From the monthly archives:

December, 2014

Manifolds, Manolos and Manure

In November, Bruce Rauner (if you own a television or a radio you may recognize the name) trounced incumbent Governor Pat Quinn in a race for Illinois’ top office.  In a state as blue as Illinois, a five point vote margin is a trouncing. Rauner scored above 20 percent in Chicago and actually won the 42nd ward, which includes Streeterville, River North, the Loop, and parts of the Near West Side.  He nearly won the 43rd ward, which includes Lincoln Park.  Twenty percent is the magic number needed to offset Chicago’s influence in a statewide election.  Although I’m sure Rauner appreciated those votes, he didn’t end up needing them because he out performed Bill Brady’s failed 2010 performance in the suburbs by six points.  He even outdid downstater Brady in downstate.  Adding salt to the wounds, Rauner also whooped Brady’s numbers in the collar counties. Speaking of salt and wounds, Quinn received 60,754 fewer votes in Cook County than he did in ...

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Dan Proft to be the Featured Guest during a “Dine and Discuss” at the Farm Bureau

Political commentator, Dan Proft will join the Cook County Farm Bureau for a dinnertime discussion on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at the Farm Bureau office.   The evening will begin with a light meal at 6:30 pm followed by Proft delivering his “state-of-the-state” presentation at 7:10 pm.  Questions will follow.  Attendees will be invited to also participate in the Annual Viewpoint Survey before departing.    The “Dine and Discuss” is free to Farm Bureau members; however, reservations are required by calling (708) 354-3276.  Reservations are due by January 13, 2015.   Proft is a Senior Fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute, a free market think tank based in Chicago.  In addition, Proft serves on the boards of directors for the Disabled Patriot Fund, a non-profit that provides assistance to Illinois military families, Freedom to Learn-Illinois, which promotes charter school educational choice and on the Advisory Board of Aid for Women.  ...

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Sen. Harmon Named a Friend of Agriculture

State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) was recently named a 2014 Friend of Agriculture.  Sen. Harmon is active on the Joint Committee for Administrative Rules (JCAR).  JCAR most recently approved rules governing hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.

Governor-Elect Addresses Farm Bureau Leaders

Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner addressed Farm Bureau delegates during the 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago.  Rauner renewed his pledge to work for Illinoisians, but acknowledged that it will take some time to dig Illinois out of its current financial situation.   

Discussion of Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year)

Discussion of Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year) Donald L. Uchtmann and Gary Schnitkey Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois  farmdoc daily (4):228 Recommended citation format: Uchtmann, D., and G. Schnitkey. "Discussion of Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year)." farmdoc daily (4):228, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 25, 2014. Permalink URL A new farmland lease form called "Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year)" is available on the farmdoc website (PDF and Word). This lease is for a fixed cash rent that is one-year in length. The form allows for extensions to be made at the end of the one-year term. Many of the issues that have to be dealt with in longer-termed leases do not have to be dealt with in a lease of one-year in length. Terms and ...

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Farm Bureau Prepares the RMH near Lurie's Rooftop for the Holidays

Cook CFB volunteer, Greg Stack along with Karen and Dan Biernacki (not pictured) generously donated their time and talent to transforming the rooftop garden on top of the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie's into a winter wonderland for the holidays.  All of the plant material was donated by Ted's Greenhouse in Tinley Park.  Cook CFB leaders and volunteers have tended the rooftop garden since the House opened in 2012.

Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“The Ground’s Grounding Effect” This was a difficult and emotional column to write this month. Who I am and what I am was influenced heavily by life growing up on a farm through age 22.  The years on the farm taught me, guided me and influenced me.  It “created” the me I am by providing: · An understanding of work ethic (didn’t always appreciate it) · a great grasp of the “birds and the bees” (farm kids see “things” early in life) · knowledge about the environment, animal behavior and influence of mother nature (sometimes friendly, sometimes angry, sometimes simply tolerant) · insight on farm families (mostly friendly/loving but sometimes angry, sometimes tolerant) · appreciation of the glory and pitfalls of agriculture (bounty, death, profit, debt, and uncertainty) · the value of the dollar (100 cents) · the importance of education that comes in multiple forms (school, church, and ...

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Ag Lit Bit

Shark Tank is a favorite program of mine as I have an invention in mind that I know would make me millions of dollars (or at least thousands).  I love watching the marketing pitch these entrepreneurs give to the “sharks” and enjoy guessing whether they will be given a chance or not.  Some great success stories from the show include Ava the Elephant (medicine dropper), Citi Kitty (cat toilet training kit), Chord Buddy (learn to play guitar chords) and Copa di Vino (single serving glasses of wine).  While these may have an impact on our lives at some point, the show got me to thinking about inventions that have impacted our Ag in the Classroom presentation. For years we have been showing students a demonstration on the properties of hydrosorb, which amazes all who witness it.  On a whim I decided to call the USDA and see if I could talk with someone about its invention and learn more about the uses of this product.  After leaving a message about my question, I was quite ce ...

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