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From the monthly archives:

January, 2014

Farm Credit Scholarships for 2014

Farm Credit Illinois invites high school seniors pursuing agriculture careers to apply for a $1,500!

Farm Credit Mid-America offers 26 scholarships at $1,500 each and 26 scholarships at $1,000 each year. Scholarships are open to Farm Credit Mid-America customers, children of customers or grandchildren of customers. The application and other requirements are found in the form below. Any career or major is eligible to apply. However, a preference will be given to those students who plan to pursue an ag-related career. Farm Credit also offers scholarships at universities in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee as well as through state 4-H and FFA programs. Links to apply for those scholarships can be found online at e-farmcredit.com. This application is for the internal Farm Credit Mid-America Scholarship only.

For more information, guidelines and to apply online, click here.



Farm Bureau Leaders meet with Local Legislators

Cook CFB leaders met with (pictured left to right) Representative Kelly Burke, Senator Bill Cunningham, and Representative Fran Hurley during the recent Lunches to Legislators program.  Cook CFB Board member, Janet McCabe (pictured center) along with Cook CFB Public Policy Team member, Cindy Gustafson (not pictured) discussed Farm Bureau's 2014 Legislative Priorities with local legislators after a quick lunch.  Legislators will now travel to Springfield for the 2014 Legislative Session.

Vote for Your Favorite Food Checkout Day of Year’s Past

Farm Bureau members and guests are encouraged to vote for their favorite Food Checkout Day photos.  For every vote we receive, Farm Bureau will donate a $1 to Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, up to $1,000 in honor of Food Checkout Day.

Photos will be available on February 1 and voting will continue through March16.  The winning photo will be announced on March 19.

All voting will occur on the Farm Bureau’s Facebook page.  

Farm Economy

A Creighton University study says there is a decline in land values and it is accelerating.  The farmland-price index plunged to 47.0, its lowest level since December 2009, and was down from November's 54.3.  This is the first time in four years that the farmland-price index has moved below growth neutral.  The study also found that farm equipment sales continue to decline. 

New ‘My American Farm’ Game: The Great Seed Search

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game entitled “The Great Seed Search” that gives learners the opportunity to experience the global nature of the agriculture industry.

In this simulation game, players enter coordinates and pilot a plane around the world collecting important seeds. Through challenges in the game, players learn about other cultures, geography and agricultural products. The game and supporting educational resources can be found at http://www.myamericanfarm.org/games/great_seed_search/. The game was developed with guidance from The Asia Society and The Longview Foundation, who served as global literacy subject matter experts. Technical experts volunteered their time to support content development, research and review.

School Food Drive - Food Checkout Day

 If your school is looking for a community service opportunity, we welcome you to join us by conducting a food drive this February. All food is donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Participating schools also may receive an assembly with Ronald McDonald himself and/or gift cards to use towards books for your school library.  Please contact us at 708-354-3276 to find out more information about how your school can join our 10 day food drive this February. 

Manifolds, Manolos and Manure

Yippee 2013 is lost and gone forever but I like many others probably aren’t soon to forget everything that’s happen in the past year. Last year, we bid adieu to the Jesse Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson saga.  But few of us can forget the actions of voters (yes, voters) in the Second Congressional District who first passed on the opportunity to elect a fresh face to represent them and their interests in Washington D.C. and instead elected Jackson despite his absentee ways. In the spring of 2013, Second Congressional District voters chose former State Representative Robin Kelly over convicted criminal Paul McKinley.  As a brief reminder, in 1978 McKinley was sentenced to concurrent three- and four-year sentences for burglary and armed robbery; in 1981 he was sentenced to four years for burglary; in 1985 he was sentenced to five years for two counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm; and 30 years for armed robbery.  McKinley was paroled in 1997 according to the state ...

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A Taste of Chocolate

The history of chocolate, the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma cacco dates back to Mesoamerica when Mokaya and other pre-Olmec people consumed it as a beverage.  Soon after, Mayan and Aztec royals consumed cocoa beans during religious ceremonies. By the 19th century, Briton John Cadbury developed a process to make solid chocolate thus leading to the modern chocolate bar and soon giving way to modern chocolate. Chocolate Sheet Cake (Recipe provided by Rae Drummond via Foodnetwork.com) Cake ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 sticks butter 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder Icing: 1 3/4 sticks butter 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder 6 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 pound powdered sugar 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, optional Directions: For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, comb ...

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An Examination of Mad Cow Disease

While the occurrence of Mad Cow Disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is rare in the US with the last reported case on April 24, 2012 it remains an important topic in agriculture.   According to the Center for Disease Control, BSE is a neurological disorder of cattle caused by a prion.  Research further indicates that the first probable infection occurred in the 1970s with the first two cases of BSE being identified in 1986 in the United Kingdom. The first cases of BSE are thought to be linked to bone-and-blood meal, which was originally fed to cattle, especially young calves in the United Kingdom.  If the bone-and-blood meal contained BSE or scrapie, a similar disease of sheep, prions then the animals that consume the meal are likely to become infected as well. In the United Kingdom, the BSE outbreak peaked in 1993 with almost 1,000 new cases per week.  Since that time, the occurrence of the disease has declined sharply.  However, through April 2012, there were 2 ...

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Farm Bureau Leadership Reviews Proposed Constitutional Amendment

The Yes!  For Independent Maps’ Constitutional amendment seeks to eliminate the Illinois General Assembly from the legislative redistricting process.  Their proposal would replace the General Assembly with an appointed commission in an attempt to create unbiased legislative maps. Yes!  For Independent Maps’ proposal provides that an 11 member commission would create new legislative maps for the Illinois General Assembly by June 30 after the decennial census.   Commissioners would be vetted by an Applicant Review Panel.  The panel would recommend 100 individuals for further consideration.  Of the 100, the four legislative leaders may remove up to five each.  Seven commissioners are then selected randomly from the remaining pool.  Of the seven, three must reside in Cook County and the remaining four commissioners must reside in each of the Illinois Supreme Court Judicial districts.  Of the seven commissioners, two must be affiliated with the party o ...

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