From the monthly archives:

November, 2013

IAA Credit Union Money Clip: ALL ABOUT CREDIT SCORE SERIES - Part 4

Some things can improve your credit. Co-signing on a loan is tricky, as it can be good or bad for you. If the payments on the loan are made on time, it will help your credit score. However, if the primary borrower misses a payment, defaults, or even files bankruptcy, this will have a negative impact on your score. In these cases you may be the one now responsible for making the payments.  Student loans that are not in repayment yet are not counted in your score. Once the loan comes due then they will be factored in. These are just as important as any other installment loan as lenders do review them as well.  Rate shopping will not hurt you if you do it correctly. Hard inquiries are an indication that a creditor has reviewed your score, and too many of these can hurt you. However, when shopping for rates, such as for a car loan, only one hard inquiry will count on your score within a certain time frame, normally 30-45 days. So make sure you do shop around for the best interest rate.  The IAAC ...

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Public Hearing on Hydraulic Fracturing Scheduled

Farm Bureau members are encouraged to attend a public hearing on horizontal hydraulic fracturing regulations.  The proposal rule would implement the regulations authorized by legislation that was passed during the spring legislative session.  IDNR has scheduled a Chicago-area public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the University of Illinois Chicago, Student Center East at 6:30 PM.

Information on the proposed rule is available at

Help us Celebrate Food Checkout Day 2014

For the past 14 years, Cook County Farm Bureau has partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities®.   Through this partnership, Farm Bureau members and volunteers have been able to donate much needed food, pop tabs and funds to assist families during the most difficult time of their lives, when a child is sick.  The 2014 Food Checkout Day program will be held on Thursday, March 20 at the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House located near Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago and at the Ronald McDonald House located near Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn. Please consider joining us in this great effort!  With your support, we hope to raise enough food to feed 3,000 people! Food and pop tab donation can be dropped off at your local Country Financial Agency or the Cook County Farm Bureau office prior to March 14.  Cash donations can be sent to: Cook CFB, 6438 Joliet Road in Countryside, IL 60525.  Checks should be made out to Ronald McDonald ...

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Chicago Bears' Earl Bennett teams up with Illinois pork farmers to go the extra yard in fighting hunger

Chicago Bears’ wide receiver Earl Bennett joins forces with Illinois pork farmers to help fight hunger in Illinois. On Thursday, November 21, Bennett will sign autographs from 5-6 p.m. at the Jewel-Osco in Lake Forest (890 N. Western Ave, Lake Forest, IL 60045) for the first 125 people who donate a minimum of five canned goods at the store. The donation event will kickoff at 4 p.m. Customers will also have a chance to win two tickets to the December 29 Chicago vs. Green Bay game! Pork farmers won’t be on the sidelines for this event. They not only will be on site, but will also match the weight of the customers’ donated canned goods with a fresh pork donation up to 4,700 pounds! All donations will benefit Northern Illinois Food Bank, which provided more than 42 million meals to hungry people last year through a network of 800 feeding programs in 13 northern Illinois counties. Customers can stop by Jewel Osco from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. that day and try tasty pork burger sliders at the ...

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Cost of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Down for 2013

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48.  Click on the link below to read more!

Tornado Resources

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our Illinois friends and neighbors that were affected by the intense storms, tornados and high winds on Sunday.  The Illinois Farm Bureau is gathering information regarding resources and contacts (including ways to help) at

IAA Credit Union Money Clip: ALL ABOUT CREDIT SCORE SERIES - Part 3

Don’t make it worse!  Now that we know how our score is determined… what can we do to make it better…..or worse? One of the worst things that you can do is not pay your credit card, loan, or mortgage payments on time. A single missed payment can drop your score 60-70 points, and take 24 months of on-time payments to erase one missed payment. Unpaid credit card or loan payments can be turned over to a collections agency, and can stay on your credit report up to seven years. Maxing out your credit cards can lower your score as much as 100 points.  Remember available credit capacity is the second largest part of your credit score. Closing a credit line, such as a credit card can hurt you as this reduces the amount of credit you have available. Closing an old card with available credit, especially your oldest one, can make your credit history seem shorter than what it really is. Missing a mortgage payment is more harmful than missing credit card or loan payments, and it can lead to ...

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Cook County Farm Bureau Holds Annual Meeting

The Cook County Farm Bureau Annual meeting was held last night, November 13, in the large conference room of the Cook County Farm Bureau. During that meeting, new directors James Bloomstrand, Hoffman Estates, and Ruth Zeldenrust, Chicago Heights, were elected to the Board of Directors.


Later that evening, the board reorganized with the following board members being reelected as officers… James Gutzmer, President;  Michael Rauch, Vice-President;  and Patrick Horcher, Secretary – Treasurer.



Cook County Leadership Attend Member Dinner

Public Policy Team Chair, Pat Horcher, (pictured left) discusses Farm Bureau policy with State Representative Michelle Mussman (pictured right) during this year's Member Dinner in Palatine.  Representative Mussman along with Representative Tom Morrison and Cook County Commissioners Timothy Schneider and Dan Patlak (Board of Review) joined Farm Bureau members at this year's Member Dinner.

Thanks for Giving

Last month I attended the Golden Apple Teachers for Tomorrow Conference where I was fortunate to be in the company of inspirational teachers, along with students who aspire to be future teachers.   The conference featured resources that are available to educators (such as our Ag in the Classroom), as well as break- out sessions led by Golden Apple Award Scholars and leading educators.  The Keynote Speaker was Mr. Rives Collins, a Fellow in the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University.  He is also a professional storyteller, who spoke of the power of a story.  One of the first questions he posed to the audience was to picture a person who had a major impact on our lives.  He asked us to think about that person and hold it in our mind while he spoke.  He then took us on a wonderful journey filled with storytelling and many references to a beloved author of his, Joseph Campbell.  Some quotes from Campbell included, ““If the path before ...

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