From the monthly archives:

January, 2015

Nelson Tabbed as Next Illinois Ag Director

  Philip Nelson, immediate past Illinois Farm Bureau president, plans to transition toward a new job this week -- Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) director.      Gov. Bruce Rauner nominated the Seneca farmer to the post to succeed Bob Flider. Nelson said he plans to put a “new face” on the department of agriculture.      “The department is not just about agriculture but also food. We can reach out to consumers in the same way Illinois Farm Families does,” said Nelson, referring to an Illinois agriculture coalition, including IFB, aimed at sharing information with consumers.      IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. expressed his support for Nelson’s nomination. He said Nelson possesses the necessary qualifications as a working farmer and agricultural leader to serve in the role. Philip Nelson, newly-named director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.      “This decision is ...

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School Garden Grant

In order to develop student awareness of agriculture through school gardening, we are pleased to offer a School Garden Grant Program. Teachers who would like to promote curriculum development through school gardening are encouraged to visit our website to access the grant information and application.We will be awarding up to five $300 grants to Cook County elementary, middle or high schools.  Applications are due February 1st, 2015 via email to or by mail to Diane Merrion, AITC Coordinator, CCFB, 6438 Joliet Road, Countryside, IL  60525.

Join us in Donating 75,000 Meals to the Ronald McDonald House as Part of Food Checkout Day 2015

We’re so close and with YOUR HELP we can donate 75,000 meals as part of Food Checkout Day to the families who call our local Ronald McDonald Houses their temporary home. Food Checkout Day highlights the safe and nutritious food that local farmers grow. Through our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana we are able to assist families during the most difficult time of their lives, when their child is ill. Join us in donating much needed non-perishable food, pop tabs, and funds as part of this year’s Food Checkout Day. The 2015 Food Checkout Day program will be held on February 17 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. Program sponsorship is available. Food and pop tab donation can be dropped off at your local Country Financial Agency or the Cook County Farm Bureau office prior to ...

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"Where Can I Buy Local Produce?"

Manifolds, Manolos and Manure

In November, 252 candidates filed for election in the Chicago municipal election.  Three hundred and fifty-one filed in 2011.  Aldermen Marty Quinn (13), Edward Burke (14), Brendan Reilly (42), and Harry Osterman (48) will sail to easy, unimpeded victories.  While residents in the 7th, 24th, 29th, and 38th wards will muddle through a pile of candidates before choosing their favorite.  If a candidate does not achieve 50 percent of the vote a run-off will occur on April seventh. Of the 252 candidates, notable candidates include Brian Hopkins who presently serves as Chief of Staff for the Cook County Board Finance Committee.  Hopkins is running for Bob Fioretti’s soon-to-be vacant seat.   In the 11th ward, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Patrick Daley Thompson is facing off against two others vying to represent the Bridgeport community.  Like the 2nd, 7th, 15th, 17th, 24th, 36th, and 38th wards, the 11th ward is sans an incumbent. In the thir ...

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Ag Lit Bit

As I prepared to begin the New Year at work and home, it was time to flip the calendars to 2015.  Call me a creature of habit, but I still need paper calendars to function.  I have joined the ranks of those who actually use their cell phone calendars, however, I feel a sense of comfort actually seeing the upcoming events in my own handwriting.  Even though I know if I lose my phone, it’s backed up on the computer and if my computer implodes, it’s back up on the cloud (whatever ‘the cloud’ is) and so on.  In flipping my Illinois Ag in the Classroom wall calendar to January I saw a beautiful picture of horses, the theme of this month.  The calendar is a wonderful tool for teachers of all grades to hang in their classrooms to generate discussion about agriculture.  In looking at January facts we learn such things as: A yearling is a horse that is one year old, the average life span of a horse is 20-25 years, a filly is the name for a young female horse, there ...

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