Manager’s Article November 20, 2017

gayHAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! According to AFBF, the price of an average Thanksgiving dinner for 10 dropped this year to $49.12, a 75-cent decrease compared with last year and the lowest since 2013. While the price of the meal has steadily increased since 1986 when AFBF first conducted its survey, the average cost has been trending downward for the last two years. Be sure and thank a farmer for your Thanksgiving Dinner.
BIG CROPS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR STRONG AG MARKETS – Thinking back to August, IFB President Richard Guebert, Jr. wasn’t too worried about who would buy this year’s crops. He wasn’t sure there’d be much of a crop to buy in the first place. But Guebert’s yield monitor showed surprisingly high numbers this fall, and his thoughts have returned to where his crops are going to go. “We really need good export and trade agreements to move this product out into the world market,” he said. (FarmWeekNow.com)
IL SHORT OF TEACHERS – A recent report finds Illinois schools needed 2,000 teachers at the start of this year, and 16 percent of schools had to cancel something last year because they didn’t have the teachers to conduct the classes or activities. Experts say teachers’ starting salaries, cost of a four-year degree and certification requirements are contributing to the lack of teachers in the state. (Illinois News Network)
Illinois Dicamba Training will roll out this winter, with sessions beginning Nov. 27 and continuing until April 1, just prior to spring planting.
Illinois is following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) parameters as it relates to dicamba use in 2018.
“We are now moving forward with one of the new requirements on this label for 2018, which is that this is a restricted-use pesticide,” Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) President Jean Payne recently told the RFD Radio Network®.  “So you already have to be a certified applicator to apply it.”
Those applicators must also prove that they have been to dicamba-specific training in order to apply the product, she added.
“And you have to keep proof of training as part of every record of application,” Payne said. “You don’t have to have proof of training to buy dicamba products; you just have to be a certified applicator and provide the pesticide dealer your license.”(Jim Taylor for FarmWeek.now)
FRUIT ORDERS MUST BE IN BY MONDAY.
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 27 for fruit and it will be in before Christmas.
WE CURRENTLY HAVE PECANS IN THE OFFICE – so you can call or stop by and pick them up. Supplies are limited so don’t wait.
Pecans are $10.00 for a jumbo 1 lb bag of ½ shelled and $7.00 for a 12 oz bag of choc covered pecans.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

What’s Growing on?

AITC AITC1The 38th Annual Mt. Vernon Teacher Conference was held on October 27, 2017, at the Mt. Vernon Twp. High School campus with a “reach~teach~inspire” theme. Ag in the Classroom Coordinators from Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Saline Counties provided an exhibit table with free resources. Those resources included posters, Ag Mags, Illinois Reading Council information, IL AITC calendars and much more. The coordinators owe a big Thank You to Jacob Kueker, Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter, and Derek Sample, Sesser-Valier FFA Chapter, for watching over the exhibit booth while the coordinators presented at 4 sessions throughout the day.
The Coordinators presenting included: Leslie Kueker, Jefferson/Hamilton Co., Maridy Tso, Saline/Gallatin Co, and Melissa Lamczyk, Franklin Co. The session titles were “What’s Growing On?” These sessions focused on specialty crops growing in Illinois and how to use new learning standards to incorporate hands on activities with some locally grown produce as well as produce from around the state. The new Specialty Ag Mag has several items highlighted from around the state with interviews from growers on the back page and information on the front page and inside. The newer Ag Mags have the standards listed on the back page and the web page for finding more lessons and activities, as well as many more links and FREE resource materials.
Mrs. Lamczyk shared an informative video from the Horseradish Festival in Collinsville , IL and presented a horseradish root, how it’s grown, special equipment needed during the planting, harvesting and storage of the produce. Mrs. Lamczyk shared her experience of touring Heepke Farms in May of 2017, where they grow horseradish and many other commodities, and learned that Collinsville, IL is the horseradish capitol of the world.
Mrs. Tso presented an activity on broom corn. Mrs. Tso had some broom corn on hand to share with the teachers and told them she relates to the product from childhood memories with her grandparents. She demonstrated the difference in use of broom corn and todays brooms. She also did a fun hands on activity of moon sand using watermelon kool-aid. She told teachers that students could make the sand with different flavors of kool-aid while learning about different produce.
Mrs. Kueker demonstrated how to pull the dna cells from a strawberry, while also providing some for snacks for those teachers attending class though the lunch hour. Mrs. Kueker demonstrated that different equipment used during the extraction process and products used could make a difernce in the outcome and the time needed to do the experiment. She talked about the different orchards available within the county for finding different produce and their products.
Teachers left with handouts, Ag Mags, and some with a variety of door prizes, such as highlighted ag related books. More than 1000 teachers and administrators and several counties participate and attend the Mt. Vernon Conference. A huge Thank You to the Regional Office of Education and all those who assisted with the planning, preparation and carrying out of the conference.

