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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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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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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.

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 aitc2@cookcfb.org or calling us at 708-354-3276.  

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 & Manure...by 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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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

This month’s column dedicated to those born in another century “What century were you born in, buddy?” I ask myself sometimes when I accidently write the year as 1999 on a check (Yes, I still write checks because they are like cash… that green stuff the government prints which is supposed to be like currency). Yes, I still make the mistake of not only writing the wrong year but the wrong century! For those of you who accidentally write 1899, I am impressed! As I look at the calendar, I cannot believe that we are entering the year 2018 (or is that 1918?).  I am ready to put 2017 - A year in which I experienced various injuries and body damage - behind me. 2018 promises a brand-new year full of opportunity and the potential of no emergency room visits! The other day, I received a quarterly Country Financial informational booklet. In it was an article that talked about a group of kids that will be graduating as a part of the high school class of 2018. I found it to be fascinating ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Manure...by Bona Heinsohn

Next to asking my kids what they want from Santa (if anyone is wondering it was a skidloader for my loud, big-little boy and an American Girl horse for my blue-eyed girl), asking people about their New Year’s resolutions is my next favorite conversation.  Each year I promise to start running.  Eat more vegetables.  And drink more water.  Occasionally, there’s an off the wall idea thrown in like starting to watch “Star Wars” movies or reading the “Lord of the Rings” series.  Each year, I make it a couple of weeks then slip back into old habits.  Walking, but no running.  Dr. Pepper over water.  And mashed potatoes rather than Brussels sprouts.  Potatoes are technically veggies just with buttery deliciousness.  Oh, and I’m more of a Harry Potter kind of gal. This year, I’d like to suggest some resolutions.  First, no more new or improved local taxes.  Let’s take a moment to remember Cook County&rs ...

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