Stephenson County Farm Bureau News & Views

bruce-johnsonKeltner honored at SCFB annual meeting

The Stephenson County Farm Bureau held its annual meeting for voting members on November 24 at Highland College in conjunction with the annual meeting of Stephenson Service Company. A nice crowd heard the reports of the past year’s activities for both entities, and Doug Scheider presented a very interesting program on his recent trip to Germany as part of the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Market Study Tour. He shared pictures and stories of the many farms and businesses they visited, and he told of the extreme government regulation of agriculture there. Among the policies in place are a requirement for fertility prescriptions that limit timing and amounts of fertilizer applications, and a “greening” statute that requires 5% of the productive crop land to be kept out of production annually and seeded with some type of environmentally beneficial cover crop.

During the SCFB meeting, Ryan Keltner was recognized as he retired from the Board of Directors after 20 years of stellar service. Ryan came on the board as Young Leaders chair and became a director afterward, and he served as president from 2007-2012. Ryan’s wisdom and insight will be greatly missed, and we thank him for his commitment and contributions. Earl Klinger of Pecatonica was elected to a 3-year term on the board to fill the vacancy, along with incumbent directors Kathy Brenner, Steve Fricke, Greg Miller and Dan Scheider. Becca Moest was re-elected to a 1-year term as Young Leaders representative.

In other business, Steve Rothschadl of Lena was honored as the COUNTRY Financial Agent of the Year for his efforts in Farm Bureau membership recruiting. President Steve Fricke wrapped up the FB portion of the evening with a review of the past year and some timely and insightful comments. We thank all who were in attendance.

Socks for Stephenson County
Brittani DeVries, the Education Coordinator for the Conservation & Agricultural Partners (CAP) Foundation, has kicked off a program to help needy individuals in our area. “Socks for Stephenson County” is an initiative to gather new socks of any and all sizes to be distributed through the Salvation Army in Freeport. Good socks are one of the most sought-after essentials during cold weather, and you can help warm the feet and the hearts of those in need. You can drop off your donation at the Farm Bureau office through December 18, and if you know someone in need they can stop by the Salvation Army after that date and get a pair of socks, no questions asked. Thanks Brittani for organizing this project, and thanks to everyone who generously supports it!

Nutrient Management Forum
Plans are being developed for a comprehensive Nutrient Management Forum here at the Farm Bureau on Tuesday February 2 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This program will cover an array of topics including the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy initiative, nitrogen and nutrient monitoring and management, and more. Lunch will be provided and the full agenda will be announced soon, but farmers are encouraged to mark this date on the calendar and plan to attend this informative session. We are working on a grant application to support some local programming next year and hope to be able to launch some new projects.

Nuts and candies
We have a limited supply of Terri Lynn nuts and candies for sale in the FB office, and they make great gifts in addition to being a tasty snack. Supplies won’t last long, so stop in soon to get your fix! We also have local honey, maple syrup, popcorn, and the new Henn House BBQ sauce which is getting good reviews.

Stephenson County Fair
The dates have been set for the 2016 Stephenson County Fair, and it will be moving ahead just slightly to fit into various schedules. The dates will be Wednesday July 6 through Sunday July 10, and committees are meeting and plans being formed for the big event. The next fair board meeting is Thursday December 10 at 7 p.m. at the Farm Bureau, and the public is invited to attend. Regular monthly board meetings are the fourth Thursday at 7 p.m.

Cubs game in Chicago planned
For the first time in my FB management tenure, we are going to take a bus to a Cubs baseball game at the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field in Chicago. We have secured tickets under the roof in section 511 for the Wednesday July 20 game at 1:20 p.m. against the New York Mets, in a renewal of this year’s National League championship matchup. We haven’t finalized the cost but anticipate it to be around $60/person, and you can call the FB office at (815) 232-3186 to get your name on the list as we expect this trip to fill up quickly. We will probably leave early enough to allow people to watch batting practice or enjoy the ambience of Wrigleyville. We will also be scheduling a trip to Miller Park in Milwaukee next summer with a date to be determined after the holidays.

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

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