Akin Thanksgiving

Akin ThanksgivingAkin Grade school holds an annual Thanksgiving feast Day each year. Each year Mrs. Shannon Bennett, Kindergarten teacher at Akin, invites the Franklin County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, Melissa Lamczyk, into the classroom to prepare her students for the day.
Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. Walker, 1st grade teacher, help their students in making their feast day attire. Mrs. Lamczyk discusses with the students how the Native Americans hunted for their food and how they not only ate the meat, but also how the hides and bones were used clothing, tools and jewelry.
Mrs. Lamczyk also talks about how they used other resources from their environment that to make their items. The students thought of different items that could be used for dyes for clothing, like berries and nuts and other items nature provides.
Mrs. Lamczyk dyes a variety of different shaped noodles each year for the students to make necklaces. She cuts strands of craft lace and attaches a metal ring at one end. Pairs of students are given a bowlful of noodles to make their necklaces, then each student gets to choose a dyed manicotti noodle to slide onto the center of the necklace. The teachers then help place a latch on the other end of the necklace. Each students’ initials are placed on a noodle near the latch and the students wear the necklace for a picture.
The teachers collect the necklaces and keep them until the feast day. The teachers have students decorate paper sacks for vests and Mrs. Bennett brings in real turkey feathers for the students to use for their headdress. The students then wear the attire for feast day.
Many of the 1st grade students and students from previous years say they still have their necklaces. Students sometimes make patterns with the noodles, but also need to use their fine motor skills and listening skills in making their necklaces. Students are mimicking the Native American attire and learning about history at the same time while having their Thanksgiving Feast.

Manager’s Article For November 15, 2017

gayHopefully most of the crops are out of the fields by now but I do know that there are still some farmers who are fighting the weather. So this is just a reminder that Governor Rauner signed the HSE into effect to allow farmers to haul grain and/or livestock due to crop conditions. All three common forms of weight restriction – gross, axle and registered – are addressed. In each case, the permit can allow up to a maximum of 10 percent over the standard weight restriction.
There is no cost for the HSE permit. However, you will need to have documents in EACH truck from IDOT during this time. The HSE ruling also indicates that a permit is needed for county routes, district roads and municipal streets – I have called Franklin County and talked to Matt Barnett and Mike Rolla has indicated that Franklin County is not requiring a county permit at this time for emergency harvest. I also spoke with Hamilton County and Jackson County and they are not requiring permits either.
The most important part of this is that YOU CANNOT RUN ON ANY INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS WHILE OVERWEIGHT. YOU MUST ALWAYS OBAY THE POSTED BRIDGE LIMITS!
To get the IDOT permit it is necessary to go to their website and go to the oversize and overweight site and create a log in. A permit will then be issued to you – remember that each truck/plate must have a written permit at least from IDOT. This includes any truck that is hauling grain – not just a farm plate.
Each truck will be required to have three documents:
The permit (printed or electronic)
A copy of form OPER 993*; and (*special vehicle movement permit provisions)
A copy of the Governor’s declaration.
We are getting ready for our County Annual Meeting on November 27. If you are a Farm Bureau member please call by Tuesday the 21st to make your reservations. For more information call the office at 435-3616.
We are taking donations for Harvest of Help – this is our 10th year and we have raised over $62,000 to be able to donate food to all 9 are food pantries. Any amount of money is helpful and it is a tax deductible donation to the Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation. If you would like more information call the office.
It is time again to order oranges and grapefruit. We currently have pecans in the office so you can call or stop by and pick them up. Supplies are limited so don’t wait.
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 it will be in before Christmas.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Manager’s Article for November 8, 2017

gayGovernor Rauner signed the HSE into effect to allow farmers to haul grain and/or livestock due to crop conditions. All three common forms of weight restriction – gross, axle and registered – are addressed. In each case, the permit can allow up to a maximum of 10 percent over the standard weight restriction.
There is no cost for the HSE permit. However, you will need to have documents in EACH truck from IDOT during this time. The HSE ruling also indicates that a permit is needed for county routes, district roads and municipal streets – I have called Franklin County and talked to Matt Barnett and Mike Rolla has indicated that Franklin County is not requiring a county permit at this time for emergency harvest.
The townships that I have spoken with – Benton and Christopher – indicate that they will not require a written permit to run on their roads.
The most important part of this is that YOU CANNOT RUN ON ANY INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS WHILE OVERWEIGHT.
To get the IDOT permit it is necessary to go to their website and go to the oversize and overweight site and create a log in. A permit will then be issued to you – remember that each truck/plate must have a written permit at least from IDOT. This includes any truck that is hauling grain – not just a farm plate.
Each truck will be required to have three documents:
The permit (printed or electronic)
A copy of form OPER 993*; and (*special vehicle movement permit provisions)
A copy of the Governor’s declaration.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 435-3616 and I will do my best to walk you through the process.
We are still looking for Silent Auction Items for our Annual Meeting. The proceeds will benefit Ag in the Classroom. If you have an item that you would like to donate please contact our office at 435-3616 and we can make arrangements to pick it up. Thank you for your consideration and this is a tax deductible donation.
Also, it is time again to ask for donations for our annual “Harvest of Help” – we collect money then purchase food for each of the 9 food pantries in Franklin County. Every dollar helps! This is a tax deductible donation and checks need to be made to Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation. Over the 9 years that we have been doing the Harvest of Help we have donated in excess of $62,000 to the food pantries. We are very proud of the support that we have received from everyone for this program.
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.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.