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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

DIY a Farm Attitude  “Do It Yourself” (DIY) TV shows flood the cable networks. My father, The Farmer, would probably say that farming is just one huge, never-ending DIY project.  Building, repairing, fixing, constructing, and creating is every day on the farm. Being part of the unpaid labor (I was worth it) on the farm, I was fortunate to be involved with many DIY projects during the years. A special thank you goes to the sharing nature of the Farmer. Here are a few quick DIY examples that I still carry skills (scars) from today… ·        We took a massive section of roof off of a confinement chicken grower building, hauled it 5 miles using a tractor and to jack it up 14 feet to set it on top of telephone poles that we had stuck in the ground. A DIY machine shed! ·        We tore down a barn and saved the wood and the roofing tin to construct a new shop (to complete DIY projects in comfort and s ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Five short years ago, I sat before a county committee to plead my case.  In 15 short minutes, I explained why I wanted to serve as a trustee for my local conservation district.  I didn’t want to become a trustee for the glamour or the pay (it’s a volunteer position after all) but because one of my earliest memories is of my mom chaperoning a school field trip to the Festival of the Sugar Maples, a site famous for its maple trees and delicious maple syrup.  I want my children to have those memories-of their grandma chaperoning school field trips-and the opportunity to explore the trails, fens, groves, savannahs, and bogs.  I want them to embrace open space and treasure the sacrifices that past generations have made to ensure that public open space is preserved into perpetuity.     Over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a highly skilled, professional, and innovative staff.  From the individuals who maintain the sites to the ecol ...

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Ag Lit Bit By Brittany Nash (Ag In the Classroom Intern)

Ag is in Session! For the past few weeks I have been part of the Cook County Farm Bureau® Ag in the Classroom as Diane Merrion’s intern. Despite school being out for summer, agriculture never takes a break and is always in session! I was able to accompany Diane to various programs that voice the importance of agriculture to the younger population that is engaging and eye-opening to our food’s future. My favorite part of teaching these lessons to our students is describing the process of how a bag of chips started on the farm and ends in our hands. This discussion leads to the realization of how many jobs agriculture can provide and emphasizes the types of careers that can be filled in between the farm and consumers! The kids are not the only ones asking the questions. The other adults in the room are equally as interested in what the Farm Bureau has to offer and the new knowledge we bring to them. It is important that we keep informing one another about agriculture so that we can be more co ...

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USEPA Begins Process to Rescind the Waters of the US Rule

Earlier this summer, USEPA issued its proposed rule to rescind the 2015 Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule.  This is the first of a two-part approach Administrator Pruitt plans to take to rescind and then replace the WOTUS rule.  Both parts of the plan will undergo notice and comment, and therefore, Farm Bureau and interested members will have opportunities at both times to file public comments.  The 2015 WOTUS rule- marketed by the USEPA as the “clean water rule” had more to do with land than water. ·       It was a land-grab that created confusion and uncertainty for regulators and farmers, ranchers and others who depend on their ability to work the land. ·       It imposed enormous regulatory road blocks and costs for simply moving dirt in low spots on the landscape. ·       The rule’s definition of “tributary” was so broa ...

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Cook County Minimum Wage Increase to go into Effect on July 1

Under an ordinance approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Cook County employers will be required to pay the following hourly rates: ·       $10.00 per hour beginning on July 1, 2017 ·       $11.00 per hour or the greater of the hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act beginning on July 1, 2018 ·       $12.00 per hour or the greater of the hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act beginning on July 1, 2019 ·       $13.00 per hour or the greater of the hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act beginning on July 1, 2020 Beginning on July 1, 2021 and on every July 1 thereafter, the greater of: ·       The minimum wage set by the Minimum Wage Law or ·       The minimum hourly wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act or ·      ...

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Farm Bureau Participates in Wagner Dairy Breakfast

COUNTRY Financial Agency Manager Joe Youngman discusses food trivia with consumers during the 2017 Wagner Farm Dairy Breakfast.  Cook County Farm Bureau® sponsored the 4-H Livestock Stock Show.

Farm Bureau Schedules Staff Exchange Program for Legislators and Staff

On Monday, July 10 and Tuesday, July 25 Cook County Farm Bureau® is hosting a Cook County farm-business/food processor tour for Cook County government officials and staff.  The program is designed to provide Cook County legislators and their staffs with an enhanced understanding of Cook County farms-businesses and how they relate to Cook County government. All tour sites will be located in Cook County.  There are no repeat sites from prior programs. On Monday, July 10 tour participants will depart from the Cook County Farm Bureau® office in Countryside.  This tour will include a visit to Nufarm Limited in Alsip and Chicago Heights.  Nufarm is one of the world's leading crop protection and specialist seeds companies and produces products to help farmers protect their crops against damage caused by weeds, pests and disease.  On Tuesday, July 25 tour participants will depart from the Cook County building.  This tour will include a visit to the North Lawndale Youth Fa ...

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Immigration Attorney to Farmers: Be Prepared

Immigration Attorney to Farmers: Be Prepared By Deana Stroisch, FarmWeek Lawyer offers nine recommendations for if the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement visits your farm. Farmers should be prepared for increased immigration enforcement and worksite audits, an immigration attorney with Fragomen Worldwide (provides immigration services globally in coordination with its affiliates around the world) advises. “Developing that company action plan and having a discussion with your management and with your employees on the ground as to what they should do if the government comes knocking on your door is important,” said Anna Morzy, a partner with Fragomen Worldwide. Does your staff know how to reach you in case of emergency? Do you have an attorney? Morzy spoke during an hourlong webinar sponsored by Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition and Fragomen. Within his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump issued a number of executive orders centered on immigratio ...

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American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's Recommended Reading

The American Farm Bureau Federation Foundation for Agriculture recommends the following books as preferred reading material for kids this Summer. For detail about the books, go to: www.agfoundation.org

By Ellen Lawrence By Gina Hagler

       

By Jody Jensen Shaffer By Ryan Jacobson

                 

IAA Credit Union is Growing!

IAA Credit Union is Growing, By: Sean Wells, CEO of IAA Credit Union  IAA Credit Union is growing! Ten years ago, we closed-out our first-quarter financials with $116 million in managed assets and 12,829 members. This was soon after I had started and just before the “Great Recession” which officially started in December of that year. As we close the first quarter of 2017, I’m happy to report that we have grown to $237 million in managed assets and 16,214 members. We’ve more than doubled in assets and increased members by more than 25%!  This is significant because Credit Unions need to grow to best serve our members. Because returning value to our members is our highest priority, we put a great deal of effort into increasing memberships. As a financial cooperative we must strive to serve our members with the most convenient, cost effective tools and best rates possible while generating revenue to cover the cost of doing business. Membership and asset growth keep ...

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