NEWS

House Agriculture Committee Leaders Support Agreement to Avoid Cuts to Crop Insurance 
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson issued the following statements after announcing an agreement to avoid the cuts to crop insurance which are included in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 scheduled for a vote later today.
Chairman Conaway said, “I want to thank my colleagues who have made it very clear over the last 24 hours that the attempt to gut crop insurance in the budget agreement was not acceptable. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers did their part in reigning in our nation’s debt in the 2014 farm bill, saving an estimated $23 billion. It is imperative that we do not undermine their trust by attacking the primary tool they use to manage the tremendous risks involved in producing food and fiber.
“Leadership has heeded our concerns by agreeing to completely reverse this disastrous provision in the upcoming omnibus. Crop insurance is working as intended, and private industry deserves to be lauded, not thrown under the bus. I take our leadership at their word when they committed to me and many of my colleagues that we will eliminate these harmful provisions in the not-so-distant future, which is why I will vote in support of the budget agreement today. I encourage my rural-minded colleagues to follow suit and put their support behind this agreement by passing the budget deal on the floor today. While not the easiest path forward, this is a win for rural America and should be viewed as such.
“I will continue fighting against policies that hurt our farmers and ranchers, and I am thankful to leadership for working with us to avoid these harmful cuts.”
Ranking Member Collin Peterson said, “I’m pleased that we have an agreement to fix the crop insurance cuts and not open the farm bill. We have assurances that the cuts will be removed and the farm bill will not be raided. We produced a fiscally responsible and bipartisan farm bill in 2014 that saved $23 billion. We’ve done our part. I can now support the Budget Agreement with these assurances.”

Per Doug Yoder – Senior Director of Affiliate and Risk Management for the Illinois Farm Bureau says – The budget deal appears to be passing through the system.  That deal does still contain the language to cut crop insurance.  However agreements are in place with both the House and Senate leadership to strip it out during the omnibus budget process in December.  That’s good for crop insurance, but also means those targeted savings, $3 billion over 10 years, will probably need to come from some other ag budget.

Even though those agreements are in place, this issue will need to monitored and worked all the way through the omnibus process to ensure they follow through.

FARMER’S MEMORIAL ANTIQUE TRACTOR DRIVE

FB6Fb7FB8    The 4th Annual Antique Tractor Drive ended up a little soggy this year. Instead of starting the drive and then proceeding through the country and across the lake we decided to participate in the Rend Lake Water Festival Parade. This was the 40th year of the parade and in the past it has sprinkled but this year for the first time it actually rained.
The parade began with the police cars and our Antique Tractors immediately followed. They drove side by side through the parade and everyone really enjoyed seeing how beautiful these tractors are. We made it all the way through the parade route, then, with everyone being pretty wet the tractors were trailered. Most everyone then drove to the Barren Township Building where Bob Martin from Martin’s Catering served up fried fish, potatoes, baked beans and a dessert.
The consensus was that everyone enjoyed themselves and especially the parade and will be back next year.
There were 28 Antique Tractors that took part in the Tractor Drive.
Those participating in the tractor drive were:
Larry Miller, Paul Miller, Jerry Miller, Fern Daily, Brian Pierce, Harlan Pierce, Vera Lowery, Jim Modlin, Ron and Marsha McKinney, Mike McNeil, Steven Douglass and Madye, Harold Douglas, Jim Bodkin, Larry Launius, Michael and Nancy Bejma, Brad Browning, Kendall Browning, Carl Payne, Tom Kuczynski, Ron Siers, Robert Annis, Don Wallace, Steve Wallace, Kenny Novak, Luke Winget, Gary Garner, Kevin Garner, Joe Aldridge and George McCarty.
Then there was 91 year old Bill Neal with three entries.
Fast Truck and Trailer owners Cheryl and Steph Sabo drove the official “follow” truck in case there were any mishaps with tractors not starting along the route.
I would like to thank everyone for their participation in the tractor drive and to those along the route who were able to watch as these beautiful tractors drove past – we hope that you will be watching again next year.

