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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

My blue-eyed girl will readily tell anyone who will listen that her parents run on coffee, and definitely not decaf coffee. In fact, there are very few things that I’d trade for my coffee. One of those things happens to be an ice cold fountain Dr. Pepper (but not in the morning). That same blue-eyed girl will also tell you that her parents don’t chase sales. My husband is notorious for figuring out how much traveling to a different store to save money will cost you in the long run. He tells his brother and mother at every opportunity. And happily, he will tell his brother how much money he’s wasted trying to decide what to buy and where to buy it. I have to admit, Toni Preckwinkle’s sugar tax isn’t going to deter me from having a Dr. Pepper with lunch. But I’m not buying a six- or twelve-pack either. And I’m especially not buying a Diet Dr. Pepper and paying a sugar tax for no sugar.  Imagine that. Cook County is collecting a sugar tax on diet beverages made ...

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Ag in the Classsroom Grants now open for 2017-18

P R E S S   R E L E A S E   Bloomington—The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program and the IAA Foundation, along with the Illinois Farm Bureau® are pleased to announce our 2017-2018 Classroom grants.  Teachers are urged to apply for these (up to) $300 classroom grants to incorporate new and exciting agriculture related topics into their existing classrooms.   Additionally, six other special book grants are available for teachers to easily incorporate lessons tied to the Common Core Learning Standards, into their existing Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum.  “Our teacher grants are an added bonus for teachers looking to incorporate new and creative ideas into their classrooms during these financially challenging, school funding times,” said Kevin Daugherty, Education Director Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom.  Teachers are urged to contact their local agriculture literacy coordinator for ideas and assistance in applying fo ...

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Join the Conversation & Win Free Groceries

Our 5th giveaway of the summer is: a $150 grocery store/farmstand gift card AND a $100 food pantry donation to the food pantry of the winner's choice. The only thing you have to do is LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE and COMMENT ON or SHARE the post below to enter to win. The winner will be chosen on September 28! Official contest rules are available here.


From the Farm Desk

STATE HIGHWAYS AND INTERSTATES NOT MOWED? HERE’S WHY (IlCorn ) - The Illinois Department of Transportation has undertaken a committed and purposed effort to alter mowing policies with the desired outcome being improved habitat for the Monarch butterfly, which is being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as an Endangered Species. IDOT’s plan is worth recognizing and considering as an example for other mowing situations. IDOT’s request to other landowners is to try not to “help” mow. If it isn’t mowed, it’s likely because it’s being left on purpose. FARMLAND VALUES STABILIZE; FUTURE DEPENDENT ON FARM ECONOMY (FarmWeekNow.com)– Farmland values during the first quarter were unchanged in the Chicago Federal Reserve District, snapping a strong of five consecutive quarters of declines. The two key drivers of farmland values are net farm income and interest rates. Farmland values and some cash-rental rates previously responded to declinin ...

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FARM CRAWL on Saturday, August 19th...please join us for our very first Farm Crawl of member Farms & Agribusinesses!

Print your Passport to Ag booklet.


Join the Conversation & Win Free Groceries

Our 4th giveaway of the summer is: a $150 grocery store/farmstand gift card AND a $100 food pantry donation to the food pantry of the winner's choice.  The only thing you have to do is LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE and COMMENT ON or SHARE the post below to enter to win.  The winner will be chosen on August 17!  Official contest rules are available here.

IDOA Cost Share Funding Available

The Will-South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) has announced the availability of funding to support agricultural and urban landowners interested in participating in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). 

Practices include cover crops, grassed waterways, grade stabilization structures and rain gardens among others.   

Funds are being targeted to specific townships and will be based upon a 60 percent cost share program.  

Interested individuals should contact the SWCD at (815) 462-3106 x3 or info@will-scooksecd.org for additional information.   

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

My First “Ride”  Most Americans hold great nostalgia about the first car they owned.  Your first “ride” usually wasn’t the best, flashiest, nicest, or coolest. Many times, it reflected a piece of one’s personality: “how fast it would go, how cheap it was, how great it cornered, how practical it was, how ugly it was, how many times it broke down, how many people could fit in it, etc.” Perhaps it was a true “classic”…a Gremlin, A big boat, a Ford Pinto, a Chevy Chevette, a VW bug, a station wagon, or the a perfect color for a rattletrap.  That first ride provided a great feeling of independence; you didn’t have to ask your parents to borrow the car any longer! Prior to my “first ride”, I was fortunate to have access to farm vehicles of various types and sizes. I remember the Farmer’s (my father) 1976 F 100 Ford pickup truck that my brothers and I borrowed for several years. This truck was really attractiv ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Earlier this year, my blue-eyed girl learned about our local food pantry.  Along with 20 of her closest friends, they learned about how they and their families can help families in need in our community.  They learned about collecting, dividing, and repacking food.  They learned about their community and the families in that community.  Volunteering is not something new to her.  She travels with me to various activities and gives freely of her time.  Last year, she gave a Saturday to help raise money for her traveling softball team.  This year, she spent a Saturday helping to raise money for scholarships and her Sunday helping with an event to raise money for our conservation projects throughout the county. However, the food pantry was the first time she’s picked a cause to volunteer with.  As a parent, her excitement in choosing a cause simply made my heart swell.  No longer does she have to be prodded along, instead she’s the one prodding me along ...

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Ag Lit Bit ... By Brittany Nash

SAI Reflections There was a lot for me to do over the course of this month, but prepping for Summer Ag Institute was the most important. When I would tell people that I was an intern at the Cook County Farm Bureau, everyone would always ask me what that meant. The typical response that I would get was, “So you make copies of farm articles?” I would have to hold back my laughter because for some time, the preparation did consist of me doing that! The joke is surely on them because I have learned so much; not only how many pieces of paper come in each ream, but I had the time to read all of the information I was putting together for the teachers who signed up to take this course. Once the “dirty work” of prepping for SAI was done, it was time for me to take a seat among the rest of the teachers. Since being an alumna of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, I had some background knowledge in agriculture. I have never lived on a farm and I don’t know anyone who live ...

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