Farm Bureau At Work On Many Levels

News and Views Bruce Johnson

bruce-johnsonI’m proud to be employed by an organization like Farm Bureau whose outreach and impact is felt on so many levels and in so many ways. From our engagement with legislators and government officials to our educational outreach to students, consumers and the general public, Farm Bureau’s presence and purpose is far-reaching. Among the recent activities: an Illinois Farm Bureau leadership team is working with other ag interests to study options for stabilization and restoration of the Monarch butterfly population; county Farm Bureaus and IFB signed on to a letter opposing a proposed IRS regulation that would increase death tax implications for small business owners; IFB is supporting another round of Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy initiatives with funding for county Farm Bureaus to carry out programs; and IFB is also providing additional funding for continuation of consumer outreach efforts through Consumer Communications grants.

Locally, we’re working on plans for some educational programming this winter on various topics including farmland assessment and nutrient management, and we’re collaborating with Stephenson Service Company as one of a select few county Farm Bureaus coordinating research and education efforts on nutrient management strategies for crop production. You too can be proud of the work that your Farm Bureau organization is doing, and if you’re not already a member you should definitely consider the value of membership and the return on your investment through these and many other benefits. Call (815) 232-3186 or visit

A joyous birthday
Andrea and I enjoyed an extended weekend trip to Escanaba in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to celebrate granddaughter Sofia’s second birthday on October 9. It was a beautiful drive along Lake Michigan and through Wisconsin’s scenic countryside, and we had a wonderful time with David, Andrea (Dre) and Sofia along with Dre’s family that live in the area up there. While the fall colors had not fully developed in the area, every hotel in the UP was full with many travelers. October is filled with travel as we head to Des Moines October 15-16 for the Des Moines Half Marathon, and then out east later in the month as Dave, Dre and Andrea are running in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C.

Get your nuts and candies ordered!
October 28 is the deadline for ordering those delicious Terri Lynn nuts and candies for your holiday baking, gift or snack needs. We plan to have delivery by November 18 in time for pickup before Thanksgiving, and we will have some extra items on the shelves in our Farm Bureau store for a limited time afterward. Download an order form at or stop in the Farm Bureau office to pick up an order form.

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. This 4’ by 4’ wooden creation features a brilliant red/black/white color scheme and would look nice in any setting. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and can be purchased at the Farm Bureau office, and the drawing will take place on November 29. Don’t miss your chance to own this gem!

More trip enhancements
I previously mentioned the major upgrades planned for spring 2017 for the guest rooms at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor Wisconsin, our home for our Door County Adventure trips. I learned this week that Miller Park in Milwaukee is planning a major overhaul of their food concession options at the ballpark, including expansion of some local food favorites and increased Wisconsin craft beer options. We are planning two trips to Miller Park in 2017 to watch the Cubs and Brewers, and I look forward to seeing the new look and offerings!

Public forums on city manager referendum
I’m excited at the progress and support being experienced by the “Vote Yes for Freeport” campaign, with a referendum on the November 8 ballot to change Freeport’s form of government from a mayor/council system to a city manager/part-time mayor/council format. You will have the opportunity to learn more about this proposal at a town hall meeting on October 25 at 7 p.m. at the Freeport Public Library. There will also be more intimate settings from 8:30-10:30 a.m. on October 17 and 19 at Higher Grounds Coffee, 1709 S. West Avenue in Freeport, and on October 18 and 20 at 9 East Coffee at 9 E. Stephenson Street in Freeport. Come out to one of these events to learn more about this promising opportunity to effect positive changes for a brighter future in Freeport’s government structure!

Indian corn going fast
Our supply of Indian corn grown by Ben Bremmer of Pearl City is quickly dwindling, so be sure to stop in as you prepare for your holiday decorating needs. While you’re here, be sure to stock up on local honey, maple syrup, popcorn, CFP spice, and Henn House BBQ sauce and pick up a new plat book if you haven’t already.

Bruce Johnson is the manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau

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