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.

Manager’s Article January 17, 2017

GaySUPPLY IS GETTING SHORT BUT WE STILL HAVE PECANS IN THE OFFICE – 1 lb bags (shelled) for $9.25 and we have 12 oz bag of milk chocolate covered pecans for $8.00. Call the office 435-3616.
We are having a Farm Bill meeting in our office on January 24. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and run approximately 2 hours. It is a nuts and bolts roll-up your sleeves to come and tell what worked for you in the last Farm Bill and what you need in the next Farm Bill. Adam Nielsen will be here to hear what you have to say so that he will be able to go back and advocate for us. We will be serving dinner so we will need a head count so please call by Thursday January 19 so we can put you down. (618) 435-3616.
As another year begins it is time to really dig in to looking at 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 to make your reservations.
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.
With the Presidential Inauguration this week there are many with different views of how they feel about this. I say – do not listen to everyone else and give Trump the opportunity to make changes. Nothing will get done in a day, a week or even a month or a year but maybe, just maybe, this is what the country has needed. Do you think that saying bad things about Trump has helped in any way? When bad things were said about Obama did that stop any of his decisions? NO – he did what he wanted to and what he thought were the best ideas for the Country. There is nothing that we can do to change this so instead of saying hurtful things say a prayer that the right decisions will be made.
The House and Senate convened on January 11th to seat the members of the 100th General Assembly.
The political makeup of each chamber changed with the November 2016 election.  In the Senate, there are 37 Democrats and 22 Republicans.  This means the Senate Democrats have one more vote than needed to override a gubernatorial veto.  The most significant change from the 2016 election was that the House Democrats lost its veto proof majority by dropping to 67 members.  However, the Democrat caucus still commands an overwhelming majority by 7 votes.  The House Republicans have 51 members.  There are also 17 newly elected members in the House and 6 in the Senate.
AFBF adjourned last week and the delegates focused their time discussing the 2018 Farm Bill. Illinois delegates fought off an attempt to remove policy that ties nutrition to the commodity titles. Illinois submitted this language to AFBF and fought hard because of the importance of the two being connected. Delegates were also successful in reinstating support for the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). This language was stricken in December, but Director Chad Schutz argued for the reinstatement and was successful. Throughout the entire session, Illinois delegates emphasized the importance of crop insurance as the number one priority.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.