Manager’s Article For January 8, 2016

Gay Bowlin, Manager

Our Farm Land Assessment meeting was well attended on Tuesday evening. Brenda Matherly from the Illinois Farm Bureau gave a presentation that helped everyone to understand what is really happening with their assessments and explained that this is not the worst thing that could have happened but that it will continue to increase in the coming years.
Cindy Humm, Franklin County Tax Assessor was also present and answered many questions from the floor. If you were unable to make the meeting and still have questions I do have handouts in my office if you would like to stop by.
ILLINOIS STATE TAX REFUNDS WON’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL MARCH 1 – The state Department of Revenue says the delay is part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on fraud. Illinois taxpayers will have to wait until after March to receive individual income tax refunds, the state Department of Revenue said Monday. This does not mean that you should wait to file your taxes because it may be first-come-first serve.
With tax refund coming in eventually you might be thinking of a major purchase – like a new Ford or a new Polaris. If you are a current member in good standing for 30 days you can receive a substantial amount on money back on these purchases. For more information call the office at 435-3616.
Maybe you would like to take a vacation to a warmer climate – we have discounts for hotels and car rentals as well. If you are already a Franklin County Farm Bureau Member utilize your discounts – state, national and many local discounts to save money now an in the future.
If you would be interested in participating in some of the activities that the Young Leaders do each year – bowling, parades, tractor drive, pork loin sales, Louisville Farm Show Bus, Young Leaders Conference, Annual Meeting events, and much more we would love to have you in our group.
There is no fee to join and we encourage those boys and girls in high school to join now. If you are under 18 you would not be able to participate in State Events but you are welcome to participate in everything else that we do.
This is not just for those in FFA or Ag related field, it is for anyone who would like to learn more about business in general and get to know people who might be influential in your future. Call the office for more information.
Being a Young Leader and then going on into an Ag related field would help when applying for one of our scholarships.
It seems that the water has begun to recede now and prayers have been answered on that. We still have a long way to go before the fields are dry and food plots can be utilized. Hopefully this is not a sign of what it to come in the Spring. Warm weather would be what I would like to be asking for.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention will be held January 8-13 in Orlando, Florida. Can’t make it, you say? You can still participate in the AFBF’s Foundation for Agriculture Silent Auction online.
All proceeds will support the foundation’s mission of building awareness, understanding. and a positive public perception of agriculture through education.
Bidding is now open through Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. To help make sure bidders don’t miss out on a must-have item, the website will give you the ability to set a high bid and have the site make automatic, incremental bids up to that amount. Click here to place a bid.
AFBF also invites you to participate in a survey to give your opinion about USDA programs. You can share your thoughts through this online survey. Results will be used by AFBF to develop recommendations on how USDA can enhance its programs and make them more useful to farmers and ranchers.
Farmers are encouraged to take the survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete. The survey focuses on the following USDA programs:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Conservation Stewardship Program
Conservation Reserve Program
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
Value-Added Agricultural Producer Grants
Rural Energy for America Program
Farmers’ Marketing and Local Food Promotion Program
Direct Farm Ownership Loans
Direct Farm Operating Loans
Guaranteed Farm Loans (farm operating and farm ownership)
Take the survey online through March 15. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to place your bid for the silent auction.
Please remain engaged as we move forward in to 2016. Illinois Farm Bureau is you, the member, and we will go as far as we decide that we want to if we are all a part of the process!
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.