Taking Flight – Science in the South

AITCThe Science in the South Teacher Conference was held on January 20th, 2017 at the Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. The teacher conference had around one hundred and eighty-eight teachers in attendance.
Franklin, Saline, Gallatin and Williamson County Ag in the Classroom Coordinators were in attendance. They provided four sessions of hands-on agricultural lessons and activities to 28 teachers. The sessions were “Taking Flight” and “First Peas to Table”. Teachers learned how aviation is an important part of farming and were able to try out Bernoulli’s Bag and how air resistance plays a role in flying by making a candy parachute.
The First Peas to Table session gave teachers ideas and activities for indoor and outdoor gardening. The teachers talked about school gardens, different ideas and techniques, The “First Peas to Table” contest, and grant opportunities for the teachers, schools and classrooms.

Student of the Week-Amazing Pig!

pigFrankfort Intermediate students get to invite a celebrity speaker to their classroom when they are student of the week. Thanks to student of the week, Anna Lamczyk, Franklin County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Melissa Lamczyk, was able to speak to Mrs. Karnes 3rd grade classroom on Friday February 6th.
Mrs. Lamczyk had been presenting the “Pigs and Pork” theme to classrooms for the month of February and had the opportunity to share this with Anna and her classroom. Mrs. Jennifer Newbury, U of I Extension Work Program Participant SNAP-Ed, volunteered to let Mrs. Lamczyk borrow a couple of their baby pigs from their family farm.
Anna was very good at keeping the secret of baby pigs visiting the classroom. The students were very excited when Mrs. Lamczyk told them what was in the large carrier she was pulling. The students watched the “Amazing Pig” video and then gathered in a circle on the carpet as the pigs were brought out one at a time for observation and petting.
Mrs. Lamczyk asked students what they could tell her about the pigs or what they had questions about from their observations. The first thing noticed was the notches on the baby pig’s ears, which are for identification. Students did notice the difference in color and size between the female and male pig.
We discussed the different breeds and the size of a litter of pigs makes a difference in their size and coloring. Mrs. Lamczyk used gloves to handle the pigs and a towel to swaddle the piglets for comfort. Once swaddled the piglets were very comfortable and took a little nap while being petted and observed.
Students also learned about by-products from pork and received a bag with sugarless gum, bubble gum, an AITC calendar, pork puzzler booklet, Pork Ag Mag, and a craft activity. A huge “Thank you” goes out to Anna and Mrs. Karnes, for asking Mrs. Lamczyk and the piglets to visit their classroom.

Scholarships Available to Franklin County Students for 2017

The Foundation Scholarship and the Young Leaders Scholarship are available to anyone attending a post secondary school to study in an agriculture related field. All applicants must be a resident of Illinois and must be a Franklin County Farm Bureau Member or dependent in good standing.
The Foundation and the Young Leaders will both award scholarships based on: Academic performance and honors, rank in class, ACT/SAT score, community involvement, demonstrating an interest in agriculture and/or agribusiness, character and personality, maturity, intellectual interest, moral character and demonstration of leadership skills.
Applications must be returned to the Franklin County Farm Bureau no later than April 7, 2017 to be eligible for consideration for the 2017 scholarships.
Applications are available now and must be picked up the at the Franklin County Farm Bureau Building at 1210 Highway 14 West in Benton or call the office at (618) 435-3616 if you have any questions.

Franklin County Sales Tax Meeting

On March 7th the Franklin County Farm Bureau will be hosting an informational meeting on the upcoming Sales Tax Increase on the April 2017 Ballot. This meeting will take place at the Benton Civic Center at 6 p.m.
This meeting is open to the public to hear from the Franklin County Board and also to ask questions. Our goal is to inform the public on the Sales Tax Increase prior to voting.

Pork Loin Sale

Franklin County Young Leaders Pork Loin Sale


½ LOIN – $30 * FULL LOIN – $45


Farm Bill & Market Report

Farm BillAdam Nielsen, Director of National Legislation & Policy Development spoke to over 50 attendees on January 24 at the Franklin County Farm Bureau Building. The meeting was to get information from everyone on what their ideas for the next Farm Bill should consist of. There was good discussion and several counties were represented at this meeting.

MrketDale Durchholz, Senior Market Analyst for AgriVisor spoke about the markets and what we should expect in 2018. We had 42 in attendance for this breakfast meeting.

2017 Antique Tractor Drive


Join the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders and the Franklin County Farm Bureau on May 13, 2017 for their 6th Annual Antique Tractor Drive.
Once again we will help to lead the Rend Lake Water Festival Parade which begins at 10:02 a.m.
This route will then take them north on Route 37 and will end up at the Barren Township Building on Rt. 154 for a fish dinner. We will then proceed across the Rend Lake Dam and end up at the Rend Lake Plaza. If you are out and see them traveling please be courteous and enjoy the machinery.
If you would like to drive your antique tractor in the tractor drive and the parade please contact the Franklin County Farm Bureau at (618) 435-3616. The first 15 paid entries will receive a commemorative t-shirt. Cost to be in the parade is $20.
We are hoping to have a large crowd so please come out and enjoy the beautiful day on Saturday.

Manager’s Article January 25, 2017

By: Manager, Gay Bowlin

With all that is happening right now – President Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – all the more reason to be in the know about the Market Outlook for 2017. To help you do this we have Dale Durchholz, Senior Market Analyst for Agrivisor. Dale will help everyone to better understand what the market is doing now and what to expect in the future. Mark your calendars for February 1 – the meeting will be at the office at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast. Please call 435-3616 to make your reservations – seating is limited.
Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert stated: “Illinois agriculture depends on free trade agreements to sell our products. Currently, 46 percent of Illinois exports go to Trans-Pacific countries. The TPP was expected to increase Illinois’ cash receipts and net exports by $281.1 million and $127.4 million per year respectively. It is estimated that the increased marketing opportunities for Illinois farmers would have added more than 960 jobs to the Illinois economy.
“President Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the TPP is another setback to an already struggling economy. With TPP being halted, we implore the administration to start working toward opening new markets for Illinois crop and livestock farmers.
“Illinois agriculture also has benefited from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). We hope the administration will recognize the importance of NAFTA to Illinois farmers’ income when renegotiating the deal. We look forward to working with our members of Congress and the administration to send the message that trade deals create opportunities for consumers and farmers.”
You can start planning now if you would like to attend the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. We will be taking a bus again that will be free to Franklin County Farm Bureau members leaving on February 15 at 6:00am and will return around 8:00 pm. We will be stopping for a meal on the way home that will be paid for by the attendees. Call now to reserve your seat on the bus as seating is limited and tends to fill up fast. Call 435-3616.
IFB’s charitable arm will award a total of $143,400 for 2017-18 school year. The deadline to apply for scholarships through the IAA Foundation, the charitable arm of Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB), is fast approaching. All scholarship applications must be received by Feb. 1st. The IAA Foundation is offering 71 college scholarships for the 2017-18 school year.
Agriculture students and IFB members and their children may apply. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $7,500 per year; a total of $143,400 will be awarded.
Go to the Illinois Farm Bureau website for a full listing of scholarships as well as eligibility guidelines and application documents. Completed applications must be submitted online by Feb. 1.
All applicants must be high school seniors accepted for enrollment or students already enrolled at an accredited college, university or community college. Scholarships are awarded for exceptional academic ability, leadership and financial need. Previous winners of an IAA Foundation scholarship are eligible to apply again.
Franklin County Farm Bureau and Young Leaders Scholarship applications will be available on February 13, 2017. You can stop by the office or call for more details.
Several of the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders will be attending the State Young Leader Conference in East Peoria this weekend. Some of the breakout session will include: Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, Career Prep for College, Veterinary Feed Directive, Social Media on the Farm and more. This conference is open to all Young Leaders throughout the state and we encourage all of our Young Leaders to attend when possible.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Countdown to Christmas Article

“Santa is Coming to Illinois” by Steve Smallman, was read to Kindergarten students in Franklin County during the month of December. The book names several landmarks and cities throughout Illinois that students recognized. Even though it was a holiday book, there were names of landmarks and towns from northern to southern Illinois, and talks about using a navigation device (GPS) which most students were familiar with. Students could name the places they’ve been or the landmarks they’ve seen.
After reading the book, students got a chance to practice their counting and/or sorting skills using Christmas Trees. Students were given a handout that had ten evergreen (Christmas) trees on it and were numbered 1 to 10. The students also received a snack bag with 55 M&M’s in it. The students were given instructions to place the matching number of M&M’s on each tree. Some students counted out the numbers automatically, some placed them on the trees like tree decorations and some grouped them by colors if possible.
Children really do pay attention to where they are going. Traveling can be a great education and can be made into several games.
First grade students viewed a slideshow on evergreen trees and how they are used or recycled, especially after their use as a Christmas tree.
Their activity was for fun and for a math activity. The students were given a baggie of 40 M&M’s to chart by their color and count the number of each color. Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Melissa Lamczyk, then asked each student for their total numbers from each color, summing them up and recording them on the dry erase or smart boards. Each class was given a sum of all the colors and how the numbers compared between classrooms per the number of students in attendance that day.
The students were asked to take home these activities and practice over the holidays, but to find other items that they could use besides the M&M’s to count and chart. Some were excited, because they knew exactly what they could use, whether it be a toy or possibly a food item.

1 2 3Franklin County Ag in the Classroom presented a slideshow, Ag Mags and educational material throughout the month of December on Evergreen trees. Students learned trees have rings that can tell their age or past weather patterns, trees can be trimmed to different shapes and sizes, they can be used for barriers around properties, they reduce carbon dioxide, improve air quality, and are commercially grown throughout the United States.
Students of different grade levels were challenged with a couple different STEM activities. Students in groups of 4 to 5 were given twenty to twenty-five 16 ounce Solo cups to build the tallest Christmas Tree. Most students built the pyramid style tree, but a few figured out to stack cups end on end to get the tallest tree. This took time and a steady hand, especially those building on top of their desk.
The second activity again challenged students to build a Christmas Tree. This time students were given a baggie that held 10 gum drops, 11 toothpicks and 12 different sized pieces of coffee straws. Students were told they could use all the gum drops but only 11 toothpicks, 12 straw pieces or a combination total of 11. Some students asked on an individual basis if they covered the toothpicks with the straws to strengthen them, could it be considered one piece instead of two, which was allowed. Each student was unique in their designs of what their version of a Christmas tree looked like. Some students made a three-dimensional version, while others made a one-dimensional version. Students could tear up their invention and rebuild or place it in a plastic bag and take it home. With this activity, students equated the sticky fingers from the gum drops with the sap from an evergreen tree.
These were great activities to see students use their education and creativity to build their versions of a Christmas Tree. Some didn’t stop with one creation they tore down cups or their gum drop trees and rebuilt several times. Several used the tree guides to figure out what type of real or artificial tree they had at home.
It doesn’t take a lot of materials or expensive materials to challenge your child to think outside the box. Building or engineering a project is a great educational tool. AITC Coordinator, Melissa Lamczyk, was able to see all the great minds at work and watch students work together as teams.