Manager’s Article August 19, 2016

GayMonsanto Grant – Utah Concealed Carry Class – Lock Out/Tag Out
Gay Bowlin, Manager

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is an opportunity for you to send in your entry for a $2,500 Grant to be awarded to the non-for-profit of your choice. Those who are eligible to apply must not be officers, directors or employees of Monsanto or spouses or domestic partners of any of the above. You must be at least 21 years of age or older and are actively farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or 40 acres of open-field vegetables or at least 10 acres tomatoes, peppers, and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture (glasshouse, nethouse, plastic).
You can go to the website at www.growcommunities.com and submit a short application or call 1-877/267-3332. The Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation which represents the Ag in the Classroom would greatly appreciate it if you would do this and then if you are awarded this grant just tell them that you would like for it to go to us. Again, it is a short process and if you have any questions or need any help please don’t hesitate to call the office at 435-3616.
Illinois farmers rated 83 percent of corn and 79 percent of soybeans in good to excellent condition as crops mature toward harvest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday.
Lock Out/Tag Out Packets available now.
What is Lock Out/Tag Out?
Tag Out protects a worker by warning others not to turn on equipment while working inside a grain bin, around augers, or servicing machinery. Tag out is a minimal safety procedure for farmers who are not subject to OSHA regulations. The best practice is to both Lock Out and Tag Out equipment. Those subject to OSHA regulations must follow the complete lockout/tagout (LOTO) standard.
How does it work?
All energy sources are disconnected and tagged in the off position. Each person involved in the work activity tags out the power so they have control of the energy source. No one else can remove the tag. The tag warns others to prevent them from accidentally turning on the equipment or machine.
When do you need to perform Tag Out?
Before entry into a grain bin
Before repairs, maintenance or service on equipment
Before any work that requires a person to place any part of their body in the point of operation.
Each packet includes 6 re-usable danger signs to write on, a dry erase marker, zip ties and instructions. Stop by the office and pick your packet up today – let’s be safe on the job.

Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

West City Fall Fest

Annual Fall Festival

The Village of West City will be holding it’s 6th Annual Fall Festival on September 17 from noon to 10 p.m. at the West City Community Center.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom will be on hand with a petting zoo and there will be tractors – both old and new – on display. The Franklin County Young Leaders will be selling hot dogs, chips and drinks beginning at noon and then Uncle Joe’s BBQ will be on hand from 6 p.m to 7 p.m and The Old 37 Bank will play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There will be inflatabke bounce houses, hay rides and buggy rides, fire trucks rides and stop by and see the Smoke House. There will also be a chance to drive the Illinois State Police “Drive for Life Course” were you wear “beer” goggles and drive a gold cart through a designated course to see what it would be like to drive impared.
Several craft and informational booths will be set up as well.
For event and booth information call (618) 438-6131.

UTAH CONCEAL CARRY CLASS

$65.00 for Farm Bureau Members
October 29th, 2016 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Utah Non-Resident Permit Training
No FOID Card Needed, No Written Tests,
No Shooting Qualification

Course is all classroom theory, no firearms qualification involved for Utah Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permit. Travelers it is time to add this one to your wallet or purse. This is the most popular concealed carry permit in the nation and is recognized in 32 States, including all Illinois’ contiguous states.  The permit costs only $49.00 and  is good for 5 years and the renewal cost is only $15.00! We are offering the entire permit package from start to finish in a one session 4 hour course, with application, finger printing, notary and photo for $65.00 for Farm Bureau Members or $85.00 for non-members. Participant must bring their Illinois drivers license.  Payment and registration can be made by credit card at http://www.extremeexigency.com/services.  Payment can also be made the day of training by cash/checks or money order. If you have any further questions please call 314-925-0869.  To register call the Franklin County Farm Bureau at 618-435-3616 or 314-925-0869.  Register early due to limited seating.

Disclaimer Utah non-resident permit is not honored in the State of Illinois.  Illinois residents are still required to obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry permit to legally carry a concealed firearm in Illinois.

Forby, Bradley Receive “Friend of Ag Award”.

