WINNEBAGO-BOONE FARM BUREAU

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Mission Statement

Be the voice, resource, and advocate for farm families and agriculture,
while promoting stewardship for today and future generations.

Cyclists will ride “Nature’s Rollercoaster” for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom

Cyclists will travel through a five county area of northwestern Illinois during the 19th Annual Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (IAITC) Bike Ride.  This cross-country style ride September 1-3, 2014 is an annual fundraiser hosted by the IAA Foundation to support the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program. 

This year’s IAITC Bike Ride highlights routes through Stephenson, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle and Winnebago counties, with lodging and evening activities in the Freeport area.

Riders can participate for one or two days and can choose from routes that run approximately 40 or 80 miles.  Vehicle road support and safely scouted, marked routes are planned.  Participation is flexible, desired riding average speed is 12-15 mph.

“Rider safety is of utmost importance” said Charlie Grotevant, bike ride co-chairman.  “We spend a great deal of time planning the best possible routes for great riding and great views of the countryside.  That’s one of the reasons we’ve had such a great following for nineteen years now.” 

Along each bike route cyclists stop at schools where fun, interactive student assemblies are held.  Cyclists and IAITC staff and volunteers tell students the important story of agriculture.  Equally important, students are reminded about bicycle safety from this group of “pros”.  Evenings are spent experiencing local sites, family farms and hearty meals. 

Make plans to join the ride

The IAA Foundation is now taking registrations to participate in this year's event. 

Special incentives encourage individuals to raise funds for Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom.  Raising $1,000 or more earns a free full ride, a grant and a book pack to a school or library of your choice; raising $500 earns a 50% discount on registration and a free book pack; and those who raise $250 receive a 25% discount on registration.  More details on event registration and how to raise funds to support your ride are available online at IAA Foundation or by calling 309.557.2230.

The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program is dedicated to teaching students the role that farmers and agriculture plays in our everyday lives.   Participation in events like the IAITC Bike Ride helps raise funds to continue agriculture literacy programs and provide free resources to teachers in the classroom. 

Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom is the top funding priority of the IAA Foundation, Illinois Farm Bureau’s® charitable foundation, which funds educational, research, and charitable activities that benefit Illinois farm families and agriculture.


Drive Out Hunger Collectable Tractor
The Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders have teamed up with Feeding America, the nation’s largest food bank to help reduce the number of households in Illinois that faces hunger this year.  You can start a “collection” that will not only help area families, but also increase in value over time.  When you purchase the limited-edition tractor collectable, 100% of the profits will go to Harvest for All!

The1:32 scale metal die-cast, Illinois Farm Bureau, Steiger® 450 RowTrac TM is fully equipped with an opening cab door, opening hood, articulated body, detailed engine, movable 3-point hitch with draw bar, movable mirrors, a detailed interior, and a GPS dome.  The tractors are available for $60.00 through the Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader Department at 1701 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, IL  61701.  For details contact the Young Leader Department at 309-557-2536 or download an ORDER FORM.  This is a limited edition of 276 tractors, so order yours today.



Picture Illinois- 2014 Member Photo Contest (June 1- November 1)

The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) is once again asking its members to bring rural life into focus by taking and submitting pictures for the annual member photography contest. 

Picture Illinois, the 2014 Member Photo Contest, is open to Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau/ IFB members and their families.  The contest is limited to photos taken in Illinois in 2012 or after, by amateur photographers.

Entrants can submit their photos to one of three categories, including “Country Kids,” “Rural Routes” and “These Boots Are Made For…”. The grand prize winner will receive $150, while three first place winners will receive $75 each, three second place winners will receive $25 each and the photo selected as “Members’ Choice” at IFB’s 2014 Annual Meeting in December will receive $50. 

The contest runs from June 1 to Nov. 1, 2014. Winners will be announced in the Spring 2015 issue of Partners magazine and in FarmWeek in January, 2015. Employees and immediate family members of Illinois Farm Bureau and its affiliated companies are not eligible. To view previous winning photos, obtain the complete contest rules and to enter online, go to www.ilfbphotos.org. For questions, or to obtain the contest rules and entry form by mail, contact Dawn Heggie at 309-557-2293 or dheggie@ilfb.org.




ASK A FARMER!


Do you have questions about agriculture and wish to know the answer?  Here is your chance! 

2014
Q: How many hours a day does a farmer work?
A: Depends on the farm operation.  I raise beef cattle as well as produce corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and hay.  In the summer months, I typically work 16 days.-David

Q: Can there be more than one queen bee in a hive?
A: No, there is only one queen bee in each hive.- Phillip, Raines Honey Farm


Q: How many honey bees does it take to make enough honey to fill a 12 oz. bear?
A: It takes 12 honey bees make one tablespoon of honey.  Therefore, it will take 864 honeybees to make enough honey to fill a 12 oz. bear bottle.- Phillip, Raines Honey Farm

2013
Q: When a farmer does crop dusting, does he do it or does his brother/hired guy?
A: The Farmer generally hires an outside source or company to spray (crop dusting) for them due to requirements for licenses, insurance and experience.- Cody

Q: What percentage of crops grown and sold in Boone County are organic? GMOs and non-GMOs?
A: "Short answer is no one knows... The most recent USDA Ag Census data lists Boone county as having 137,000 acres in farmland in 2007.  While it may look like it, not all acres are corn and soybean fields.  Of the acres planted in 2007, 59% were planted to field corn, 24% to soybeans, 3.5% to alfalfa and other forage (mainly used to feed cows, horses, and other ruminants), and 2% to wheat.  The remaining acres are a diverse mix such as nursery trees, fruits, vegetables, and pasture for animals.  


