From the monthly archives:

July, 2016

Urban Families Dialogue with Farm Bureau Members at Brookfield Zoo

Amy Hansmann (wearing blue), a member of the Public Relations Committee interacts with families during Summer Nights at the Brookfield Zoo.

Urban Farmer Training Program -Registration Underway -

Dates: September 14 – November 16, 2016
Time: Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm + Saturday October 1, 2016 Urban Farm Tour
Location: Prairie State College
Matteson Area Center
4821 Southwick Drive
Matteson, IL 60443
Cost: $150 (limited scholarships for qualified individuals from food insecure and underserved communities)
Mission Statement: The Master Urban Farmer Training Program is designed to provide new urban farmers in Cook County the introductory knowledge and skills to start an urban farm. At the end of the program, it is expected that participants will be able to write a viable business plan and have the information necessary to move forward with their urban farming goals.
For additional information go to: Urban Farmer Training Program Details Here

Farm Owners Attend MWRD Community Meeting

Don Verduin, Mark Verduin, and Ruth Zeldenrust discuss the Metropolitan Water District’s $3.4 million water retention project in Chicago Heights with MWRD engineers Gregory Koch and Mike Cosme during a community meeting hosted by Zeldenrust Farm Market and the Cook County Farm Bureau.

Cook County Legislator Tours Farms

State Representative Jaimie Andrade Jr. (pictured in black) discussed wheat harvest with McHenry County farmer John Bartman (pictured in blue).  Representative Andrade toured farms through the Adopt-a-Legislator® program. 

Members Invited to Attend a Policy Discussion with the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability on September 13

Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability will discuss the economic status of the state on September 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cook County Farm Bureau office (6438 Joliet Road, Countryside).

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability was formed in 2000 to be a bipartisan, nonprofit research, and advocacy think tank that works across ideological lines to promote social and economic justice for everyone, from traditionally disadvantaged populations to the middle-class.

For additional information about any of these events, please contact us at (708) 354-3276.

Legislative Staff Visit Cook County Agri-business Sites


Naaman Gambil with the Westside Bee Boyz shows Staff Exchange participants a honeycomb.  The Westside Bee Boyz, based in Chicago, maintains 80 hives in northeastern Illinois.  The Cook County Staff Exchange Program strives to connect Cook County leaders to agricultural businesses in an effort to broaden their knowledge of farming while enhancing Farm Bureau’s relationship with the office.


Cook County Farm Bureau board member, Janet McCabe (pictured left) and Micaela Smith, legislative staff member for State Representative Marcus Evans examine byproducts of distilling during a distillery tour and tasting at KOVAL.  KOVAL is the first distillery in Chicago since the mid-1800s. 

National Leadership Committee Tours Cook County Farms

Members of the American Farm Bureau Federation® Women’s Leadership Committee look at new plantings during a tour of Ted’s Greenhouse in Tinley Park.  The Women’s Leadership program provides women with the training and education they need to become powerful advocates for today’s agriculture. The program provides women with leadership training, communication skills, and networking to strengthen their ability to encourage positive change in their communities and in the agricultural industry.

Join Farm Bureau at Summer Nights at the Brookfield Zoo

Looking for somewhere to spend a fun night with the whole family this summer?  Head to Summer Nights at the Brookfield Zoo on Saturday July 30 and August 12.

Enjoy activities for all ages, including live entertainment, a kid’s stage, great food, and a laser light show.

Cook County Farm Bureau proudly partners with the Brookfield Zoo as a way to reach out to consumers.  Join us this summer!  For more information visit

Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

Years ago I married my farmer.  Quietly.  Without a lot of pomp and circumstance.  Under an oak tree at my grandparents’ farm. We sold that farm in 2003.  Now rather than growing corn and soybeans, it grows trees.  Lots of trees.  And 90-acres of our soybeans. My farmer and I moved to his family farm and set-up shop.  Our 100 plus year-old farmhouse needed love.  More love and attention than either of us had.  We quickly learned that fixing up an older house was not our bailiwick.  Soon we packed our dog, two cats, and a (our favorite) rabbit and moved 30 miles away.  My farmer didn’t take well to living in town.  Our doors were locked.  Windows locked.  Blinds drawn.  Our dog was incensed every time someone dared to go near his property.  But soon we settled in. We comprised on the windows.  We still lock our doors.  We bid adieu to our favorite rabbit and our favorite cat.  We welcomed our kids. A ...

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Downwind by Bob Rohrer, CAE, FBCM, Manager

“Simple” I like life to be “simple”. Example… I simply pay $101 to the Secretary of State to receive a tiny sticker to put on my license plate so that I do not receive a “love note” from a police officer. My SUV is 12 years old with 130,000 miles on it. I don’t drive it a lot but it gets me where I want to go when I want to be there. It has been dependable in the city, on the farm and in the mountains. The only issue is the “Check Engine Light” is lit frequently.  I’ve had it checked out by various mechanics over the years and the diagnosis has been consistent… “The gas cap does not maintain a perfect seal, causing the check engine light to pop on. Try buying a new gas cap”. Simple. Being a Man, I’ve felt no rush to buy a new one since it was “only” a gas cap. That was “Fine” until I realized my state license plate renewal was due April 30th and the calendar said May. Most Illinoisans ...

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