BradleyFranklin County Farm Bureau president Leon McClerren was proud to present Senator Gary Forby and Representative John Bradley with the Friend of Ag Award.
Senator Forby and Representative Bradley both spoke to the crowd of 40 attendees at a breakfast meeting held at the Franklin County Farm Bureau Building. They emphasized the fact that they are aware of the issues that are important to the farmers and farming community. Senator Forby stated that “with agriculture being the number one industry in Southern Illinois it is always important to take note of these issues and vote accordingly.” Representative Bradley reiterated this statement and added “our voting record speaks for itself – we want what is best for Southern Illinois and the farming community”. Both emphasized the importance of the Action Request phone calls that are made by Franklin County and thank everyone who has called and voiced their concerns.
The designation as a Friend of Agriculture is not given lightly. A legislator must have a genuine support of the agricultural industry in Illinois to be given this award.”
Legislators have to earn a 60% or higher voting record, be accessible to their respective county Farm Bureaus, show leadership on agricultural issues, be responsive to contacts, become a sponsor or co-sponsor of Farm Bureau priority legislation, and have a pro-growth/pro-agriculture attitude.
Senator Gary Forby earned a 98% voting record and Representative John Bradley earned a voting record of 89% on 21 different legislative items from the 2015-2016 legislative session.
Both Senator Forby and Representative Bradley have continuously proven that they are leaders for agriculture and Southern Illinois. They have taken on some of Springfield’s biggest legislative challenges and made sure that they were addressed properly.
The designation of a Friend of Agriculture by IFB ACTIVATOR places Representative Bradley and Senator Forby in a group of select individuals in the state who understand the leading role Illinois agriculture play in the economy of our state and nation. Being a Friend of Ag represents that they both support farmers and farm families in their districts and throughout Illinois.
ACTIVATOR, Illinois Agricultural Association’s Political Involvement Fund, is a voluntary, non-profit, segregated fund intended to promote the economic and social well-being of farmers.  ACTIVATOR trustees are county Farm Bureau leaders representing each county in the legislative district.

Manager’s Article July 28, 2016

GaySB2160 – ILSoy Advisor Field Day
Gay Bowlin, Manager

Last Friday the Governor approved SB 2160, sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan and Rep. John Bradley, that extends the sunset date on property tax assessments on agriculture filter strips to December 2026. Specifically, the bill provides that in all counties except Cook, land which is located in a farm field or an area to be protected that is a vegetative filter strip shall be assessed at 1/6 of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland for another 10 years.
We would like to thank all of you who shared the importance of this issue with your legislators. The passage of any bill, no matter its contents, in the current tenuous and tense mood of the General Assembly is not certain. Currently, passing any bill is like pushing a fully laden flat boat up stream during the spring snow melt. Many in the State Capitol ponder how things can still be accomplished in light of the stagnating odds and we can attest that it is because of Farm Bureau members who take the time to let their legislators know what is important.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau is proud to be able to present Senator Gary Forby and Representative John Bradley with the Friends of Ag Award. Representative Bradley has an 89% voting approval rate and Senator Forby has a 98% approval rate from the Illinois Farm Bureau. We want to take this opportunity to let them know how much we appreciate both of them and how hard they work for Southern Illinois farmers.
The Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program will host its second annual ILSoyAdvisor.com Field Days in the Southern Region in Benton. “If you grow soybeans you can’t afford to miss this event,” says John Longley, soybean farmer and ISA Production Committee Chair. “This will take everything growers have been reading about on our ILSoyAdvisor.com blog right to our area. They can hear firsthand from local experts about the technology and practices that are increasing yields and maximizing profits.”
This event will take place at 98 Industrial Park Road on August 4 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Lunch will be catered and it is free to attend just go to www.ilsoy.org/fielddays to register. Pre-registration is not mandatory but is encouraged.
I am always telling you about the discounts that are available when you are a Franklin County Farm Bureau member – Theme Parks, Hotel, Ford, Polaris. But I have not mentioned in a while about the prescriptions discounts that are available through your membership. If you DO NOT have any insurance for prescription medications you are eligible for a reduced price through either Agelity or ScriptSave. If you would like more information on these programs and what they have to offer please call the office at 435-3616.
I was watching the local news and saw the story about the two men who were recently rescued from a grain bin. The key word here is RESCUED meaning they were alive. This is something that all farmers are well aware that can happen anytime they enter a grain bin with grain inside but there are times when they don’t always take the necessary precautions. This event, once again, brings this to the forefront of everyone’s mind so please take precautions and be safe when entering a grain bin – always let someone know when you are entering and when you come out. Thankfully the area fire department trained in this and there was a positive outcome.
Insurance – one of those things that is a necessary in this day and age – if you have any insurance questions or needs – auto – home – life or if you are in need of investment advice please call your local Franklin County COUNTRY Financial Representative. In Sesser call Krista Menckowski @ 625-5100, in West Frankfort call Jeff Smith or Darla Sloan @ 932-6695 and in Benton call Michael Brachear @ 435-8191.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for Week of July 13, 2016

GayFARMERS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDING – 4-H FAIR – RLC CLASS – GMO LABELING – EWING FIELD
July 15, 2016
Gay Bowlin, Manager

