Stephenson County, Illinois — In cooperation with several other county Farm Bureaus and Lindstrom Travel, we’re pleased to offer two more great trip opportunities in the near future, and we’ll be holding a preview program at the Farm Bureau building on Monday February 26 at 6:30 p.m. to share the details. We’re going back to sunny Pasadena California December 30, 2018-January 3, 2019 for the fabulous Rose Bowl Parade, and this trip will be even better than the popular experience of two years ago. Improved hotel accommodations and additional amenities will make this a great winter getaway, with exclusive seats for the parade and a tour of the float-building area.
If you’re looking for an even bigger adventure, plans are being developed for a spectacular fly-and-cruise excursion to Hawaii on April 17-29, 2019. You’ll fly from Chicago to Honolulu and spend the front end of the trip touring and cruising the islands, concluding with a great Pacific Ocean cruise that ends in Vancouver (making for a much shorter flight home). Join us on February 26 at 6:30 p.m. for a closer look at these two terrific trips!
Deere/Kinze trip finalized
Plans are in place for our March 27 bus trip with tours of the John Deere Harvester Works and John Deere Pavilion in the Quad Cities and Kinze Manufacturing in Williamsburg Iowa. The trip departs from Wal-Mart at 6:00 a.m. for our 8:00 a.m. riding tour of the world’s largest combine assembly plant, followed by an hour at Deere’s great visitor display and gift shop at the Pavilion. Lunch will be on your own at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop, followed by the riding tour at Kinze and their Innovations Center. This trip is limited to 47 people due to tour constraints and it usually fills up quickly, so call us at (815) 232-3186 to sign up – details are available in the FB office or at www.stephensoncfb.org.
SWCD sales underway
The Stephenson County Soil and Water Conservation District annual tree sale is underway and order deadline is March 9. Each year the District sells bare root tree, evergreen and shrub seedlings to increase energy conservation and/or habitat cover for wildlife. These plants are for conservation purposes only and shall not be used as ornamentals or for landscaping.
Trees are sold in bundles of 10, 25 and 100. Evergreens available include Concolor Fir, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, White Spruce and American Arborvitae. Deciduous Trees include Northern Pecan, Black Walnut, Sycamore, Burr Oak, Northern Red Oak, Pin Oak, White Oak, Swamp White Oak, Red Maple and Sugar Maple. New this year are Kentucky Coffeetree, Quaking Aspen and Shagbark Hickory. Shrubs available include Allegheny Serviceberry, Redosier Dogwood, Highbush Cranberry, Nannyberry and American Plum. Additional items for sale include marking flags, Plantskydd Animal Repellent, tree mats, tree tubes and stakes along with bat houses, bluebird houses and wood duck houses. Tree order pick-up is scheduled for April 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Stephenson County Fairgrounds. Order forms can be picked up at the District office or printed from www.stephensonswcd.org. Orders and payment must be mailed to or dropped off at the Stephenson SWCD office, 1620 S. Galena Avenue, Freeport IL.
The district’s spring fish sale is also underway. Fish that can be ordered include: channel catfish, albino catfish, largemouth bass, hybrid sunfish, red-ear sunfish, bluegill, black crappies, fat head minnows, and grass carp. The various species can be ordered for stocking new and existing ponds. Grass carp orders must be placed by April 4 with all other species by April 13, and delivery will be at the USDA/SWCD office parking lot at 11:00 a.m. on April 23. Order forms can be picked up at the District office or printed from the SWCD website at www.stephensonswcd.org. Orders and payment must be mailed to or dropped off at the Stephenson SWCD office, 1620 S. Galena Avenue, Freeport IL.
A new experience
I got to see my first professional hockey game recently as I participated in State Bank of Freeport’s holiday party for its employees and directors. We enjoyed the hospitality in the Hog Heaven deck at the BMO Harris Center in Rockford, where we saw the Rockford Ice Hogs pull out an exciting 4-3 overtime victory in a shootout against Cleveland. I was thoroughly impressed with the athleticism and agility of these men in the frantically-paced game, though I was quite surprised at one thing. I had always envisioned hockey players to be of moderate frame, say in the 6-foot range, but there were a number of players on both teams standing 6-4 or taller, including one Ice Hog at 6-9. It was a fun evening with friends, and I also ran into my friend Roger Christin, retired manager of the Winnebago County Farm Bureau.
Forreston Toy Show
The annual Forreston FFA Alumni Toy and Craft Show is scheduled for Saturday March 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Forreston Jr./Sr. High Complex. This popular event features a silent auction, raffles, and countless vendors and exhibitors with food available, and the cost is just $3 for ages 5 and above. Illinois Director of Agriculture Raymond Poe is slated to attend, and legendary farm broadcaster Max Armstrong has been invited as well. You can visit www.forrestonffalumni.org or call Rick Garnhart at (815) 238-3044 for more information.
Bruce Johnson is the manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.