Two Benton High School Seniors              Receive Scholarships

FB4Fb5    The Franklin County Farm Bureau was proud to be in attendance at the Benton High School for their Awards Ceremony.
The scholarships were awarded based on Academic performance, rank in class, ACT/SAT scores and community involvement. The student must be continuing their education into an agriculture related field of study.
Farm Bureau Board member Kelly Robertson was on hand to award Ike Hutchcraft and Wade Hutchens each a $500 scholarship from the Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation.
Brad Browning, Franklin County Young Leaders Chair presented a $400 scholarship from the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee to each of them as well.
We wish both of these students success in their future.

Food Power

FB3   The University of Illinois Food Power program was presented by Shannon Pulliam, U of I Extension Food Power Coordinator, on May 5th, 2015 to the Ewing Grade School. Jennifer Newbury, Franklin County U of I Extension Work Program Participant, SNAP-Ed, Benton High School students, and Melissa Lamczyk, Franklin County Ag in the Classroom Coordinator, also assisted in the presentation.
The first station consisted of a farm-to-table program showing how a pizza is made and where each of the products come from on a farm. The students travel on through the program learning about dairy, nutrition labels, germs, my plate, healthy teeth, how the stomach works, the intestines, bones and muscles, and proper exercise.
The students from Kindergarten through 5th grade are brought in and placed in small groups to travel from one station to the next. It takes about 45 minutes to complete and the teachers are given a booklet to hand out when they return to the classroom for continued education and discussion.
The Benton High School students helped present the stations to the students, so it’s a great way for the young students to interact and they usually ask a lot more questions.
Students were very excited and came away with more energy than they went in with. It covered a lot of healthy eating and care of our bodies but in a fun learning environment.

 

A  New Member Benefit Means Security At Home

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Illinois Farm Bureau in partnership with ADT Security through its most tenured dealer, PowerLink, LLC, has introduced a new member benefit to all County Farm Bureau members.   ADT Security with offers 24 hour alarm monitoring services for protection against burglary, fire and high levels of carbon monoxide in the home along with other services is now available to county Farm Bureau members at a discounted rate.  County Farm Bureau members save $5 off monthly monitoring and receive a free security system valued at $850.  The benefit also includes free monitoring smoke detector services and homeowners insurance savings.  For more information and to take advantage of this member benefit, county Farm Bureau members can call 1-877-289-4070 to speak with an ADT representative.

Two Sesser-Valier Youths Receive Franklin County Farm Bureau Scholarships

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    The Franklin County Farm Bureau was proud to be in attendance at the Sesser-Valier High School for their Awards Banquet.

The scholarships were awarded based on Academic performance, rank in class, ACT/SAT scores and community involvement. The student must be continuing their education into an agriculture related field of study.
Farm Bureau Board member Scott Kistner was on hand to award Kaleb Miller and Amy Kovarik each a $500 scholarship from the Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation.
Ashly Brown from Sesser, a former scholarship recipient, was present to award Amy with a $400 scholarship from the Franklin County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee.
We wish both of these students success in their future.

Get to Know Your Policy: Local Government

Illinois has almost 7,000 units of local government. That’s way more than any other state. Is this good or bad for the citizens of Illinois? IFB’s Local & State Government Strength With Advisory Team (SWAT) is researching the most effective approach to providing the needs of taxpayers through governmental services. With the new administration and focus on property taxes, is now the time to streamline governance in Illinois?

Take this opportunity to review the organization’s policy and provide feedback. Your Illinois Farm Bureau policy #116, Local Government, provides you with the information that IFB uses to guide the organizations involvement.

We support the principle of strong local government with the assignment of responsibility for government services to that unit of general government which best serves the people and can economically provide the service.

We support:
* The consolidation or combination of special taxing units or local government units and programs where such consolidation or combination is planned and approved by local initiative and referenda.

Get involved and educated on this issue by speaking to your county Farm Bureau. You can review the entire policy by visiting www.ilfb.org.

For more information about IFB’s grassroots policies, contact your county Farm Bureau.

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