I am sure that many of you have come across farm equipment on the roadways while driving lately – that is just part of life in Franklin County and for the most part we must learn to deal with it at certain times of the year. There are times, however, when farmers themselves must be more in tuned to the cars behind them. Someone came into the office the other day and said that they followed a combine for about 8 miles and that at no time did it try to pull over to let the excessively long line of cars behind him get by.
There are times when it is not possible or extremely difficult for the equipment to get over on some of the roads with no or very little shoulder. FARMERS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS – not only is it annoying for the people behind you and potentially dangerous but it also gives farmers in general a bad name. Let’s all be a little more courteous on the roadways – when it is safe please try and more over to let people pass.
The Franklin County 4-H Fair began on Sunday July 10th with the Horse Show. Events will continue through Wednesday July 20th with the 4-H BBQ and Auction. Come out on Tuesday the 19th for the Farm Bureau/COUNTRY Appreciation Picnic. Franklin County COUNTRY Financial Representatives will be grilling pork loin sandwiches and hot dogs along with chips and drinks and ice cream. The Young Leaders will have a fun game of cow chip bingo and will be selling squares for a 50/50 drawing.
Rend Lake College is currently enrolling for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program which will begin on August 1, 2016. Rend Lake is the only college in the State of Illinois offering an UAS certificate program. This will offer students hands-on-skills to operate a small UA and will also provide rules and regulations and knowledge to successfully pass the aeronautical knowledge test. For more information call (618) 437-5321 and ask for Chris Nielsen, Joy Fitts or Chris Edwards.
Illinois Farm Bureau President Rick Guebert announced last week “We are extremely pleased to see the Senate vote to limit debate on the Roberts-Stabenow GMO labeling bill. The passage of this bill will do a great deal to protect Americans from an unnecessary rise in food prices, and will prevent a costly state-by-state patchwork of mandatory GMO food labeling laws. We would like to thank Senator Mark Kirk for his support of the bill, and urge the Senate to vote quickly on the bill so the House of Representatives can do the same.”
The University of Illinois Extension will host the Ewing Demonstration Center Agronomy Field Day on Thursday July 28 at 9 a.m. Ewing Field is in its 48th year of continuous no-till production. The topics to be discussed are: Managing Nitrogen for Corn, The Effects of Cover Crops on Water Quality & Nutrient Cycling in Southern Illinois, Weather Trends & Soils, Definition of Insanity & Weed Management and Exploring New Clover Cover Crops for Corn.
Field Day is free and open to anyone interested and lunch will be provided. Certified Crop Advisor CEUs will also be offered. To help provide for an adequate lunch please call 439-3178 by Monday July 25th. For additional information contact Marc Lamczyk at the number above or at lamczyk@illinois.edu
Don’t forget to visit your Farmers Market for locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many have baked goods and local meats.
Even though farmers are pretty much done planting they are still on the roads finishing up spraying and taking care of other tasks so please WATCH OUT FOR FARM IMPLEMENTS!
With many people taking vacations this time of year don’t forget about your Farm Bureau Discounts for hotels and car rentals. If you need more information please call the office at 435-3616. Or call to join now for your savings on these and much more.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for July 8, 2016

Gay   Rain! Well it has finally happened and the farmers and anyone with a garden are extremely happy. It seems that the Good Lord was shining down on us with this rainfall. It came rather slowly and steady at first making it easier for the ground to absorb. We had such dry weather for so long that we were afraid that when it finally did rain it would come a downpour and just run off – this was not the case. Even as the rains fell harder and steadier the ground still soaked it up and there was very little run-off.
With more rain in the forecast this week everyone feels that this will finally be the makings of good corn and bean crops along with second wheat harvest.
The Franklin County 4-H Fair begins Sunday July 10th with the Horse Show. Events will continue through Wednesday July 20th with the 4-H BBQ and Auction. Come out on Tuesday the 19th for the Farm Bureau/COUNTRY Appreciation Picnic. Franklin County COUNTRY Financial Representatives will be grilling pork loin sandwiches and hot dogs along with chips and drinks and ice cream. The Young Leaders will have a fun game of cow chip bingo and will be selling squares.
Illinois farmers should keep an eye on their mailboxes this month for an important survey that could help change the future of Illinois agriculture. On July 1, 2016, the Heartland Regional Field Office of the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) began mailing out surveys asking Illinois farmers about the techniques they utilize in accordance with the state’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS).
The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) is a joint effort by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Water Resources Center, and several public and private stakeholders. The Illinois effort is one of 31 other state strategies developed and implemented across the Mississippi River basin, intended to improve our nation’s water quality. Illinois’ strategy provides a framework for reducing both point and non-point nutrient losses to improve our state’s overall water quality, as well as the quality of the water leaving the state and making its way down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico.
This NLRS survey will ask farmers about crop production practices, including: use of cover crops, tillage strategies and nutrient application strategies. The survey will also ask some questions about fields and tiling. A high participation rate will help the state of Illinois prove that Illinois does not need additional mandates; that our state’s farmers and ranchers can make a difference through voluntary involvement; and that our producers have taken ownership of the issue and are willing and able to meet the challenge.
Don’t forget to visit your Farmers Market for locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many have baked goods and local meats.
Even though farmers are pretty much done planting they are still on the roads finishing up spraying and taking care of other tasks so please WATCH OUT FOR FARM IMPLEMENTS!
With many people taking vacations this time of year don’t forget about your Farm Bureau Discounts for hotels and car rentals. If you need more information please call the office at 435-3616. Or call to join now for your savings on these and much more.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for Week of June 20, 2016

