From the monthly archives:

September, 2013

Culver's Resturants' "Thank You Farmer" Program to Boost High School Ag Programs, Local FFA Chapters

Earlier this summer, a group of Culver’s managers, owners and employees formally launched the campaign by locating and restoring an iconic, weathered barn in Wisconsin Rapids. When complete, the group proudly painted “Thank You, Farmers” across its door. In Chicagoland, for instance, Culver’s owners are partnering with their local county farm bureaus to fund programs and provide teaching tools for elementary and high school agriculture education. This past summer, these owners met with Illinois Association of Vocational Agricultural Teachers at Chicago Agricultural High School to learn more about how the chain could help. “The owners wanted to show their support of Illinois and Indiana farmers, so it was only natural for me to put them in a classroom with our high school food science and agricultural teachers,” grins FCAE District 2 Program Advisor Luke Allen, who organized the meeting, “and then lock the door behind me.” Before the meeting got underway, A ...

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Volunteers Discuss "Farmer Share" During the Glenview Farmers Market

Cook CFB volunteers, Kim Morton and Sheri Latash, met with families through the Greentable at the Glenview Farmers Market.  Volunteers discussed the amount that farmers receive from the sale of common agricultural products.  Volunteers also handed out pumpkins and apple cider, both common Illinois products.

State seeks establishment of raw milk guidelines

Milk "does a body good," and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) wants to ensure that remains the case for producers and consumers of raw milk. IDPH is in the process of establishing guidelines/minimum standards for raw milk production to protect operations that produce the milk and consumers who drink it. Illinois is one of 29 states allowing some form of on-or-off farm raw milk sales.  But farmers are not allowed to advertise raw milk sales and customers must bring their own containers. Other than those guidelines, farmers who have a few cows and sell milk only on their farms are not required to obtain permits in Illinois. "We don't have any rules (pertaining to the production of raw milk)," said Steve DiVincenzo, acting dairy program manager with IDPH.  "So we've reached out to raw milk producers to get heir input on how to structure sales of raw milk." IDPH officials met with raw milk producers from around the state last week at the Illinois Farm Bureau home office in Bloomingto ...

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Farm Bureau Members Meet with Rep. Robyn Gabel

Cook CFB President Jim Gutzmer (pictured right) met with Representative Robyn Gabel during an Adopt-a-Legislative visit with Rock Island County.  Rep. Gabel has been "adopted" since 2011.

Leaders Attend Fall Harvest Program at the Cook County Jail


Cook County Farm Bureau leaders joined Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, his staff, garden donors, and inmates at the Fall Garden Program in September.  Despite the rain, inmates and supporters celebrated the bounty of the garden and inmates' success.  Cook CFB is a stronger supporter of the garden program and is looking forward to future opportunities to partner with the Sheriff and garden.

Tree and Pond Stocking Sale

The Will/South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the Fall 2013 Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website ~ and can be picked up at the Will/South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District office during business hours.   U.S. Mail, email and fax copies can also be requested by calling (815) 462-3106 x 3. The District has a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees available this fall.  Stock ranges in size from 8 inches to 6-foot linear stock, and one, two and three gallon potted stock. Fish varieties for sale include Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Redear, Hybrid Sunfish, Hybrid Redear, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by September 20th. All other orders must be received by Monday, September 30th.  Orders are pre-paid only. Tree orders will be available for pickup on Friday, October 4th 12:00 p.m. unt ...

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Good Agricultural Practices webinar planned on farm food safety plans

New federal food safety rules for farmers, handlers and processors will be discussed during an Oct. 3 webinar presented by the University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Farmers Market Association, Illinois Stewardship Alliance and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.  The webinar will run from 3 to 4:30 pm.  The webinar is free, but registration is required.  Topics will include an introduction to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and preparing for FSMA with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and on-farm food safety plans.  A question-and-answer session will be offered.  U of I Extension offers this webinar and other GAPs training to help growers identify areas of high food contamination risk and prepare to write safety plans.  Register by calling 217-782-4617 or online at For more information, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, U of I Extension educator, at or 217-78 ...

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Leaders Tour Stephenson County Farms

Cook CFB leader Janet McCabe (pictured center) joined State Representative Fran Hurley (pictured left) and her constituents for an exchange program to Stephenson County.  Participants, including high school freshmen visited a chicken farm, beef farm and dairy farm.

Leaders Attend Legislative Hearing on Food Labeling

Leaders from throughout Northern Illinois joined the Senate Subcommittee on Food Labeling to discuss genetically engineered food labeling.  Legislators heard testimony from individuals on both sides of the argument and will continue the discussions upon return to Springfield.  The Chicago hearing was the third and final Subcommittee hearing on this issue.

Farm Bureau Leaders Traveled to Washington DC

Representatives from the Leaders to Washington Program met with Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky during the September program.  Pictured left to right is: Jeffrey Fisher, Champaign CFB; Kim Morton, Cook CFB; Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky; John Zumwalt, Ford-Iroquois CFB; Bona Heinsohn, Cook CFB; and Janet McCabe, Cook CFB.  Public Policy Team Chairman Pat Horcher discusses conversation policy with Mary Ellen Kustin from the Environmental Working Group during the Cook CFB Leaders to Washington Program.  In addition to meeting with the Environmental Working Group, leaders met with representatives from the National Pork Producers Council, the American Sugar Alliance, and Tyson Foods.   Cook CFB leader traveled to Arlington National Cemetery as part of the Cook CFB Leaders to Washington Program.  Pictured left to right is: Mike Rauch, Janet McCabe, Cindy Gustafson, Kim Morton, and Pat Horcher.   Cook CFB members met with US Senator Mark Kirk in September during a visit to Washingto ...

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