From the Farm Editor's Desk by Bob Rohrer

NAME CHANGE SOUGHT FOR CORN GLUTEN MEAL (FarmWeekNow) - Contrary to the name, the product contains no gluten, confusing consumers. Corn gluten meal represents one coproduct from wet milling corn that provides a high-protein ingredient used in many pet foods and livestock feed. By the name of the coproduct, one would think corn gluten meal contains gluten. In fact, it contains 60 to 70 percent protein and is 100 percent gluten-free. It’s a misnomer. University of Illinois food engineer, Kent Rausch, said, “Wheat contains gluten. Corn does not. There has never been any reason why corn gluten meal and another wet milling coproduct, corn gluten feed, should contain the word gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye – not in corn or corn coproducts.” So, how did the word creep in? Rausch said the story goes that one of the early corn processors hired someone from a wheat gluten processing facility. “He just called everything that had protein in it ‘gluten.’ But I& ...

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Illinois Specialty Grower Survey Under Way

University of Illinois Extension is surveying Illinois fruit and vegetable growers to assess research needs for vegetable, high tunnel and fruit production. The survey will remain open through the end of October.

The survey was compiled by U of I Extension specialists Elizabeth Wahle, Nathan Johanning and Bronwyn Aly. By prioritizing and focusing on specific areas identified by specialty growers and industry professionals, the U of I can work with the industry to target research needs.

To provide input, click here.

Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Announces Grants to Counties

The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program is proud to announce the Cook County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Program received funding of $8800 for the 2017-2018 School Year.   Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom based these grants to counties off of the 2016-2017 year-end reports.  Kevin Daugherty, Education Director for the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program said, “County level programs are the biggest strength of our IAITC efforts.  The county programs work to integrate agriculture into existing classroom curriculum.” In 2016-2017, the Illinois AITC program reached 661,797 students with a message about agriculture.  Additionally, 40,634 teachers and 1,144 pre-service teachers learned how to incorporate agriculture into their existing curriculum while meeting state learning standards. “Cook County is privileged to have such a wonderful teaching community who is committed to including agriculture into their lessons from Grades pre-K t ...

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Solar Farm Lease Considerations and Questions

In recent months, Northern Illinois farmers and landowners have been receiving contacts from various solar farm companies inquiring about leasing property to create solar energy systems. Mr.Garrett Thalgott, Office of the General Counsel for the Illinois Farm Bureau, has spoken to farmers and landowners regarding solar farm proposals and the contracts that are being proposed.  From these presentations, he has put together a summary listing of items that should be considered and questions that should be asked before a landowner enters into an agreement with a solar company.  Garrett emphasized that not all solar farm contracts are the same, and these considerations are not intended to be exhaustive. There is no substitute for careful and exhaustive review of every term with trusted advisors. 1. Solar energy leases/easements a. Legally binding agreements b. Should be carefully reviewed c. Recommend consulting with an attorney experienced in long-term lease and easement contracts 2. Conside ...

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2017 Live Local Food Conference

2017 Illinois Farm Bureau Local Regional Food Conference Nov. 6-7 Doubletree Hilton in Bloomington,IL Early bird registration available through October 13! Live local and support your local food system. Are you a local farmer, processor, distributer, or retailer? Do you own a small business? Give back to your community while bringing fresh food and local businesses together. Know your impact and what buying and selling local can bring your local economy. Attend the Local Regional Food Conference Conference and learn how to grow your business from the best. #LiveLocal Date:  November 6 & 7 Conference Location and Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton 10 Brickyard Dr. Bloomington, IL Special guestroom block rate $130/night (wifi & breakfast included) *Make sure to request the “Illinois Farm Bureau Block" block rate when booking by phone. Phone 309-664-6446 Conference Registration: Standard Conference Registration for IFB Members anytime: Day 1: $70 |Day 2: $50 Two Day Package: $100 ...

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Farm and Food Bytes

Soy-based tires hit the road (FarmWeekNow). Tires made of rubber containing soybean oil will be available from Goodyear. Through the support of the Soybean Checkoff, Goodyear unveiled its new Assurance WeatherReady tires for passenger vehicles at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur. The new soy-based tires, offered in a wide range of sizes that fit more than three-quarters of cars, minivans and sports utility vehicles, hit the road this month. Goodyear researchers found that soy oil keeps rubber more viable at lower temperatures. Governor signs law addressing ag teacher shortage (Kay Shipman, FarmWeek). A newly created state task force soon will study the challenges that have Illinois high schools scrambling to find and retain agriculture teachers. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 1991, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, and Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign. Illinois Farm Bureau® supported the legislation. The state agriculture education task force will recommend ways to recruit and retain ag teach ...

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Signup Begins for 2017-2019 CCFB Action Teams/Volunteer Opportunities

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2016-2017 Annual Foundation Report

The 2016-2017 Foundation Annual Report is now available.  Click here to read.

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam Where the deer in the antelope play Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word And the skies are not cloudy all day  Home, home on the range… A few months ago, I was out in the Big Horn Mountains fishing with some buddies. I marveled, as we traversed through and around the low-lying ranches of the country, about how much wildlife is fed high quality, irrigated alfalfa and hay grasses grown by the ranchers.  Of course, those crops in the form of hay are intended to go to the gullets of cows and sheep during the cold winter months. The lush valleys of hay crops, nestled between mountains, attract hundreds of deer and antelope, especially in the evening hours, to gorge on the finest product the rancher has to offer. I often wonder if the ranchers get upset with these natural grass thieves. I snapped these photos of deer and antelope “playing” in the hay fields in August as we drove through one of these valleys.   ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

aMAZE-ing Ag!  Corn and Cubs are not the most likely topics to combine, but this combination is proving to be a huge hit at a corn maze in Illinois.  Ever since I read the articles about local corn mazes, I just couldn’t stop myself from investigating if this could possibly involve another career in ag.  The answer is a resounding YES!  In fact, corn mazes have become such a popular supplemental income option for farmers that there are now businesses that exist solely to help farmers build and run mazes. A few I ran across include Corn Mazes, Maze Play, Precision Mazes and The MAiZE.  There are a few basic steps to creating the end product which include the use of technology. One example of the process is described as follows. GPS tracking is used to create a path for the corn maze to be cut. It starts by creating a grid plot, either on graph paper or digitally. Then a vehicle is fitted with a GPS tracking device which is driven around the land where ...

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