, gastronome; informal:  buff,maven "a connoisseur of fine wines"   Origin: early 18th cent.: from obsolete French, from conoistre ‘know.’ Source: Google Search Yep.  A Connoisseur.  That’s me except without the “French” part (my arm pits are not sunburned). A Connoisseur of fine food?  Not really A Connoisseur of art? Never A Connoisseur of fine wine? Nope A Connoisseur of music? Just noise But a Connoisseur of something, I am. I am a Connoisseur of… Biscuits and Gravy.  My pinkie finger sticks out at a right angle as I consume generous helpings ofthe flaky, creamy goodness consisting of sausage gravy ladled ov ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

We all scream for...   I am a little disappointed in my fellow Americans.  I just saw a distressing factoid that Americans are eating 13% less ice cream than they did just 10 years ago.  Yes…it is true!  Americans are eating less ice cream…just 11.6 quarts per year. That is not even 3 gallons…what the heck?  There are probably some cows that currently have hurt feelings as a result of the rejection they are feeling…cows just want to be appreciated. Here is the thing, my fellow Americans.  Never before has ice cream been easier to obtain, consume and enjoy.  We have it so easy today… All we have to do is go down the street to our local supermarket, drive through a fast food joint, or order an ice cream dessert off the menu (heck, even the gas stations have ice cream).  Simply pull out a “1, 2 or 5 spot” and pull out a spoon. It can't get much easier than that. It has not always been this way… Just go ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“What are you made of, Son?” In life, there are periodic moments in which you have to reach deep inside yourself to find out what you're made of. These moments may come as a result of physical challenges, tragedy, financial stress, or other obstacles.“That that doesn't kill you makes you stronger”. Farms and farmers have more than their fair share of these moments. As I consider my father and mother's efforts to farm throughout the years, there were huge physical challenges, financial stresses, weather issues, and more that seem to “beat” on them for years. Nearly all farmers experience similar challenges. I was thinking about those “moments of reckoning” following a vacation I took a few weeks ago… I returned from the trip with as many boys as I left with…two sons. And yes, there were moments of doubt. It all started this past spring with the brainstorm idea that it would be a great father-son bonding experience to take my two youngest sons o ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

The heat and humidity of early August has descended upon us.  There is an oppressive sun “baking” down on my little, bald head and humidity slaps me in the face as I exit the comfort of Air Conditioning. I’ve come to realize that these are not the best of days to be wearing a dress shirt, tie and jacket.  Within seconds, perspiration clings to the shirt and the drip, drip, dripping begins.  Meeting with others (and I do a lot of that) becomes an exercise in self-aware concern…I hope and pray the deodorant lasts just a few more minutes!   There is a temptation to “hunker” down inside the deliciously cool comfort of an air-conditioned office, store or home. There was a time in my life when I knew very little about air-Conditioning.  AC was a new phenomenon for me when I reached adulthood. My mom and dad had no air-conditioning in the house (and they still don't). Thus, when I was growing up, I did not associate the term AC with air-conditioni ...

Read the rest of entry »

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Rural Pride Runs Deep I love my Country. It has provided me everything...a wonderful family, a life of security, a reason for hope, a place to worship, the freedom to express my views, pride in my rural upbringing and amazing food quality and choice.  The concept of freedom is the rule, not the exception.  There are many symbols of this Country, the United States of America… the Bald Eagle, the Statue of Liberty, Star-Spangled Banner, the Stars and Stripes, the Presidential Seal, the Liberty Bell, the White House, Uncle Sam, Mount Rushmore, so many more. All of the above symbols are great, but for me, the one that reaches deepest into my heart continues to be the Flag of the United States of America. “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” There is something about the Flag that reaches into my soul. It speaks of noble deeds, sacrifice, all i ...

Read the rest of entry »