Kubatzke passing leaves a hole in our hearts
A quiet, relaxing Sunday January 29 was suddenly rocked when I received the e-mail announcing the unexpected passing of Jerry Kubatzke Sr., a well-known and loved figure in the area. My affiliation with Jerry had been primarily through his role as groundskeeper at the Stephenson County Fair for many years, where he had established himself as the go-to guy who knew the fairgrounds and its related events inside and out.
He was a 43-year member of the Freeport Rural Fire Department where he served as 1st Assistant Chief, and he was one of the most dependable and respected members of the force. It was an especially hard blow for that department which has lost four veteran members to unexpected deaths in less than a year.
In the midst of preparations for the 2017 Stephenson County Fair, I know that our board and volunteers will rally together and press on with Jerry’s spirit in our midst.
As chair of the Building and Grounds Committee, my work with Jerry had just ramped up even more, and I always respected his work ethic and dedication as he was always there for me when I needed anything.
The entire Kubatzke family has been integrally involved in the life of the fair and possess great knowledge and ability, and we will pull together to meet the challenges of filling the shoes of a man who selflessly served the area in many ways. Please keep the Kubatzke family in your thoughts and prayers, knowing that the heavenly kingdom just gained a very special guy.
Home sweet home
I’m thrilled to have my wonderful wife Andrea back home after her 3-week visit to see our son Dave and his wife Andrea (Dre) and daughter Sofia in their new home in Yerevan Armenia. We had originally been planning a joint trip at a later point, but a family health emergency expedited the process and Andrea made the trip along with Dre’s mother Marcia. President Trump’s controversial temporary ban on travel from seven nations made international travel somewhat uncertain, and Dave’s work in the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan was greatly impacted as he also deals with U.S. travelers to and from Iran. It’s great to have her home, and we hope to travel to Armenia together at a later date.
Stroke Detection Plus returning
We’re pleased to announce that Stroke Detection Plus will be back at the Farm Bureau for another round of screenings on Thursday February 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Farm Bureau members receive a significant discount on the full package of tests, and you can schedule your appointment by calling (877) 732-8258. SDP has been performing screenings here for well over ten years now, and they have uncovered numerous significant health concerns before they became critical. This program usually fills up, so don’t delay in making your appointment today!
Branson Christmas trip preview
We’ll be holding a preview program for the November 16-20, 2017 Branson Christmas trip being hosted by area Farm Bureaus and Tri-State Travel. This preview will take place on Tuesday February 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Farm Bureau and will be presented by Tri-State’s Jack Wideman. We’ve already had a lot of inquiries about this trip and anticipate a strong response to this popular destination, so join us for the preview and visit www.stephensoncfb.org to see the flyer.
Plans are also being finalized for our 2018 trips to San Antonio/Dallas/Corpus Christi on March 17-26, the North Woods on August 15-19, and two trips to Iceland on September 24-October 1 and October 2-8. We’ll have trip details posted on our website when they’re completed, and preview programs will be announced in the future.
Prep/Freeze/Cook returning on March 14
The Conservation & Agricultural Partners (CAP) Foundation will be sponsoring another Prep/Freeze/Cook fundraiser on Tuesday March 14 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the Farm Bureau. This popular event allows you to purchase 10 pre-packaged main entrees that serve 5 people each for just $160, and you can take them home and stick them in the freezer ready to prepare when your busy schedule calls for a convenient meal option. Watch our website at www.stephensoncfb.org for ordering info or you can call 235-2165 or 232-3186.
Just a reminder that the Farm Bureau office is your source for those excellent Stephenson County plat books produced through the county assessor’s office and their GIS mapping system. These books have detailed maps and related information, including maps of all communities in the county and land transaction info. Cost of the books is $20 plus tax for Farm Bureau members and $25 plus tax for non-members. While you’re here, stock up on the delicious food items for sale in our Farm Bureau store including Raines honey, Knoup’s Best maple syrup, Tee-Lee popcorn, Henn House BBQ sauce, and CFP cooking seasoning (the stuff used by the Pork Producers on those delicious pork chops and burgers).
Local trip update
We’ve added a second bus for our July 28 Cubs/Brewers baseball game at Miller Park in Milwaukee and it’s already over half full, so don’t delay if you want to see a game with us. Only a few seats remain for the April 8 game as well, so call us at (815) 232-3186 to reserve your seats to see the world champion Chicago Cubs battle their divisional rival Milwaukee Brewers!
Bruce Johnson is the Manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau