Archive for January 2011
The cold weather continues but meetings and information on important issues are available for farmer in the month of February. On Wednesday, February the 2nd , Kevin Rund, Senior Director of Local government, will be providing information on the latest changes in truck regulations. Breakfast will be provided at 7:30 AM with the meeting following in the Farm Bureau building.
Also, on Tuesday, February 15th, Dale Durcholz, from Agri-visor, will provide information on commodities and their outlook. Again, breakfast will be provided at 7:30 AM.
On Wednesday, February 16th we will be going to the Louisville Farm Show. Farm Credit and Farm Bureau is sponsoring this trip and you are invited with no charge. Please call the Farm Bureau office to help us have a count for these meetings at 435-3616.
Our Adopted-State Senator Martin Sandoval has been appointed to the Senate Ag Committee. The Senator had requested this appointment as he has become interested in issues that are important to Franklin County farmers because of our relationship during the last few years. The Senator is asking our county Farm Bureau leadership to provide information on how new legislation can be advantageous for local farmers. We would welcome any comments that you may have to pass on to the Senator.
One of the things that I have found interesting about Senator Sandoval is that he causes us to think about ways in which he can help us and his constituents. One of the ways that he approaches an issue is by asking how or what type of legislation would help individuals. So that is the question that we are asking, what would you ask for in legislation to meet your business needs. If you have comments please call me at 435-3616. I believe that this will be a great opportunity for our local farmers to interact with this Agriculture committee member.
Speaking of a Senator that we know, State Sen. Brad Burzynski plans to retire from his 35th District seat, effective next month. The 55-year-old Rochelle Republican gave no particular reason for his decision. He says he wants to move on to other things in his life.
This week we sponsored an Acquaintance Day for FFA members at the SIU Student Center. The 4 FFA Chapters in Franklin County had over 40 students attend and Kelly Robertson of Benton was one of the featured speakers. Kelly did a great job of informing students about possible careers in Agriculture.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.
Welcome to the Franklin County Farm Bureau’s new website – we are new to this so be patient. We are located at 1210 Highway 14 West, Benton, IL and our contact phone number is (618) 435-3616. The appearance of the website will be changing so be sure and come back often.
Senator Martin Sandoval Visits Franklin County
Franklin County Farm Bureau’s Adopted-Legislator, Senator Martin Sandoval, attended the county’s annual meeting on November 29th. The Senator had received the Friend of Agriculture Award from Farm Bureau because of his support of legislation that the Farm Bureau identified as important to Illinois Agriculture. During the presentation in Cicero, a group from the Franklin County Farm Bureau attended and invited the Senator to attend the annual meeting.
In past visits to Franklin County Senator Sandoval had learned much about agriculture in the county. The Farm Bureau took this opportunity to show the Senator another industry in Franklin County – coal mining.
A new underground coal mine is beginning production in Franklin County and since coal mining is an important part of the county’s future, as well as its past, plans were made to tour this working coal mine in the county.
Tim Kirkpatrick, Safety and Purchasing Coordinator for Class M Mining, provided a tour of Sugar Camp Mine North of Akin, Illinois. Senator Sandoval, along with Franklin County Farm Bureau President, Leon McClerren; Board Member, Ken Bolen and County Farm Bureau Manager, Larry Miller toured the underground operations as well as the above ground operations at the mine.
One of the first impressions was the importance placed on safety. This facility has the ability to monitor all underground activities such as knowing the position of all personnel from one central location. Possible hot spots in the mines are also monitored and isolated from that same location on the surface.
Of course, one of the most interesting parts of the tour was the trip underground. This includes the fact that we drove a full size pickup truck into the mine.
This mine is a slope mine in which men and material use the slope to enter and exit. There is a shaft that is used only for ventilation and as an emergency escape. The slope drops at 9% for 3500 feet and than makes a 180 degree turn and then continues another 3500 feet to the bottom of the mine, 750 feet below the surface. We continued on in this truck to where a mining machine was extracting coal.
The tour provided the Senator with insights that were before unknown to the Cook County native. This mine is one the most technologically advanced operations in the industry with enhanced safety provisions, personnel tracking and production efficiency.
After the tour the Senator commented that in the past he had not been friendly to coal legislation and that the tour had changed his perspective. He indicated that he saw the value of the coal industry in helping the economy of Illinois.
Both the Senator and the Franklin County Farm Bureau believe that the Adopt-A-Legislator Program is valuable tool for everyone involved.