Seed that has been developed with a genetically modified organism (GMO) is most often found in corn and soybean seed varieties.  Farmers do not have any wheat GMO seed varieties that they can buy.  Most of the fruit and vegetable production is produced for local food markets and is mainly organic and non-GMO. 

So that leaves corn and soybeans.  I have grown both GMO and non-GMO varieties.  What I plant depends on; seed variety yield, the weeds and insects that I find in my fields, and market prices.  I sell my grain to two local elevators.  One contracts directly with farmers to raise specific varieties of corn and soybeans depending on what a buyer such as a food processor wants.  The grain buyer at that elevator estimated about 90% of the soybean seed varieties grown in the local area are GMO and 80% of the corn.  

Working through the math, a good estimate would be about 70% of the farm land acres in Boone County are grown using a GMO seed variety."- Ken

Q: Why do honeybees make honey?
A: Honey bees make honey to feed the hive and store enough to get through the winter.  If there is extra, that is what the beekeeper. -Phillip, Raines Honey Farm

Q: What starts their (honey bees) honeycomb?
A: When honey bees eat nectar and honey, they secrete wax on their abdomen (same as people grow hair).  They use this wax to build the honeycomb.  TRIVIA: 1 pound of honeycomb will support 24 pounds of honey. -Phillip, Raines Honey Farm






Agricultural Security & Terrorism Awareness


In January 2013, the Winnebago Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in partnership with Win-Bur-Sew Fire Department hosted an information meeting on “Agricultural Security & Terrorism”.  The presentation was given by Steffan Nass, Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator- FBI’s Springfield Division. 

Agro-Terrorism is defined as the deliberate introduction, use, or threatened use, of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive agent against one or more components of the food or agriculture sectors, with the goal of causing mortality or morbidity, generating fee, precipitating economic loss, or undermining sector stability and confidence in government.

Here are a few indicators of Agro-Terrorism.

  • Suspicious persons asking specific questions about a facility or process.
  • Unauthorized photography of processes in or around facilities or farms.
  • Possessions of chemicals, biological agents, vaccines, or medication with no apparent purpose
  • Manuals, communications, or websites pertaining to chemicals or biological agents
  • Attempts to rent or borrow ag-related equipment for no logical reason or purpose
  • Thefts of anhydrous ammonia or other fertilizer products
  • Thefts of livestock

 Agricultural Retail Facilities should report any of the following:

  • Any attempted purchases of pesticides by those not authorized or those without need
  • ALL security breaches if applicable
  • Suspicious activity around anhydrous ammonia storage facilities
  • Suspicious attempts to purchase fertilizer (such as ammonium nitrate, or agricultural use pesticides) by unfamiliar or suspicious persons

Producers and Auction Markets should report any of the following:

  • Suspicious behavior around farms or ranch operations
  • Theft of nurse tanks containing agricultural use pesticides or hazardous materials (Report Immediately)
  • Unusual symptoms or behavior in livestock
  • Sudden unexplained death or loss in livestock
  • Severe illness in large numbers of animals
  • Suspicious illnesses among employees

Aerial Applicators should report any tampering or attempts to purchase or rent aircraft or chemicals. 


Suspicious signs and symptoms of illnesses in employees should be reported to your local health department.  Health officials should be made aware of the emergency, normal duties and any contact with sick animals that may have led to the illness.  Details of contact with feed products, medical supplies, or chemicals that the employee may have had contact with should also be noted.


Suspicious signs and symptoms of illnesses in animals (such as blistering or ruptured blisters around the mouth, nose, teats, or hooves; central nervous system disorders that prevent the animal from rising or walking normally; loss of appetite and conditioning; swelling around the eyes and neck in poultry; dramatic drop in egg or milk production; large number of dead insects, rodents or wildlife; and unusual ticks or maggots) should be reported to your veterinarian.

If a crime is in progress, CALL 9-1-1 immediately.  If you have information about a crime, or to report suspicious activity, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (217) 522-9675.  The following information is needed: 

  • Your location
  • What activity is occurring
  • If a weapon is involved
  • Location of the activity
  • Description and license plates of any vehicles involved (make, model, color and direction of travel)
  • Description of persons (race, age, height, weight)
  • Your contact information

This information was provided by the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group.  The Illinois Agro-Security Working group is a partnership between frontline agricultural industry personnel and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for the purpose of preventing criminal and terrorist activities in and around Illinois agriculture and food systems.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Fertilizer Chemical Association, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, and the United States Department of Agriculture form the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group.

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Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau® is affiliated with the Illinois Farm Bureau®. Illinois Farm Bureau® is a member of the
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