From the monthly archives:

October, 2014

Commissioner Silvestri Receives "Friend of the Farm Bureau" Award

Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri received the 2014 "Friend of the Farm Bureau" award from the Cook County Farm Bureau.  Pictured left to right are: Bona Heinsohn; Board Member Janet McCabe; and Commissioner Silvestri.  This is Commissioner Silvestri's third award and the third time that the Cook CFB Political Action Committee has endorsed him.

Congresswoman Kelly Receives the Friend of Agriculture Award


Congresswoman Robin Kelly received the 2014 Friend of Agriculture award from Cook and Kankakee County Farm Bureaus.  Farm Bureau endorsed then-candidate Kelly in the 2012 Special Election.  Kelly represents parts of Cook, Kankakee, and Will Counties.

Take Our Survey and Win!

Our goal at the Cook County Farm Bureau is to provide exceptional programs, services, and information opportunities to our members in our hope to be the best County Farm Bureau in the world.  To accomplish this, we need your participation in a short member satisfaction survey. 

To participate in this survey, click here.  Members who participate in the survey will be entered into a drawing.  Prizes will be randomly drawn for one (1) mini iPad and four (4) $25 American Express gift cards.  

The odds of winning will depend on the number of members who participate in the survey.  Prizes will be issued to 5 members, who are paid in good standing, as selected in the drawing on December 15, 2014.

USDA to Provide $4 Million for Honey Bee Habitat

More than $4 million in technical and financial assistance will be provided by the Agriculture Department to help farmers and ranchers in the Midwest improve the health of honey bees, which play an important role in crop production. An estimated $15 billion worth of crops is pollinated by honey bees, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is focusing the effort on five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This announcement renews and expands a successful $3 million pilot investment that was announced earlier this year and continues to have high levels of interest.

Congresswoman Duckworth Receives Friend of the Farm Bureau Award

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth received the 2014 Friend of Agriculture award in October.  The award recognizes her voting record on important farm and business issues as well as her accessibility.  Pictured with Congresswoman Duckworth is President Jim Gutzmer and standing are Bona Heinsohn and Steve Arnold from the Kane County Farm Bureau.  Congresswoman Duckworth represents parts of Cook, DuPage, and Kane Counties.

Commissioner Schneider Recieves "Friend of the Farm Bureau" Award

Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider (R- Elk Grove Village) received the 2014 Friend of the Farm Bureau award.  The award recognizes his outstanding voting record on county issues and is awarded by the Cook County Farm Bureau Political Action Committee.  Pictured left to right are: Bona Heinsohn, Commissioner Tim Schneider, and Public Policy Team member Janet McCabe.

Midwest Bison Symposium Set for Nov. 21-22 at Brookfield Zoo

Farmers interested in raising bison or expanding existing herds in Illinois can learn more about the industry next month.   The Illinois/Indiana Bison Association and National Bison Association are sponsoring the inaugural Midwest Bison Symposium in the Chicagoland area. The two-day event will be held Nov. 21-22 at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. The symposium will feature panel discussions on entry to raising and producing bison, health, nutrition, parasite control, animal containment, bison social behavior, herd dynamics, and low-stress handling and transport.   Demand for bison meat and prices paid to producers steadily increased during the past decade and remain at historic highs. Meanwhile, bison represent one of the lower-cost, startup enterprises in agriculture.  For additional information or to register for the symposium visit the website  Admission to the zoo will be included with registration. The Clubhouse Inn and Suites, Westmont, also will pr ...

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Sen. Hastings Receives 2014 Friend of Ag Award

State Senator Michael Hastings (pictured center) received the 2014 Friend of Agriculture Award in October.  The award recognizes his outstanding voting record on food, farm, and business issues.  Sen. Hastings was first elected in 2012.  Pictured left to right are: Public Policy Team member Janet McCabe, Senator Hastings, and Bona Heinsohn.

Herb of the Year

Since 1995, the International Herb Association has selected an "Herb of the Year."  This is a list of herbs selected to date: 1995   Fennel                                                                    2008   Calendula 1996   Monarda                                                                 2009   Bay Laurel 1997   Thyme&nb ...

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Beginning Farmer Loans Expanded

As of Nov. 7, USDA plans to increase the microloan borrowing limit for beginning and family farmers to $50,000.  

USDA will further simplify lending processes, update required "farming experience" to include other valuable experiences, and expand eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated.  

The microloan changes will allow beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay.

In addition to farm-related experience, other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm loan eligibility, such as operation or management of a nonfarm business, leadership positions while serving in the military or advanced education in an agricultural field.

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