Bring Your Classroom Alive! Cook County Teacher PD Workshop 2/27/18

Join the fun at our hands-on educator PD featuring the topics of seeds, eggs and embryology.  Learn new ways to bring science, math and language arts to your curriculum using agriculture resources.  Attendees will walk away with free resources and lesson plans.  Pre-registration required by emailing or calling us at 708-354-3276.  

Farmers and Farm Owners are Reminded to Respond to the Census of Agriculture

Did you know the Census of Agriculture data helps shape policy for American agriculture – from creating and funding farm programs to boosting services for communities and the agriculture? Respond now at


Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program

Applications are now available for nurse practitioner scholarships through the Illinois Farm Bureau® Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program.  There will be five scholarships, worth $4,000 each, granted this year. The scholarship program, now in its twenty sixth year, helps encourage and develop the pool of rural health practitioners to help meet primary health care needs in rural Illinois.  Students who receive scholarships agree to practice for two years in an approved rural area in Illinois. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be Illinois residents and be a Registered Nurse accepted or enrolled in an accredited Nurse Practitioner Program.  Funding is provided by the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program. Applications are available at county Farm Bureaus® throughout the state, on the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program website at, or by writing Donna Gallivan, Program Manager, Illinois Farm Bureau, PO Box 2901, Bloomington, IL ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

You may know this recently popular tune: O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How dry and brittle are your branches O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree How dry and brittle are your branches   O once, you were such a lovely green Fire resistant and so very clean Now presents are gone and needles fall How dry and brittle are your branches   Sure, I took some liberties with the words. Such a happy little song before Christmas becomes a little sadder after Christmas as that fresh tree becomes much less “fresh”.  For those procrastinators out there, IT IS FEBRUARY on the calendar, and that means, it’s time to take the tree down! It is always a bit sad when it becomes time for the “real” Christmas tree to come down. The green conifer “soldier” has fearlessly done its job of holding up the myriad of bright lights, sentimental decorations, keepsake items, kids’ mystery creations, expressions of the season, glitz and glamour…day after day, ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

I have a confession: I’m a “Potterhead.” Surprised? Maybe. But you should know that I’m an avid reader and not just of shoe magazines.  Since learning to read, I immersed myself in stories of Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, Goosebumps, Sweet Valley High, and The Saddle Club.  Like legions of young girls before me, I imagined myself solving mysteries while riding trails by night on my trusty steed. As I got older, my reading preferences shifted from R. L. Stine to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Michael Crichton. On rare occasion - usually when I stole one from my grandma - I’d throw in a Harlequin romance novel. But I’m more of a dinosaur-kind of girl. After college, my thrill-seeking tastes gave way to less Stephen King and more Kay Hooper, Iris Johansen, David Baldacci, and Karin Slaughter.  My farmer calls them my “body count books” and he may have a point.  But candidly, Stephen King started to scare me after I left the comfort of room ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Smell the Roses  This month features the holiday that some love and some loath.  Whatever way you look at it, Valentine’s Day is hard to avoid.  It’s also a huge economic boom often bringing in over $18 billion according to the National Retail Federation.  Approximately one-third of that total represents floral sales, which falls just below candy and cards.   Customs officials at airports begin working to make sure that the flowers a loved one receives contain only flowers!  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checks the millions of flowers coming into the U.S. for insects, diseases and even hidden narcotics.  Teachers who attend our Summer Ag Institutes are fascinated with the tour we receive at O’Hare Airport where we learn so much about the importance of Agriculture Customs and Border Patrol, a topic few Americans pay attention to unless they travel abroad. The majority of fresh flowers are imported - mainly from South America - and inspected a ...

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Food on Your Mind? Let’s Talk.

Join the Chicago Ridge Library and Cook County Farm Bureau® for a candid discussion about how your food is grown and the decisions today’s farmers make.  Speakers will provide an overview of modern farming practices, organic farming, and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO).  Speakers will also address audience members’ questions. March 12, 2018 7:00 p.m. Chicago Ridge Public Library 10400 S. Oxford Ave, Chicago Ridge Speakers Kim Morton, a former farm manager for the Northern Trust Company and farm owner, is one of Chicagoland’s premier speakers on GMO testing and use.  In her role with the Northern Trust Company, she became the second woman in the nation to receive the “Accredited Farm Manager” designation and was a member of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Class of 1998. Morton is an active member of the Cook County Farm Bureau®.  Tim Stuenkel is the Global Marketing Communications Manager at TeeJet Technolo ...

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Farm Bureau Members are Encouraged to Participate in a Policy Discussion Without Leaving their Homes

Farm Bureau will host 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.

Additional information regarding the call will be available shortly.  Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 1.

2018 Community Garden Grant Applications Available!

2018 Cookfresh® Community Urban Garden Grant Program Application Available! Cookfresh® Community Urban garden Grant Program is designed to “help” community gardens access needed plantings, seed, raised bed construction material, soil, compost, fencing and more.   Cookfresh® Cook County will award five (5) $300.00 grants to urban/community gardens in Cook County that are seeking to enhance their garden’s success.  A grant application sub-committee will evaluate applications and award five garden grants.   Awarded Cookfresh® grant funds are in the form of vouchers, redeemable same as cash at participating CCFB member Greenhouses and Garden Centers.   Application: To download an application, click HERE or contact Debbie:708-354-3276 or by email at Available January 3, 2018. Deadline: Grant application need to be emailed, faxed or postmarked by Tuesday, February 28, 2018 to be cons ...

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Help us Celebrate Food Checkout Day by Partnering with us to Support Ronald McDonald House Charities®

With Food Checkout Day scheduled for February 6, 2018 Farm Bureau families and partners have joined together to assist families during the most difficult time of their lives, when a child is ill.  Food Checkout Day highlights the safe and nutritious food that local farmers grow. Through YOUR support we’ve been able to ensure that a healthy, nutritious meal is not a concern of theirs during these times.  Help us to collect non-perishable food, money, and pop tabs.  Food, cash and pop tab donations can be dropped off or mailed to: Cook County Farm Bureau® 6438 Joliet Road Countryside, Illinois 60525 (708) 354-3276   In 2017, we were able to donate over $10,000 to the five area Ronald McDonald Houses.  Due to your efforts, Ronald McDonald Houses remain open to all families regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Please partner with us to raise much needed funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest ...

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