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Spring Planter Workshops for Members Offered at Member Greenhouses this April!

New Planter Workshops offered this Spring at Great Member Greenhouses!  Spring Planter Workshop at Big John’s Farm Market & Greenhouses for members and guests on:  Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10 AM - Fee:  $30.00. 1754 E. Joe Orr Road, Chicago Heights IL. Class size limited to 20.   Make a spring planter with other Farm Bureau members to display on your porch, patio or balcony area while learning planting tips and tricks from the experts. Your planter will sure to be the envy of neighbors.                                                                                                                                            & ...

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Let’s Talk About the Ag on Your Plate

  I’m a mom and I care about what I’m feeding my kids.  How do I learn more about today’s farmer and the food they grow?  Answered by Amy Hansmann, urban mom and Cook County Farm Bureau® volunteer Years ago, as a mom of a young son with another on the way, I began to wonder about the food I fed my family.  We lived on the 40th floor of a downtown high-rise and walked everywhere.  It was easy to shop at any number of stores, grab milk from the Starbucks and a lot of fun to go to the weekend farmer’s markets.  Because of the topics in the media, the playground conversation and even the labels on food I began to worry about the choices I made- not so much about nutrition, but about food safety, environmental impact and animal welfare. In my urban landscape, far removed from where my food was produced, it seemed best to follow the trends and assume that what the media and my acquaintances were telling me was true: organic was better, conventional food is ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

This weekend after a fundraiser, my aunt presented my three-year-old with a beautiful centerpiece complete with tinsel, ribbons, and foil.  It’s lovely… for a one-dollar centerpiece.  Defying all logic, my loud big-little boy named it “my precious” and carries it around.  It sheds leaves at will.  His cat, “Xanadau,” eats the leaves and pukes.  Then I walk in the puke. This is the same little boy who visits a pet store and after petting the bunnies is more interested in the water filtration system on the aquariums and the wheels on the hamster cages than seeing the cats, ferrets, or gerbils. This, of course, is done all while wearing one of four John Deere sweatshirts with his tape measure on his belt.  (Fortunately, he’s not allowed to take his screwdrivers in public.) His sister on the other hand still spends hours at pet stores.  Hours.  Despite her love of all things fuzzy she usually spends most of her time with the amph ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

Downwind By Bob Rohrer According to Google, there are more than 270 billion emails sent each day on this planet. Google did not report how many of those emails were spam or reply all. Sometimes I feel like most of those emails land in my inbox. Unfortunately, I can’t just let all of those emails live in cyberspace. I feel the need to print emails to actually read them. If I ever go paperless, the wood and paper industry will go into recession. One such email I received (and printed) was from the U.S. Census Field Division.  Because I printed it, I was able to find it to write this column. The email was a news release that provided projected “populations” in the United States and the world for New Year’s Day 2018.  The main message I pulled from the Census Bureau update… The Population in the World is exploding! Panic! (Don’t panic…  I added the panic part) The world population projection in January was for 4.3 births every second with 1 ...

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Ag Lit Bit By Diane Merrion

Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator “Time is Flying” Time seems to fly by year after year and only after looking back at some of the inventions from the past do I really sense how fast things are changing.  It’s crazy to think of how long ago some things were invented and their continued impact today or their quick demise being replaced by another product. These inventions all occurred in April of different years:  April 21, 1782 - German educator Friedrich W.A. Frobel invented kindergarten April 21, 1828 - Noah Webster published the first American dictionary April 7, 1860 - Will Keith Kellogg was the founder of the Kellogg Company and invented a process of making flaked cereal--corn flakes--for use as a healthy breakfast cereal April 26, 1892 - Sarah Boone patented an ironing board April 21, 1899 - Alfred Moser Butts invented the game "Scrabble"  April 24, 1914 - Justin Wilson invented Wise Potato Chips I am sure each of these and all past ...

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CCFB Awards Cookfresh Grants to Community Gardens!

Cookfresh® is an assistance program designed for Community Gardens in Cook County to beautify their “places and palates.” The Cookfresh Community Urban Garden Grant program offered five $300.00 grants to support urban agriculturists seeking assistance with a community garden. The community gardens will receive $300 in the form of Cook County Farm Bureau “Cookfresh Funds”. *Roots Community Garden located in Palatine: The garden is a collaboration among many community schools, businesses, churches, agencies and volunteers providing food for the underserved in Palatine while providing educational opportunities and hands-on activities for all volunteers. Grant funds will be used to purchase seeds, plantings, flowers and gardening supplies to be used in the garden. *Growing Solutions Farm located in Chicago’s Near West Side neighborhood, is an urban ag and vocational learning site that is specifically designed for young adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  It is ...

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Teacher Workshop April 17, 2018

Earth Day and Our Natural Resources will be the theme of our professional development workshop for teachers on April 17th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Learn new ways to incorporate the topics of soil, water, erosion and more into your curriculum during this two hour program held at the Cook County Farm Bureau. Pre-registration required for this free program by emailing aitc2@cookcfb.org. 2 PDCH credits provided.

Farmer Members Join us Tonight for a Policy Discussion Without Leaving your Home

Farm Bureau is hosting a policy discussion on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. 

To participate in the discussion, farmer members will receive an automated call just prior to the discussion asking them if they’d like to participate.  Once on the call, members will be able to hear the discussion, ask questions, and discuss topics of interest to them.  Members will be able to participate using their phones and will not need to travel.

Ag Lit Bit By Diane Merrion

As our logo stares back at me from the computer screen, I can’t help but reflect on how these three words - Food, Farm, Family - came together in a most significant way last month.  Farmers growing food, food feeding families.  Seems simple enough.  It takes a way more circuitous route when you look at it through the eyes of Food Checkout Day’s School Food Drive. Food reaching families who are facing most challenging circumstances.  The heroes of this story are too many to name, but I will take a moment to salute the schools and communities who rallied around this cause once again this year as part of our School Food Drive. Thank you. Thank you also to the Ronald McDonald Charities® whose reach extends to 64 countries and regions throughout the world.  Thank you to farmers who grow the food and to the schools who donated bag after bag, box after box of items.  And thank you to the farmers who reach families every day and not just in what we eat.  As o ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Since 2010, Cook County Farm Bureau® has operated a Political Action Committee (PAC) designed to support candidates who are supportive of the policies, priorities and mission of the Farm Bureau while promoting the economic and social well-being of farmers and farm-related interests in Cook County. Since being created, the PAC has made 34 endorsements.  Not all incumbents.  Not all challengers.  Not all major party candidates.  But candidates who Governance Committee members felt would make the largest impact on their District and the County. Members of the Cook CFB PAC Committee are charged with making endorsements.  When considering a candidate, members consider the results of the candidates’ interviews, questionnaires, support of Farm Bureau policies, and when applicable, voting record.  This Primary, alone, Committee members spent 34 hours interviewing candidates and determining endorsements.  34 happy, unpaid, volunteer hours. Of the candidates running for ...

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