This Week From The Stephenson County Farm Bureau

Join us for the Hawkeye Ag Tour!

bruce-johnsonWe have a great trip planned to Iowa this summer as our June 28-29 Hawkeye Ag Tour takes us on a fun and interesting 2-day trek. We’ll depart Freeport at 5:30 a.m. on day one with a rest stop on our way to our 10:00 a.m. tour at Lely Manufacturing in Pella, where they manufacture a variety of livestock equipment lines including robotic dairy milking systems. We’ll enjoy a buffet lunch at the Monarch Restaurant in the beautiful Royal Amsterdam Hotel, and then we’ll head to our 2:00 p.m. tour at Vermeer Manufacturing, a worldwide manufacturer of agricultural, construction and specialty equipment. We’ll then travel to our overnight stay in Des Moines, where we’ll enjoy a fun night at Principal Park watching the Iowa Cubs (the AAA affiliate of the world-champion Chicago Cubs) battle the New Orleans Marlins.

Day two starts with breakfast at the hotel and a visit to the Monsanto Learning Center at Huxley, followed by a fascinating tour of the cotton harvester assembly line at the John Deere Des Moines Works near Ankeny. We’ll have box lunches on the bus as we travel to Williamsburg for our final tour stop at Kinze Manufacturing, where we’ll visit their amazing Innovations Center and tour the manufacturing facilities. Kinze has evolved from its birth as Jon Kinzenbaw’s tiny welding shop to a global ag equipment manufacturer of multiple product lines employing over 650 people. Complete trip details can be found online at www.stephensoncfb.org or in the FB office, and you can call (815) 232-3186 for more information.

IPPA scholarships available
The Illinois Pork Producers Association is offering scholarships to a total of nine students through the IPPA Scholarship program. The scholarships will be awarded as follows: Three Gold Scholarships at $2,000 each; three Silver Scholarships at $1,500 each; and three Bronze Scholarships at $1,000 each. Funding for these scholarships is made possible through the Keppy Foundation. Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate or be enrolling to begin in the fall of 2017 to be eligible. IPPA Scholarships are open to students pursuing any undergraduate degree at any two-year or four-year college. Previous winners may apply for any scholarship level. Applicants must submit a completed application form, transcripts, and a list of activities. In addition, applicants must submit a typed essay identifying how they plan to contribute to the pork industry. Application deadline is April 1 at http://ilpork.com/producers/pork-youth/article/ippa-scholarship-opportunities.

Candidates Forum scheduled
SCFB is pleased to again be co-sponsoring a Candidates Forum in cooperation with the League of Women Voters, to be held on Tuesday March 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Highland Community College’s Newell Room in the Student Conference Center. The forum will include brief comments by candidates for Highland College Board of Trustees, Freeport School Board, Freeport Park District Board, and Freeport Township trustee (3-1/2 minutes each) and by the candidates for Freeport treasurer and Freeport Township Supervisor (5 minutes each). The balance of the program will be devoted to questions and answers by the three candidates for the Freeport mayoral seat, which will now become a part-time position with the adoption of the city manager form of government effective in May 2017. We encourage everyone to be an informed voter by attending!

Forreston Toy & Craft Show
One of the area’s biggest farm toy and craft shows is coming up on Saturday March 11 at the Forreston Junior/High School from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Forreston FFA Alumni, the event will feature over 50 exhibitors, a silent auction, raffles and more with a great lunch stand. Toy show inquiries can be directed to Rick Garnhart at (815) 238-3044, and information on the craft show is available from Cathy Kohlbauer at (815) 275-6710. General admission is $3 with kids 5 and under admitted free.

Sign up for Farm-to-Farm 5K and Fun Run!
Registration information is now posted on our website for the Young Leaders “Farm-to-Farm 5K and Fun Run” on Saturday April 1 in the Winslow area. This fun family event starts with registration at 8:30 at Kent Farms, 12662 N. Christian Hollow Road, followed by our “Chore Boot 40-yard Dash” for all ages at 9:30 a.m. The 5K kicks off at 10:00 a.m. and runs an out-and-back course south on Christian Hollow Road to the turnaround just past High Plains Pork. The scenic, slightly rolling course will feature numerous highlighted farmsteads, farm equipment displays, and signage highlighting agriculture in Stephenson County. There will be age group and overall awards, finisher medals, and awesome t-shirts, and proceeds will benefit the Agriculture-in-the-Classroom program in Stephenson County coordinated by the Conservation and Agricultural Partners (CAP) Foundation. Sign up today at www.stephensoncfb.org or call us at (815) 232-3186, and you can register online at www.GetMeRegistered.com/FarmToFarm5K.

Ag Awareness Lunch and Learn Series
Don’t forget to sign up for our informative series of programs on the four Tuesdays in March at the Farm Bureau – details at www.stephensoncfb.org or by calling (815) 232-3186.

Bruce Johnson is the Manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.

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