From the category archives:


Downwind - September 2005

I’ve heard a rumor (a story without confirmation and fact) and feel it is my duty to pass it on to all the members of Cook County Farm Bureau. The rumor I heard, from an excellent source for rumors, was that farmers will be "fine" despite the drought this summer because the government "will be paying them". However, I don’t believe this rumor is complete, so I’ve added to it…the government will also be buying for farmers new John Deere tractors and will be sending the farmers and family to Florida for a 3-month farming sabbatical. As a bonus, farmers with Crop Insurance will be paid twice.

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Downwind - October 2005

Until recently, Foie Gras (pronounced "fwah grah") was a "foreign" phrase to me. I’ve recently learned that it is French for a fattened liver of a waterfowl (either duck or goose) produced through a special feeding method. Growing up on the farm, we did not have many fancy French restaurants serving pate’ de foie gras.

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Downwind - August 2005

The summer baseball/softball schedule for my kids has wrapped up but is certainly not forgotten. We certainly enjoyed the challenge of 4 kids on 4 different baseball teams. I love baseball with my boys, but the best is girl’s softball. I still have ringing in my mind the girl’s softball cheers that surround me in the dugout during the games – ten to twelve shrill voices shouting…

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Downwind - July 2005

I confess, as a father, I’ve used the words "You will receive no ice cream unless you clean your room" with my children.

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Downwind - June 2005

love Farm Bureau. It’s not the kind of love that comes every two weeks in the form of a paycheck. Nor is it the kind of love that springs forth through a generous benefits package. It’s not even the people I work with and for (although all of the above helps!). Its "acres and acres" more than that!

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Downwind - May 2005

With each new Spring awakening, nostalgia hits me. I am struck by that wistful longing for the home farm and the activity that surrounds the preparation process for planting season. That’s the funny thing about nostalgia…the difficulties, exhaustion, broken equipment, and weather frustrations are very vague memories. The clarity of the season is highlighted by the sensory recollections that remain with me today…

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Downwind - April 2005

Do you ever think about how one small seemingly random occurrence can change the next 24 hours of your life? I suppose it happens more frequently than we suspect…we just don’t think about it. I have a recent example to illustrate this point which ultimately provided me this material…and I thought I did not have a topic to write about.

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Downwind - March 2005

March 20th marks the start of spring…a time of new growth of plant life, the blooming of flowers, warming of temperatures in Northern Illinois (we hope) and perhaps renewed optimism following the gray, dreariness of winter. Those piles of charcoal colored snow are eyesores that probably stick around a few more months, unfortunately.

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Downwind - February 2005

How about the Streets and Sanitation Department of Chicago running a pilot project to try out corn de-icer as an alternative to salt? I say, "it’s about time." I hope Mayor Daley did not come up with this concept due to the "Scandal odds". All agriculture needs now is to have its corn star in the latest investigative report.

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There is no better place in the world for deep, contemplative thinking than your neighborhood McDonald Play Place. The atmosphere is complete "joy"…shrieks of laughter, pounding, pulsing, thumping feet of children ages 1 to however old I am. That Ray Kroc was a two-arched genius to create this dynasty.

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