While I was in grade school, my family would load up the car and head to Springfield during our spring break. We would spend days exploring the city and even spending some time as a “Page for the Day” with our local Senator. This was when my love for Springfield began.
I loved the atmosphere, the hustle and bustle of the staff in the capital and the beauty and history of the city. I am kind of a history nerd. I loved watching the democratic process, watching from the floor of the Senate chambers as legislators voted on new laws. This week, over 400 Farm Bureau members traveled to Springfield for our annual Governmental Affairs and Leadership Conference held at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in downtown Springfield.
Attendees learned from breakout sessions with topics covering livestock, transportation, anhydrous ammonia and understanding the Farmland Assessment Formula. Michael Smerconish, SXM Radio Host on POTUS and CNN host, served as a General Session speaker. The event concluded with the annual Legislative Receptions. Stephenson County Farm Bureau members visited with Senator Brian Stewart, Representative Andrew Chesney and Adopted Legislator Representative Fran Hurley. Our members are looking forward to bringing what they learned back to the county.
Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Mount Rushmore trip preview meeting: At 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Farm Bureau office, Lindstrom Travel will provide a preview presentation of this trip. Tour dates are Aug. 4-13, 2021. Tour highlights include 15 meals: nine breakfast and six dinners, round trip airport transportation, visit to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, Jeep tour through Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, and much more. For more information, visit stephensoncfb.org or stop by our office to pick up a brochure. Reservations are not required for the preview presentation, but are appreciated. To register, call 815-232-3186 or email email@example.com.
Sip, Savor, Support Stephenson County Farm Bureau sholarships: Join the Stephenson County Farm Bureau on March 28 on our bus trip to southern Wisconsin to enjoy a day of good food, good drinks and raising money for a good cause, the Stephenson County Farm Bureau Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships for area students. Our bus will depart from the Rafters parking lot in Lena at 8:45 a.m. and will return by 5 p.m. We will make stops at Brix Cider Co. in Mt. Horeb for a tour, tasting and delicious lunch. Next, we will travel to Fish King Winery in Verona, WI; at this stop we will learn from the wine maker himself while having a guided tour. Our final stop will be Botham Vineyards & Winery in Barneveld; here we will have a private wine tasting with cheese and chocolate pairings. Your registration cost of $85 will include all tastings, transportation, lunch and a swag bag. Each stop will include time for purchases. If you would like to help us “fun”raise for our scholarship program, please consider joining us! Registration is now open and can be done by calling the Stephenson County Farm Bureau at 815-232-3186.
Prep, freeze and cook: Take the prep work out of dinner. Meals will arrive already frozen; you will just need to order and pay for your meals, by Feb. 28 and they will be ready to pick up on March 11 between 5 and 6 p.m. Order your 10 entrees for a family of five for $170 or entrees for two for $85. The order forms can be picked up at our office or printed from our website. Meals include BBQ Porkchops, Ranch Chicken Tacos, Creamy Italian Chick and Root beer pulled pork, to name a few. For a complete list stop by our office or visit stephensoncfb.org.
Tickets for Beef Association banquet: Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Beef Association Banquet on March 12, at 6:30 p.m. The featured speaker is Scott Thompson, a partner in the law firm of Kittelsen, Barry, Wellington and Thompson. Scott specializes in estate and tax planning, trust estates, probate and divestment law. He is a member of the Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, both at the state and national level. Scott has been named one of “10 Best Attorneys” by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. Receiving his law degree in 1985 from U.W. Madison Law School, he has practiced law in Monroe for 35 years. Scott Thompson is also the morning personality of the BIG FM 93.7’ Morning Mess radio show (which can be heard at bigradio.fm). Scott is the co-owner of BIG RADIO, which consists of 10 radio stations located in Monroe, Janesville, Beloit and Freeport. Tickets can be purchased at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau, 210 West Spring Street Freeport, or from a Beef Association member from $15. Ticket includes prime rib dinner. Tickets must be purchased by March, 5. Absolutely no tickets will be sold at the door.
Scholarships are now available: Stephenson County Farm Bureau Foundation offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors and continuing education students. These scholarship applications can be picked up at our office at 210 West Spring Street, Freeport, IL or printed from our website stephensoncfb.org under “news” tab. Deadline for graduating high school seniors is April 17 and the application for continuing college students is due May 15th. If you have questions or would like more information, please call our office 815-232-3186 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for Victoria.
Early registration discount for Shipshewana Amish Country bus trip ends March 1: Join us as we travel to LaGrange County, Indiana, during our annual Shipshewana bus trip June 8-10, 2020. Highlights include Blue Gate Theatre dinner and show, a day of tours including stops at Dutch Country Market, Tea Berry Woodworking and Heritage Hall Cheese and the famous Shipshewana flea market and more! Our group will stay at the Farmstead Inn which is walking distance from shops and downtown Shipshewana. Prices vary depending on room occupancy. Non-members add $40. Single room occupancy $500/person, double room occupancy $375/person, triple room occupancy $340 and quad room occupancy $325/person. Register and pay by March 1 and receive a $25 discount. Price includes motor coach transportation, two nights lodging with breakfast, Blue Gate Theatre dinner and show, Amish tour with lunch, an Amish dinner, and all gratuities and refreshments on bus. Meals while traveling to and from Shipshewana are not included. Final registration deadline April 17. To reserve your spot, please call 815-232-3186. More details can be found on our website at stephensoncfb.org.
Rules for the road motor vehicle rules for Illinois farmers: Trucking regulations can be complicated and farm exemptions compound that problem. It seems everyone has a different answer to the same question. Come join us at 10 a.m. March 5, at Tettens Grain, 1684 Nachusa Road, Dixon, to find out what you need to know. Illinois Farm Bureau is hosting a two-hour meeting for Farm Bureau members focusing on trucking laws specifically for farmers. You will be introduced to new rules, remind you of the old ones that still apply and help you figure out whether exemptions are available. Throughout it all, you will have the chance to ask those farm trucking questions that everyone has an opinion about, but no one can agree on an answer. We will invite enforcement agencies you encounter on the road to discuss the rules and things they see most often from farmers. Presenting the seminar will be Kirby Wagner who specializes in farm transportation issues for the Illinois Farm Bureau®. Please call 815-232-3186 by Friday to reserve your place at the rules for the road meeting.
Victoria Hansen is manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau
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