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From the monthly archives:

October, 2017

U of I Extension planning for 21st century

By Kay Shipman, Farm Week With tighter finances, Extension forced to get more creative in distributing information. University of Illinois Extension is looking to the future with an Extension 3.0 Task Force, comprised of Extension staff, researchers and stakeholders. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Dean Kim Kidwell described the effort as “an action plan for Extension in the 21st century,” during her U of I Agronomy Day remarks. Kidwell noted she was continuing her goal to personally visit all the Extension centers from around the state. “Not a lot of people know what we (Extension) do matters,” Kidwell said. Extension changed along with farmers and agriculture, and no longer offers an Extension adviser to each farm, she explained. “We can’t afford to do it that way. We have to be creative on how we get information to you,” Kidwell said. The task force, which met recently, includes four ACES scientists, four off-campus Extensi ...

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Will-South Cook SWCD Conservation Education Scholarships

In the spring of 2018, the Will-South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District will award four $1,000.00 scholarships. In addition to the Allen May and Dick McHugh Memorial Scholarships, scholarships honoring the memory of Everett Moeller of Peotone and Harold Liberman of Green Garden Township will be awarded. Everett Moeller served as Associate Director of the Will/South Cook SWCD from 1994 until 2008 when he became a board member, serving as Chairman from 2013 until 2017. Everett was a kind and fair leader, was instrumental in the success of the SWCD’s Annual Meeting and Pork Chop Dinner and most of all was a loyal advocate for the conservation of soil and water resources. Harold Liberman served as Associate Director from 2004 until 2017.  Harold was a strong proponent of planting trees and deep-rooted grasses to protect our soil resources.  He worked tirelessly to encourage the adoption of Will County’s Conservation Subdivision Ordinance (2009) and in 2008 organized the district& ...

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NRCS Help For Cook County Urban Farms

Champaign, IL October 10, 2017— Urban agriculture is growing and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help Cook County farmers conserve and improve natural resources on their farm.  Ivan Dozier, Illinois NRCS State Conservationist explains, “Urban farms are valuable resources for neighborhoods and the people who live in them. NRCS can assist these producers with conservation solutions and offer financial assistance to install conservation practices such as hoop houses, or what NRCS calls a high tunnel, or to plant pollinator species or cover crops.”  The urban landscape has many challenges for growing healthy food.  NRCS can help with financial and technical assistance to manage natural resources like soil, water, and plants that can improve the crops urban farms grow. Financial assistance from NRCS is provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  Individual growers or groups can apply to receive EQIP financial assistance ...

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Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation selects new CEO

The board of directors of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation (IALF) is pleased to announce that Leland Strom of Elgin, Illinois has been selected to lead the organization as its Chief Executive Officer and President, effective November 1, 2017.  In this capacity, Strom will be responsible for providing overall supervision of the IALF and its leadership program.  The program is developed and executed by a staff of four, including the CEO, who are responsible for development, education, alumni and external relations.  Thirty individuals, including producers and agribusiness associates, participate in a 19-month leadership development program funded by the foundation and its investors. Strom brings a wealth of experience in the agriculture industry to his new position with the foundation and the leadership program.  He was involved with various aspects of the nation’s Farm Credit System before being nominated by President George W. Bush to become Chairman and CEO of the ...

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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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