Stephenson County, Illinois — Approximately 100 guests attended the joint annual meetings of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau and Stephenson Service Company on November 22 at Highland Community College. The evening began with the Farm Bureau meeting led by President Steve Fricke, who highlighted various programs and activities from the past year. Director Kathy Brenner supervised the election of five at-large directors for three-year terms: Scott Brenner, Brian Dinderman, Greg Kent, Jon Rosenstiel and Warren Zumdahl. Becca Moest was re-elected to another one-year term as Young Leaders representative on the board.
Several special recognitions took place, including COUNTRY Financial representative Tom Edler earning his second Agent of the Year award recognizing his efforts in Farm Bureau membership recruitment. Recognized for attendance at board meetings were: Perfect attendance: Steve Fricke, Dennis Groezinger, Earl Klinger, and Jon Rosenstiel; One absence – Chad Bremmer, Kathy Brenner, Wendell DeVries, Chris Dornink, and Dan Scheider; Two absences: Brian Dinderman, Andrew Garnhart, Becca Moest, and Warren Zumdahl.
Vice President Chad Bremmer was honored as he stepped down after 12 years on the board, during which he was a significant contributor to the success of the organization. Chad and Deb were IFB Young Leader Achievement Award winners in 2009 and Chad served as District 2 YL rep on the state YL board and also chaired the board. The Bremmer family has hosted many tours at their farm and plan to stay involved in this regard, and we thank Chad for his exemplary leadership as he shifts his attention for now to his busy family and other leadership obligations.
Conservation & Agricultural Partners (CAP) Foundation Education Coordinator Brittani DeVries reported on her activities in the past year, and she introduced Lisa Corp as our SCFB Teacher of the Year for 2015-16. This is the second award for Lisa, who teaches a combined 2nd-3rd grade classroom at Open Bible Learning Center in Freeport, and again this year she was one of five finalists for the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Teacher of the Year award (the tenth consecutive year that SCFB’s winner was a state finalist).
During the SSC meeting, retiring director Jim Klever of Lena was recognized for 24 years of service on the SSC board of directors. He will be succeeded by Todd Schlachter of Lena, who joins a veteran board that leads the successful coop under the guidance of General Manager Jay Kempel and his staff. The evening concluded with an excellent performance by the Freeport High School Varsity Choir under the direction of Daniel Wessler and Derek Simons.
Socks for Stephenson County
The CAP Foundation is again sponsoring Socks for Stephenson County to help families in need in Stephenson County to have new socks this winter. Socks of any size should be brought to the Farm Bureau office by December 22, and all donations will be forwarded to the Freeport Salvation Army. If you know of someone who needs a new pair of socks, go to the Freeport Salvation Army and pick up a pair after the drive has ended – no questions asked!
Drop off a farm toy
We’re pleased to be assisting the Salvation Army with their upcoming toy drive on December 9 by soliciting new farm toys for distribution to needy children this Christmas. You can drop off any new farm toy, stuffed farm animal, etc. at the Farm Bureau before December 8, and we’ll deliver everything to their 12-hour collection at Highland College on the 9th. Let’s help put a smile on a bunch of kids’ faces this Christmas as the compassion and spirit of the ag community spreads far and wide!
Caregivers sought for Stephenson County
Comfort Keepers is seeking compassionate people interested in providing care to seniors in the county, assisting with light housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation and personal care. Full training and support is provided and scheduling is compatible with the caregiver’s lifestyle – contact Susan Smith at (815) 229-9100 or visit Rockford-198.ComfortKeepers.com.
FSA reporting deadline
The deadline for farmers to report perennial forage and fall seeded crops (such as wheat) to the Farm Service Agency office is December 15th. Producers can call (815) 235-2161, extension 2 for an appointment or stop into the office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Summer Ag Institute
Plans are developing for our Summer Ag Institute for teachers in Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll and Ogle counties, with the course set for June 12-16, 2017. This comprehensive immersion into the world of agriculture gives teachers a broad look at the diversity and impact of ag in our lives, and provides practical means for them to incorporate that information into their classroom curriculum. The class, which is available for graduate credit or professional development hours, includes two days of interactive classroom presentations along with three days of field trips to farms and agribusinesses in Stephenson, Jo Daviess and Carroll counties. Complete details will be forthcoming, and we encourage any teachers who have not yet taken this very popular course to take a look – call me at 232-3186 for more info!
Bruce Johnson is the Manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau