Stephenson County Farm Bureau News & Views

Trip preview program planned for January 19

bruce-johnsonWe’re pleased to be offering two great travel opportunities in 2016 in cooperation with area Farm Bureaus and Tri-State Travel, and we’ll be holding another preview program on January 19 at the Farm Bureau for those who were unable to attend the previous program. We’ll showcase the “Washington D.C. in the Springtime” trip at 7 p.m., followed by the preview of the “New England Fall Explorer Rail Adventure” around 7:45 p.m. Each trip is offering two dates for your convenience, with the Washington dates on March 30-April 5 or April 6-12 and the New England trip planned for September 23-October 2 or October 1-10. Details on both trips can be found on the SCFB website at or at the Farm Bureau office at 210 W. Spring Street in downtown Freeport. Join us for a look at the two outstanding travel options, and call (815) 232-3186 for more information!

Anniversary cookbook
I’m sure there are women in our area who may have resided at 4-H House while they were students at the University of Illinois, and the sorority celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2014. As part of the celebration, a great cookbook was developed as a fundraiser to help support renovations to the 50-year-old 4-H House property on campus. This great book has recipes for quick meals after work, unique dishes for dinner parties, hearty soups, delicious desserts, kids’ favorites, and large quantity recipes. You can order your copy of the book by calling Bev Haselhorst at (815) 563-4858 or (815) 238-5781.

Family fun
We had a great time on Thanksgiving Day as 30 family members gathered for food, fun and fellowship. We began Thanksgiving Day with our second Johnson/Fisk Family 5K Fun Run in the hilly streets of our neighborhood, with over a dozen family members completing all or part of the course in a steady rain. I’m pleased to say that I ran the whole course non-stop, though it was not a speedy outing on the slippery wet streets. We then gathered at the Farm Bureau for a great lunch and fellowship, with a gaggle of kids keeping the energy level high. It was nice to have such a complete group together, and I hope that all of you enjoyed a relaxing and enjoyable day.

We’re cherishing these family moments as we now have confirmation of the future plans for our younger son Dave, as he got his official invitation to begin his training to become a U.S. diplomat. They will relocate from Milwaukee to Washington D.C. where he will start training at the State Department on January 11, so the process of selling their house will begin in earnest. Training will run for at least 8-10 weeks and potentially longer depending on his first foreign assignment and whether a new language will need to be learned. This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in all of our lives, and we will definitely be making trips to D.C. and eventually to wherever he is deployed. His first stint will likely be 2-4 years and subsequent posts and duration will depend on where vacancies occur. We’re thankful for technology like Skype and video chat as we will watch our granddaughter Sofia growing up in another part of the world.

Beef Quality Assurance program
The Illinois Beef Association will be holding Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) sessions throughout Illinois in December. These sessions serve as the beef industry’s best source of continuing education and will provide producers with up-to-date standards and technologies to improve animal welfare and beef quality. Local meeting dates include December 2 at the Community Building in Elizabeth and December 17 here at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau in Freeport, with both events starting at 6 p.m. BQA is a national program that hopes to raise consumer confidence through offering proper management education and guidelines for the beef industry. A $15 fee includes the cost of a meal and training materials. Pre-registration is encouraged. Attendees should RSVP to the Illinois Beef Association at (217) 787-4280.

As an added incentive, any producers attending the Freeport meeting who sign up as new members of the Stephenson County Beef Association will get their $15 registration fee reimbursed. Contact me at (815) 232-3186 or (815) 499-9387 for more info.

Stroke Detection Plus
Our next Stroke Detection Plus screenings here at the Farm Bureau will be Tuesday January 19, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of this great program. As a reminder, Farm Bureau members are eligible for a significant discount on the full package of four tests; the regular price is $135, but FB members only pay $100 making it very easy to recapture your annual dues investment in just one shot. Call SDP at (877) 732-8258 to schedule your appointment for this fast and simple screening!

Bruce Johnson is the manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau

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