From the monthly archives:

November, 2015

Celebrate Food Checkout Day by Supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana

Through our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Farm Bureau families have been able to assist families during the most difficult time of their lives, when a child is ill.  Through YOUR support we’ve been able to ensure that a healthy, nutritious meal is not a concern of theirs during these times. As we prepare for our 16th annual Food Checkout Day program, we wanted to ask you again for your support.  We’re collecting non-perishable food, money, and pop tabs.  We’re even looking for sponsors for this event. Last year we were able to donate just over $15,000 to the five area Ronald McDonald Houses.  Due to your efforts, Ronald McDonald Houses remain open to all families regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Food Checkout Day highlights the safe and nutritious food that local farmers grow. Food and pop tab donation can be dropped off at your local Country Financial Agency or the Cook County Farm B ...

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2016 Foundation Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

The Cook County Farm Bureau Foundation’s Scholarship Program continues to grow each year as the number of applicants increase. “Our members are realizing that an agricultural career provides broad and exciting possibilities” explains Jim Gutzmer, Foundation President. And what is an agricultural career? It is a chosen pursuit or profession related to the broad area of producing, marketing, manufacturing, transporting, studying, teaching, and developing food, fiber, fuel and pharmacy products originating from the farm. Examples of agricultural careers include horticulturist, food scientist, animal nutritionist, genetic engineering, farmer, veterinarian, commodity broker, dietitian, turf producer, agricultural engineer and the list goes on and on. Perhaps you may wish to check out the broad and rewarding possibilities with one out of every four jobs in the United States related to agriculture. The Foundation is proud to announce the 18th Annual Agricultural Scholarship Program. The Cook Coun ...

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IFB looking at the “Future of the Organization”

Throughout the state of Illinois, Farm Bureau Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders have been developing a strategy to attract, develop and the future generation farm leaders. Stemming from action at the 2014 Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, the organization has been soliciting views and ideas from a list of individuals as the organization seeks to position itself for a strong and successful future that matches the 100 years of success it has already enjoyed.  Cook County Farm Bureau has participated in the process by contributing a number of suggestions including… · Improve the knowledge base of our Associate members within the organization related to agricultural advocacy efforts, conversations regarding agricultural practices and issues, and connecting people with their food production. · Continue efforts to involve all of farmers involved in agricultural production including equine, specialty livestock, horticulture/turf/green industry, vegetable growers, ...

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Cook County Teacher Named "Teacher of the Year"

Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) recently honored, Ms. Carole Scannell, a 32-year veteran by naming her Teacher of the Year. The 4th Grade teacher at St. Germaine School in Oak Lawn will receive a plaque and a trip to the 2016 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz. She also will represent Illinois in the National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award competition.  Carole has been a strong advocate for agriculture in Cook County where she regularly attends AITC workshops held at the Cook County Farm Bureau, as well as Summer Ag Institutes that are offered each summer.  She returns from these programs and quickly incorporates the new ideas into her lessons. Her enthusiasm for agriculture spills over to fellow teachers. “When I visited her school, her principal said, ‘I don’t know how she (Scannell) got involved in all this farming stuff, but she’s got all the teachers excited,’” stated Diane Merrion, Literacy Co ...

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Sponsorships Available for this year’s Food Checkout Day

Through our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana supporters are able to assist families during the most difficult time of their lives, when their child is ill. Join Cook County Farm Bureau® in celebrating Food Checkout Day 2016!  All proceeds raised will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.  SPONSOR LEVELS Sponsors are invited to participate in the “Countdown” to Food Checkout Day on the Farm Bureau’s Facebook page.  Veggies Sponsor Includes advance promotions and significant event signage $500  Sweet Corn Sponsor Includes advanced promotions and cart signs at grocery store events The carts will be used during the Chicago and Oak Lawn food plate scavenger hunt.  $250 Grains Sponsor Includes event signage Your donation will provide a home cooked meal to families whose child is receiving treatment at a nearby hospital for a week. $150  Countdown ...

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Senate Ag Chair Tours Cook Co. Farms

Sen. Bill Cunningham (pictured right) toured Ted's Greenhouse in Tinley Park.  During the tour, Sen. Cunningham and Farm Bureau leader, Dan Biernacki (pictured in the center) discussed the technology used in modern greenhouses.

Sen. Bill Cunningham (pictured center), recently appointed Senate Ag Committee Chairman discusses equine care, training and boarding as well as horse racing during a recent visit to Rustic Woods Stables.

Turkey Business Stays Close to Home for Kauffman Family

The U.S. tradition of Thanksgiving dates back more than 150 years to 1863 when Abraham Lincoln officially made it a federal holiday. And for more than half the time since then, the Kauffman family has raised a traditional food for the holiday – turkeys -- in DeKalb County.  “My father (Howard Kauffman) came back (to the family farm near Waterman) from the University of Illinois, where he’d written a paper that he thought it would be profitable to raise turkeys in Illinois,” Robert Kauffman told FarmWeekNow. “He convinced his father and started with a flock of about 300 and dressed them in the basement of the house. It slowly grew from there.” More than 80 years later, Kauffman Turkey Farms continue the tradition of producing selected, oven-dressed turkeys. They market the birds across northern Illinois.  This week, the Kauffmans wrap up another season in which they raised about 70,000 turkeys on their farm from eight different hatches between June and Septembe ...

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CCFB Now Accepting Applications for Ag in the Classroom Summer Internship

Annually, the Cook County Farm Bureau® Foundation offers an internship within the Ag in the Classroom (AITC) Department in Countryside, IL. The internship begins in late May and will extend to early August.  We are now taking applications...for more information about the internship and to apply, please click on the link below:

Pass the Gravy; Turkey Supply Adequate for Holiday Season

Americans who enjoy serving turkey for the holidays can maintain that tradition this year. A slight drop in turkey production, caused by the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) earlier this year, won’t create any shortages in the weeks ahead. About 228 million turkeys are slated to be produced this year, down from 237.5 million in 2014. But that’s still more than enough to satisfy demand for the holidays, according to Kimmon Williams, public relations manager for the National Turkey Federation (NTF). “There will be plenty of turkey,” Williams said. “At Thanksgiving, we eat an estimated 46 million turkeys.” Williams notes a large amount of turkey was flash frozen in March, prior to the HPAI outbreak that affected more than 200 farm premises and wiped out about 7 million turkeys. Overall, turkey slaughter so far this year slipped 3.5 percent. But flock numbers are on the rise. "The last case of avian influenza was in June. New turkey poults hatched in ...

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FDA Accepting Public Comment on Term "Natural"

Prompted by citizen petitions, the federal agency announced this week it plans to accept public comments on the matter. The agency said it received three petitions, including one from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, asking the agency to define the word. One petition from the Consumers Union requested the agency prohibit use of the term on food labels. “The FDA has considered the term ‘natural’ to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic  (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food,” according to the FDA. “However, this policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor did it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization or irradiation. The FDA also did not consider whether the term ‘natural’ should describe any nutritional or other health ...

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