This Week’s Stephenson County Farm Bureau News And Views

Freeport, Il – An extended stretch of family fun
Andrea and I had a great time recently as we hosted both of our Des Moines granddaughters for their own stays with the grandparents, culminated by the entire gang joining us for the weekend. Precocious and free-spirited Cora, who will turn 7 on July 28, came to visit July 8-11, with delightful big sister Claire (9) switching places with her from July 12-15. Each girl had their own special activities and preferences, and we really enjoyed our time with them. The weekend was filled with fun and games, with Mike and I getting in two rounds of disc golf and several great card games. A family trip to Union Dairy on Sunday wrapped up a fun time together, and we’ll look forward to seeing them again soon as Cassie and the kids are going to compete in the Lincoln-Douglas 5K and the kids races on August 13. We’re working our way up to adding Clay to the schedule for his own visit in the coming years as he gets a bit older.

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
After enjoying breakfast with my good friend and former boss Donn Fisher in Delavan Wisconsin on July 19, I made the short trek to rural Lake Geneva for the 2016 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days on a hot, sunny day. The host farm, Snudden Farms, provided a great site for this excellent show, and I enjoyed the riding tour of their farming operation along with the huge tent city display area and field demonstrations. The show moves to different parts of the state each year and will be in the northeast part of the state next year, so I was glad to seize the opportunity when it was so close. It was also a nice drive as I got to view our excellent crop conditions.

Honey inventory replenished
After an extended shortage, I’m happy to report that we have a good supply of honey from Raines Honey Farms back on our shelves at the FB office. We also have local maple syrup, Tee-Lee popcorn, and the delicious CFP seasoning spice for your grilling needs.

Don’t forget to place your orders for those sensational Cresthaven freestone peaches from Rendleman Orchards, scheduled for delivery on August 9. Cost for a 25# box is just $27 for FB members and $32 for non-members, and orders with payment must be received by August 5.

United Way reaches goal
I’m pleased to report that the United Way of Northwest Illinois has reached its campaign goal for the 2015-16 campaign year which concluded June 30, and sincere thanks are due to all who made it possible. Campaign chair Andrea Moring led an engaged and dedicated cabinet that was supported by the outstanding UWNI board of directors, Executive Director Tiffany Nieman, and Brand & Operations Manager Lisa Bull. Mostly, I want to thank everyone who shared their financial and human resources to help the cause this year – we have a lot of exciting things happening and more on the horizon, and I appreciate the chance to be involved with this great effort.

Another tragic passing rocks our area
On the heels of the sudden passing of two members of the Freeport Rural Fire Department in recent weeks (Denny Manus and David Clark), we were stunned by the unexpected passing of Eric Kohlbauer of rural Freeport on July 12 at the young age of 52. Eric, a 29-year veteran of the department, had just ascended to the rank of Captain and was participating in a training exercise when he was stricken by a ruptured aorta that proved to be fatal. Eric’s widow Cathy is the sister of SCFB president Steve Fricke, and sons Grant and Garrett are involved with our Young Leaders group. Please keep the family and friends in your prayers during this difficult time, and we especially send prayers for strength to Freeport Rural as they mourn the loss of three key members of their team in three weeks.

Fair Oaks Farms trip now full
We have filled our bus for the August 20 trip to Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana, and we’re starting a standby list in the event of cancellations. We are also down to just 10 seats left for our November 10 trip to the Fireside Dinner Theatre in Ft. Atkinson Wisconsin for the holiday classic “A Fireside Christmas”. Details can be found at or by calling the FB office at (815) 232-3186.

Barn quilt raffle
The Stephenson County Beef Association is holding a raffle for a beautiful barn quilt designed by SCBA Ambassador Abby Endress and her grandmother, and the quilt is on display at the FB office. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and can be purchased at the FB office, and the drawing will take place on November 29.

One more fair note
I failed to recognize the winners of the Chicken Scratch at the July 6 Youth & Family Night event at the Stephenson County Fair. Capturing birds and claiming prizes were 5-year-olds Xairyn Goeddeke, Colson Lamm, and Rowan Stache; 6-year-olds Brogan Keltner, Drake Merriam, and Deaken Hofeorter; and 7-year-olds Eli Bremmer, Nathan Stache, and Sydney Gassman.

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

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