By: Gay Bowlin, ManagerGay

Most of the wheat in the county has been cut and farmers have moved on to spraying and putting in double crops. This means that they are still in the fields and on the roadways – LOOK OUT FOR FARMERS.
Illinois wheat producers and processors are invited to attend the Illinois Wheat Association’s annual Illinois Wheat Forum, which will be held Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Highland.
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about soil health, market volatility, the nutrient loss reduction strategy, and crop insurance options, as well as information on production challenges and research trials and results.
Participants also will have the chance to tour a number of exhibits featuring seed companies, millers, elevators, crop protection services and other service industries.
“The Illinois Wheat Forum offers producers a chance to learn more about nearly every facet of production,” said Jim Fraley, executive director, Illinois Wheat Association. “From crop insurance to a 2017 growing season outlook, producers will take home a wealth of information that will help them increase the productivity and profitability of their farms.”
Registration is on-site and begins at 8:00 a.m., with sessions beginning at 9:00 a.m. The forum will conclude at 3:00 p.m. and includes lunch. Registration fee for Illinois Wheat Association members is $15 per person; the general public may attend for $30 per person. CCA credits will be available.
For more information, please visit the Illinois Wheat Association website at www.illinoiswheat.org, or call Jim Fraley, executive director, Illinois Wheat Association, at 309-557-3109. The Illinois Wheat Forum is made possible through the support of the Illinois Farm Bureau.
Looking for something for the kids to do this summer – make a stop at the St. Louis Science Center and visit their new exhibit GROW – and explore the Journey of Food. The GROW Exhibit opened to the public just this past Saturday. The journey of food starts long before you find it on your local grocery store’s shelves. Trace the steps from farm to table and everywhere in between. This indoor area features exhibits, educational programs and planned events that explore farming and its vital role in today’s complex local and global economies. Meet the people who make it all possible!
Plants are not the only source of food you can find on farms. Meet the livestock that farmers raise and explore how farmers tend their animals. Take a tour through this area and explore a simulated milking parlor, understand the digestive processes of livestock, and learn how farmers manage feed conversion. On select days, local farmers will visit, bringing their animals with them. Make friends with the animals and watch the farmers taking care of them.
For more information go to www.slsc.org and click on the link to take you to the GROW Exhibit and explore all of the fun things there are to do.
As an Illinois Farm Bureau member, you can receive special savings on theme park tickets to popular summer attractions like Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Great America, Holiday World, Silver Dollar City, Raging Rivers, and Adventureland.
Ticket savings vary, but can be as much as $27. With great rates like that, you can afford to take the whole family and save even more! For more information on joining the Franklin County Farm Bureau call the office at 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Donation to Franklin County Food Pantry

FCFB1No matter the time of year there is always a need to help others. The Franklin County Farm Bureau presented a check to the 9 food pantries located in the county. This presentation was made possible in part by a grant received from the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.
Additional funds had been received after the yearly Harvest of Help Donations from the county farmers and this money was also included in the check to each food pantry.
Pictured are (L-R – front row) – Joanne Rhodes – First Baptist Church of Zeigler, Rayeanne Miner – Crosswalk Commmunity Acton Center in West Frankfort, Vicki Seagle – Benton/West City Ministerial Aliance, Kirby Owenbee – First Baptist Church of Royalton, (L-R – back row) Billy Motsinger – Ministry for the Broken Hearted in Christopher, Dale Rhodes – First Baptist Church of Zeigler, David Garavalia – Benton Township Food Pantry, Susan Motsinger – Ministry for the Broken Hearted in Christopher, Donna Ahlfeld – Whittington Church Helps Ministry, Jane Pinkham – Community of Christ Food Pantry in Thompsonville, Teresa Shannon – Sesser-Valier Area LifeLine at Sesser City Hall and Kurt Sanders – Pastor at First Christian Church affiliated with Benton/West City Ministerial Alliance.
All of the above listed food pantries will accept donations of food and Zeigler, Whittington, Christopher and Benton/West City Ministerial Alliance will also accept donations of clothing. If you know of anyone needing help please do not hesitate to contact any of them.
Thank you to Jim Raben from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board for his help in the promotion “What Does Your Meat Eat”.