Archive for October 2011
Story by Kay Shipman, Illinois Farm Bureau
Illinois drivers with commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) last week received mailed notices from the Illinois secretary of state about a new program aimed at enforcing the medical card requirement. This is the first time the medical card will be linked to the CDL, according to Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau senior director of local government.
For the second year in a row the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee was awarded one of five Top Harvest for All Awards in the state. Along with the recognition of receiving this award the Young Leaders will also receive a check for $125.
This award was presented to the top five Young Leaders/Young Farmer Groups in the state for recognition of their help for raising money, purchasing food, presenting food to area food pantries and spending many man hours on this project. The Franklin County Young Leaders were instrumental in helping to purchase and distribute over $12,000 worth of food during the past year.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee has been working very hard to help with all projects and to bring up new projects for the year. If you are over 18 years old and would like to become part of the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee please feel free to call us at (618) 435-3616 of email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Annual meeting of the Franklin County Farm Bureau will be held on Monday November 28th at the Benton Civic Center on Hudelson Street.
A meal will be served at 6:15 p.m. There will be entertainment immediately following the business section of the meeting. Entertainment will be provided by the local acapella group Blend.
The Ag In The Classroom Program will also be sponsoring a Silent Auction again this year. We will have lots of items for everyone to bid on so come early and get a look at everything. Last year we raised $1,000 and we are hoping that we will be able to top that amount this year.
We will also have a short business meeting to elect Board Members.
Reservations for the annual meeting are important. Members are asked to RSVP to the Franklin County Farm Bureau office at (618) 435-3616 no later than Monday November 21, 2011.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom (AITC) has had another successful year at the annual Sesser Oktoberfest. This year Franklin County AITC has added its own simulated dairy cow to its program.
Eloise, the dairy cow, was “milked” by many elementary, junior high and high school students. Parents even tried to demonstrate their milking skills with their children. The coordinator, Melissa Lamczyk, uses Eloise to demonstrate how people milked a cow before technology brought machines along.
A corn bin was also simulated by using a sand box. The corn bin had shelled corn and dried field corn for the kids to play with. Corn could be shelled off the cob right into the corn bin. There were also buckets, cups, toy farm animals, trucks and tractors for the kids to play with inside the bin.
AITC also had sign up or reenrollment forms for anyone interested in 4-H. Cindy Bauman, 4-H Youth Leader for Franklin County Extension, was unable to attend but she supplied forms. Mrs. Bauman and Mrs. Lamczyk are both interested in keeping agriculture and 4-H experiences readily available in our communities. They work on several programs together throughout the year.
Eloise was a project that was made by Melissa Lamczyk and her family for the purpose of teaching others about how to milk cows.
The countryside is a buzz with combines harvesting corn and soybeans and farmers preparing ground for the planting of wheat. Fertilizer rigs are busy applying fertilizer for wheat and spring crops. All of this means that the roads will have large equipment moving, so please be patient!
Yield reports are all over the board but soybeans apparently have taken the biggest hit on yield reduction. Some of the southern portions of the county received some rain during August but it seems the northern area had little or no rain in August causing later planted beans to be sharply reduced in yields. Corn so far has been variable but not as severe as soybeans.
This week has allowed me, or required me, to experience long hours in the cab of the combine. It makes no difference how nice the cab of the combine is or how good the radio is 10 hours is a long time to sit in one position. At this point, I have listened to every talk radio show, know the news at the top of the hour by heart, listened to some good preachers and bad, heard all of the old country songs and listened to gospel music. With auto-steer you can talk on the cell phone with ease but man it makes for a very tired old man at the end of the day.
When I was younger, I would go home after running the combine and spread fertilizer, disk or repair equipment into the late night and start all over again the next morning. Now when I get out of the combine, I am so tired, I decide an early start in the morning is all I can think about.
I now have a theory that has caused this phenomenon and is not because I am 61 years old. It is the issue of monotony – the brain kicks into the shut-down mode and the body responses accordingly. The same thing happens on a long trip in a car. I am sure that most of you could agree with this logic. It beats the idea being age is the problem.
Ameren Corp. said Tuesday it will close two power plants in Illinois by the end of the year, blaming the cost of complying with new EPA pollution rules. The firm will shut down coal-fired plants in Meredosia and Hutsonville. The plants produce about 4% of Ameren’s electrical generating capacity.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.
Well, the dry weather is history as any where from 3-6 inches of rain covered the county over the weekend. All of the rain has kept combines in the sheds until Wednesday as soybean harvest begins in earnest. Yields of soybeans are an issue of how much or little of rain was received in August. Surprisingly ground conditions are good considering all of the recent rain.
Grain markets continue their downhill slide as soybeans have lost over a $1 per bushel and corn about 75 cents. The outside markets and a strong dollar have contributed to this change. Uncertainty in the European economic picture is causing the dollar to strengthen making U. S. commodities weaker in price.
All signs point to a very slow U.S. economy and the politicians cannot agree on when to eat lunch let along come up with some kind of a plan. One of the biggest drags on the economy is energy costs and it seems that every President in the last 30 years says that we need an energy plan but none of them have put forth anything at all.
Let me see? The problem is using oil and it costs too much. Now, here are a few facts to consider in solving the problem.
U.S. dependence on imported oil has dramatically declined since peaking in 2005. This trend is the result of a variety of factors including a decline in consumption and shifts in supply patterns. The economic downturn after the financial crisis of 2008, improvements in efficiency, changes in consumer behavior and patterns of economic growth, all contributed to the decline in petroleum consumption. At the same time, increased use of domestic biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), and strong gains in domestic production of crude oil and natural gas plant liquids expanded domestic supplies and reduced the need for imports. More efficient use of energy will have an affect on usage and we need to explore those possibilities (more green).
The other side of the equation is supply. In the last few months reports are coming about oil reserves that have been discovered in the Dakotas, Pennsylvania and Alaska. Natural gas does exist in abundance on our continental shores. With the size of these reserves, why are we not making an effort to tap into these sources. Would jobs be created by this effort? How about the transfer of wealth from this country to purchase crude oil from other countries?
President Obama recently said that new production in Brazil would be welcomed and purchased by the U.S., then why not develop reserves in this country. These countries have poor environmental histories and we here in the United States would have a better environmental history.
The main problem is the oil companies would make money on this type of program and liberals think that is an unpardonable sin to let happen and we must protect every animal at great cost to our way of life. There can and must be a balance on these issues.
Production of oil reserves in this country could be are next greatest economic upturn.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.