Manager’s Article October 25, 2017

gayThis rain has not been a welcome sight to the farmers. Those who still have crops in the fields are needing to get them out and those who have them out already are needing to work in other areas that are outside. This means that the harvest will last a little longer so please continue to watch out for farmers on the roadways.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) may need to recalibrate its production goal for the state based on the size of the current crop. USDA this month estimated soybean production in Illinois could total nearly 601 million bushels this season. If realized, the crop would set a new state record, lead the nation and capture ISA’s production goal three years early. (FarmWeekNow.com)
When customers walk down aisles of grocery stores, they are inundated with labels such as organic, fair-trade and cage free, just to name a few. Labels such as these may be eye-catching but are often free of any scientific basis and stigmatize many healthy foods.
“If you show consumers a chocolate bar that is labeled as ‘fair trade’, some will tell you that it has lower calories,” Messer said. “But the label is not about calories. Consumers do this frequently with the ‘organic’ label as they think it is healthy for the consumer. Organic practices may be healthier for the farm workers or the environment, but for the actual consumer, there’s very little evidence behind that. You’re getting lots of mixed, wrong messages out there.
The natural label is a classic one which means very little, yet consumers assume it means more than it does. They think it means ‘No GMO’ but it doesn’t. They think it means it is ‘organic’ but it isn’t. This label is not helping them align their values to their food, and they’re paying a price premium but not getting what they wanted to buy per a study produced by the University of Delaware.
When you start labeling everything as ‘free of this’ such as ‘gluten free water,’ you can end up listing stuff that could never have been present in the food in the first place.
My final word is “Don’t get caught up in all of the different labels – there are some that are just too confusing. When you purchase meat – buy from a grocer you trust. When you purchase fruits and vegetables – purchase from Farmer’s Markets when possible. Just try and use good judgement and don’t get caught up in all of the hype.
It is time again to order pecans, oranges and grapefruit.
Pecans will be $10.00 for a jumbo 1 lb bag of ½ shelled and $7.00 for a 12 oz bag of choc covered pecans.
Oranges – a 40 lb box is $35.00 and 20 lb box is $25.00
Grapefruit – 40 lb box is $30.00 and 20 lb box is $20.00
(we will not have Tangelos this year at all – sorry for the inconvenience.)
Orders must be received by November 22 for fruit and they will be in before Christmas. Pecans will be in before Thanksgiving. Call 435-3616 now to get your order in.
Have you ever wondered what the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders do in the county? They give out scholarships every year, they are the face of Harvest of Help, they participate in parades throughout the county, help will any and all of the Farm Bureau programs throughout the year and they have a great time doing it.
To be a Young Leader you must be between the ages of 18 – 35 and live in the county. We do have a Junior Young Leader Program that focuses on high school age. We work hard and play hard and get a lot of recognition while doing it. It is a great way to get your name and face in front of businesses and business leaders in the county and the state. If you would like more information please call the office at 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article October 2017

gayGay Bowlin-Manager

Just a reminder that Farmer’s Markets throughout the county are still open until the end of October. Take advantage of what the area farmers have to offer that is still fresh from their gardens.
During the fall harvest season, countless hours are being spent in combines, tractors, trucks and other equipment by farmers and workers, who will be transporting large equipment on our roads and highways.  Some workers may be young, new or inexperienced, so it’s always a good suggestion to go over safety considerations with all workers to teach or reinforce the importance of safety on the farm.  Agriculture ranks among the nation’s most hazardous industries.  Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries…and farming is one of the few industries in which family members, who often share the work and live on the farm, are also at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries.
This time of year poses the highest risk of injury for farmers who experience fatigue and stress, under pressure to spend as much time as they can in the fields.  Injuries actually increase by 50% during harvest.  Not only are hours long and the workload heavy, but farmers also have to deal with equipment breakdowns and weather-related issues. Staying safe during harvest is challenging.  Contact with machinery presents the biggest risk for both injuries and fatalities but there are ways to avoid them and stay sharp.  Consider these tips:
Inspect all machinery before beginning and have repair tools at the ready
Eat balanced meals
Stay well-hydrated to maintain awareness
Keep your phone on you, not on a dashboard
Keep SMV emblems and other markings maintained and clean of dirt and mud so they can be seen
Replace faded reflectors, they fade faster if stored outdoors and constantly exposed to sunlight
Make sure those operating equipment are well-trained, this is not the time to train them
Get a good night’s sleep to be as rested as you can be
TEACHERS USE AG IN THE CLASSROOM TO BOOST LESSONS – Teachers are using unique tools and resources from the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program to incorporate agriculture education into general class curriculum. The Illinois Farm Bureau-led program, now in its 35th year, infuses agriculture into everyday subjects and offers up supplemental resources for teachers, including hands-on activities for students ranging in age from kindergarten through high school and college.
If you would be interested in any of the resources that we have available in Franklin County or to schedule Melissa Lamczyk, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator to come to your classroom please call the office at 435-3616.
Just in time for the end of the year – New member benefit is John Deere Program. Members will be eligible for all benefits associated with GreenFleet Platinum 2 status. To receive these benefits members can sign up through the John Deere link to the IFB website: http:www.ilfb.benefits/farm-home.aspx. Once a member has signed up for GreenFleet they will have access to all the benefits: $350-$3,200 off commercial mowing, $100-$250 off residential Mowing, $200-$350 off utility vehicles, 3200-$350 off tractors, $500-$3,700 off golf and sports Turf and much more. For more information call the Franklin County Farm Bureau at 435-3616 or call your local John Deere dealer.
Companies offering savings to Illinois Farm Bureau members include, but are not limited to:
Case IH, Ford, Caterpillar, Theme Parks, Great Wolf Lodge, Choice and Wyndham Hotels, Polaris and ADT.
“Illinois Farm Bureau offers close to 30 discounts or products to our members,” Rhode said. “We’re extremely proud to partner with these excellent companies to offer our members these discounts on products and services they use every day.”
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.