From the monthly archives:

December, 2013

Field Moms Share Views on Experience (Through their eyes)

Editor’s note:  Field moms with Illinois Farm Families (IFF) visited an Ultra Foods Store and the Northern Illinois Food Bank on Nov. 9.  IFF is a coalition of  commodity groups for beef, corn, pork and soybeans and the Illinois Farm Bureau.  Below are excerpts from the Chicago-area mom’s blogs that may be read online at {}. Susan Herold,  Rolling Meadows I need to caution my friends who are diligent label readers.  Some of the labels are really just marketing ploys to get you to buy a product instead of the one next to it. I have learned to be aware of the ones which claim antibiotic and hormone-free in your meats.  No meat is able to be in your grocer’s case without any trace of antibiotics or hormones.   Tanja Saarinen, Oak Park             Preservatives and added ingredients in products like grated cheese gave all of us something to think about, but the big surprise was ...

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Chicago Farmers Schedule Farmland Fair

The Chicago Farmers will host the annual Farmland Fair from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 1 in Joliet Junior college's Weitendorf Ag Education Center.

This year's event will focus on the connection of social media and farmland investment.

In addition to a range of seminar topics, exhibit booths will cover different aspects of buying, selling and owning farmland.

Seminar topics include farmland legal issues, managing drainage, grain marketing, investing in farmland for local and organic production, and emerging technologies' impact on production.

The early registration fee is $50.  Registration on Feb. 1 is $75.

For information or to register, go online to {}

Americans to Avoid Holiday Debt

Americans may be trying to avoid  the "holiday hangover" this year with a no-credit shopping season.

According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index, 61 percent plan to use cash, check or debit cards to pay for most of their holiday purchases.  Just 29 percent say they will use credit.

This cash-is-king mentality might seem surprising given 22 percent of Americans possess four or more credit cards.  However, the prevalent use of cash could be a result of Americans' unwillingness to take on debt.  About 56 percent say they are not willing to take on any debt for their holiday shopping.

This article was originally published in FarmWeek.

Cook County Farm Bureau Receives Recognition for Quality

The Cook County Farm Bureau topped off a great programming year in 2012-2013 by being awarded several awards at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting this past weekend, December 7th - 10th.  The President's Award for the largest size County Farm Bureaus was presented for the best overall programming and activities in the areas of Ag Literacy, Commodities/Marketing, Health/Safety, Legislative/Political Process, Local Affairs, Communications/Promotion, Member Relations, Policy Development and Membership Quota.   Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson awarded Cook CFB President Jim Gutzmer the organization's highest recognition...The President's Award. The Passport to the Farm Day Camp Program, held 4 days this past summer, was selected by the American Farm Bureau Federation in the County Activities of Excellence Competition.              Diane and Jim talked to IFB members about the Passport to the Farm Day Camp as a part &n ...

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Illinois Regains Soybean Crown

For the first time in 10 years, Illinois once again possesses the title of soybean production king.

According to USDA estimates, Illinois farmers raised 460.6 million bushels of soybeans this year on 9.4 million acres.  Iowa ranked second with 415.3 million bushels raised on 9.23 million acres.


"We're proud this is happening in the same year we celebrate 100 years of Illinois soybean production and the 50th anniversary of the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA)," said Bill Raben, ISA chairman from Ridgway.  "ISA has set a goal to utilize 600 million bushels of Illinois soybeans annually by 2020, so now that we have reached this important milestone, it's time to keep the momentum."

This article was originally published in FarmWeek.

Farm Bureau Leadership met with Leaders throughout Illinois

Cook CFB leaders Ruth Zeldenrust (pictured right) and Janet McCabe spoke with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner during the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago.  Candidate Rauner met with Cook and Will CFB members privately before speaking to Farm Bureau delegates.  Candidate Rauner discussed his thoughts on K-12 education and transportation infrastructure.


Cook County Board of (Tax) Review Dan Patlak (pictured center) met with Cook CFB leaders Mark Yunker (left) and Janet McCabe (right) during the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.  Commissioner Patlak has met with Cook CFB members on numerous occasions prior to Annual Meeting. 

Cook CFB leaders pictured left to right: Ruth Zeldenrust, Janet McCabe and Bob Rohrer met with House Minority Leader Jim Durkin after a presentation to delegates at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago.  House Minority Leader Durkin represents Cook County.


Farm Bureau Leadership Reviews Proposed Constitutional Amendment

In September, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner announced the creation of the Committee of Legislative Reform and Term Limits.  This new political action committee is proposing to amend the Legislative Article of the Illinois Constitution to: (1) reduce the number of State Senators, (2) increase the number of members in the House of Representatives, (3) change super majority vote thresholds, and (4) place term limits on General Assembly members. In more detail, the proposed amendment would do the following: •    Decrease the Senate from 59 to 41 districts. •    Increase the House of Representatives from 118 to 123 Districts.  Three House districts would be nested within each Senate district. •    Limit members of the General Assembly from serving more than eight consecutive years.  Legislators would not be eligible for reelection if during that term they will exceed the eight consecutive years of service. •&n ...

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Farm Bureau Volunteers Discuss Farm to Grocer Sanitation

Cook CFB volunteers, Jeff Heinsohn along with Bona Heinsohn (not pictured) discussed farm to grocer sanitation with Culinary Arts students at Schaumburg High School.  The presentation concentrated on farmers' efforts to grow and maintain a safe food product.  Heinsohn is a member of the Farm Bureau's Speakers Bureau.  Groups interested in scheduling a free Speakers Bureau presentation should contact Bona Heinsohn at (708) 354-3276.

Proposed rule on tank vehicle can affect farmers: FMCSA to change earlier guidance into rule, affecting carriers of mini bulks and IBCs

By: Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau   Some farmers who hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) might find that they’ll need a “tank endorsement” for some of the loads they haul, even if hauling only tanks of less than 1,000 gallons. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed to revise the definition of “tank vehicle” in 49 CFR 383.5.  As that agency explains, “The revised version makes changes to clarify two points:  that the quantity amounts apply regardless of the method of tank securement, and that the transportation of tanks that are manifested as empty or as residue (and that are actually empty or contain only residue) does not require the driver to have a tank vehicle endorsement.” By proposing this rule, the FMCSA is basically sticking to its guns.  The proposal would not change how the FMCSA has intended its rule to apply, though the trucking industry had been hoping that would happen.  FMCSA ...

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The Hills Are Alive

The hills are alive, with the sound of music With songs they have sung for a thousand years The hills fill my heart with the sound of music….   Yes, The Sound of Music is my favorite movie of all time.  To my husband’s dismay, I know exactly when Sister Maria is going to belt out Climb Every Mountain.  So when the announcement was made that Carrie Underwood was staring in the TV version of the movie, I wasn’t happy.  Not that I don’t like Carrie Underwood, but why mess with Julie Andrews.  A classic is a classic.  To add fuel to the fire, I heard that they are making a Part Two of It’s a Wonderful Life.  The original Zuzu is now in her 70’s and will come back as an angel.  I don’t want Zuzu to be the angel, I want her to be the adorable daughter of George Baily.  At this time of year, my sentimental side is in full gear.  I so value the traditions of the holiday and of family.  ...

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