Manager’s Article October 28, 2016

gay   Most of the corn is out of the fields and farmers are diligently working on cutting beans with many acres still in the fields. With the recent rainfall it is really hard for the farmers to get any wheat in the ground. Hopefully with no rain in the forecast until next Thursday this will change the situation.
The Local and Regional Food conference will be held at The Pavillion in Marion on November 15 from 9-5. Event registration is $25 for Farm Bureau Members and $35 for non-members and includes all event materials and lunch. Due to limited seating, registration must be completed by November 10 at www.ilfb.org and click on the “IFB News and Events” tab. On-site registration is $40 and is limited. For more information on the topics please go to the website listed.
Only two more weeks until the election. That will mean – no more TV ads and no more political mailings. It does mean that we will have a new President Elect going to the White House and possibly many other changes throughout the county and state. It also means that in order to get your voice heard you MUST go out and vote. Don’t think that you are just one person and your vote does not matter – all votes matter. Take time out of your day, if you haven’t already, and vote on November 8.
If you have been thinking about purchasing a Polaris don’t wait – you have until December 31st to make your purchase and still get the Farm Bureau Discount of $300. You must be a Farm Bureau member in good standing for at least 30 days.
It’s time to start thinking of the next federal farm bill. Illinois farmers can take a leadership role in developing this important legislation.
Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Illinois Soybean Growers are working together to host three farm bill listening sessions throughout Illinois in November. Make plans now to attend:
Mon., November 7: Mt. Vernon, Holiday Inn, 6:00 p.m., 222 Potomac Blvd., Mt. Vernon, 62864. Register using this online link: http://bit.ly/FarmBillMtg1or3
What value do cooperatives provide to today’s farmers? That’s the theme for GROWMARK’s 2017 Essay Contest open to high school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
This marks the 24th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders. The contest aims to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues affecting agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.
Students will explore ways in which cooperatives help farmers remain competitive and describe the value cooperatives provide to modern farms.
Essays will be submitted online for the first time this year. The deadline is midnight Oct. 31. Additional program details have been sent to agriculture teachers and are also available online at GROWMARK’s website.
Each state’s winner earns $500 and the winner’s FFA chapter receives $300. Four runners-up per state each win $125.
In cooperation with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, University of Illinois Extension is offering a Private Applicator training and testing clinic on January 20, 2017. Training will be held between 8:30 am – 11:30 am and testing is 11:45 am – 2:30 pm at the Jackson County Extension Office located at 402 Ava Road in Murphysboro.

Pre-Registration is the only way to guarantee a seat. Walk-ins are welcome but not guaranteed seating due to space restrictions. Register by calling 618-687-1727 or online at: go.illinois.edu/pesticidetraining. There is a $10.00 registration fee per person.
You will receive a Private Applicator workbook on the day of training. If you would like a Private Applicator manual to study before the training, you can purchase one online or at your local Extension Office.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Congressman Bost Receives “Friend of Ag” Award

Franklin County Farm Bureau president Leon McClerren along with Jefferson County Farm Bureau president John Howard were proud to present Congressman Mike Bost with the Friend of Ag Award.
Congressman Bost indicated to a crowd of about 30 people that he takes great pride in what farmers do every day and tries to show his feelings by voting favorably for the farming issues. He emphasized the fact that he is aware of the issues that are important to the farmers and farming community.
The Friend of Agriculture Award 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.
The designation of a Friend of Agriculture by IFB ACTIVATOR places Congressman Bost in a group of select individuals in the state who understand the leading role Illinois agriculture plays in the economy of our state and nation. Being a Friend of Ag represents his support of farmers and farm families in his district 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 October 4, 2016

GayDiscovery Education and the Nutrients for Life Foundation have joined forces again to give six lucky schools a chance to win big with the second annual Let It Grow Contest from the partnership program,  From the Ground Up:The Science of Soil. Open to educators and community adults nationwide, the Let It Grow Contest encourages entrants to vote DAILY for a middle school* of their choice for a chance to win an agricultural grant, which could be used towards a school garden or gardening supplies, professional development, and more!
Check out the Prizing:
One Grand Prize winning school will receive a $5,000 agricultural grant and an introduction to a local agronomist!
Five Runners-Up will each win a $1,000 agricultural grant and an opportunity to win a celebratory school assembly.
Entering is Easy:
Answer five soil related quiz questions to unlock the contest application
Find your school
Provide your contact information
Most importantly, come back and enter daily
Don’t forget to share with your friends for extra entry opportunities!
*includes all 6-8 public, private and parochial schools, or schools with a middle component, e.g. K-12 institutions
Four consecutive years of lower commodity prices has nearly exhausted the financial resources of U.S. grain farmers. Todd Gleason, Farm Broadcaster, looked into the problem with an agricultural economist from the University of Illinois.
Working capital is used by farmers to buffer their low income years. They do this by building up their bank accounts, grain inventories and other assets during years of plenty. A review of the farms in the Illinois FBFM recording keeping service shows farmers did that from 2006 to 2012 says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey.
So, that was the era of high commodity prices and high incomes. Farmers increased working capital, then, and now we are in the process of reducing again. By the end of 2016, it will be at about the same levels it was from pre-2006. These are tight levels without large buffers of working capital.
There comes a point, says Schnitkey, as working capital declines at which it can no longer be used to meet shortfalls. This is the point when farmers will begin to refinance debt.
For example, farmers are now reducing grain inventories and increasing operating notes. Eventually those notes will need to be refinanced. This is when the lender will step in and require collateral on the note, and then term it out. So, that is the process. The working capital is gone, and now we must look at other means to finance cash shortfalls.
Things aren’t dire yet on the farm, however, borrowing to cover cash shortfalls must be stemmed. This will require some fortitude on the part of the farm family. Their annual living expenses will need come down along with the rest of the farm expenses; input costs, cash rents, and the like.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

UTAH CONCEALED-CARRY CLASSES

Utah Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permit Training on October 29th, 2016 8:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. $65.00 to Farm Bureau Members – $85.00 for non-Farm Bureau Members. 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   HYPERLINK “http://www.extremeexigency.com/services.html” http://www.extremeexigency.com/services.html. 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.