Be the voice, resource, and advocate for farm families and agriculture,
while promoting stewardship for today and future generations.
The Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau Young Leaders is sponsoring the 14th Annual Angel Tree Project during Belvidere’s Hometown Christmas again this year. While people are enjoying the festivities of Hometown Christmas they can pick up an ornament to help a needy child or drop off donations. The Angel Tree will be open the evening of December 6th during Hometown Christmas in the PNC (former National City) Bank’s heated lobby.
The tree will be set up prior to Hometown Christmas due to the number of generous participants. The tree will be available in the PNC Bank lobby the week of November 25th if you wish to drop off gifts early. However, due to the number of agencies that we work with, all of the ornaments may not be available until Friday, December 6th during Hometown Christmas. (In the past, our greatest need of gifts is for boys and girls between the ages of 10-15.)
On each ornament you will find the age and gender of an under-privileged child. We are asking the person who picks up the ornament to purchase a $10-$15 gift for the child and deliver the unwrapped gift to the PNC Bank Lobby at 130 South State Street in Belvidere, or the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau’s main office at 1925 S Meridian Road in Rockford. The Farm Bureau will wrap the gifts and deliver them to the participating agencies. The agencies will then distribute the gifts to the children. Gifts need to be delivered to the Farm Bureau offices or the PNC Bank lobby no later than Friday, December 13th to ensure delivery before Christmas. Last year over 200 gifts were donated to Boone County and Rockford area children thanks to your help. Please help make this year a success also. If you are unable to come to the Farm Bureau or PNC Bank lobby and would like to participate, please call the office at (815) 962-0653. We hope to make Christmas a little brighter for some underprivileged children. We can’t do this without you.
Seed that has been developed with a genetically modified organism (GMO) is most often found in corn and soybean seed varieties. Farmers do not have any wheat GMO seed varieties that they can buy. Most of the fruit and vegetable production is produced for local food markets and is mainly organic and non-GMO.
So that leaves corn and soybeans. I have grown both GMO and non-GMO varieties. What I plant depends on; seed variety yield, the weeds and insects that I find in my fields, and market prices. I sell my grain to two local elevators. One contracts directly with farmers to raise specific varieties of corn and soybeans depending on what a buyer such as a food processor wants. The grain buyer at that elevator estimated about 90% of the soybean seed varieties grown in the local area are GMO and 80% of the corn.
Working through the math, a good estimate would be about 70% of the farm land acres in Boone County are grown using a GMO seed variety."- Ken
Agricultural Security & Terrorism Awareness
This week the Winnebago Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in partnership with Win-Bur-Sew Fire Department hosted an information meeting on “Agricultural Security & Terrorism”. The presentation was given by Steffan Nass, Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator- FBI’s Springfield Division.
Agro-Terrorism is defined as the deliberate introduction, use, or threatened use, of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive agent against one or more components of the food or agriculture sectors, with the goal of causing mortality or morbidity, generating fee, precipitating economic loss, or undermining sector stability and confidence in government.
Here are a few indicators of Agro-Terrorism.
Agricultural Retail Facilities should report any of the following:
Producers and Auction Markets should report any of the following:
Aerial Applicators should report any tampering or attempts to purchase or rent aircraft or chemicals.
Suspicious signs and symptoms of illnesses in employees should be reported to your local health department. Health officials should be made aware of the emergency, normal duties and any contact with sick animals that may have led to the illness. Details of contact with feed products, medical supplies, or chemicals that the employee may have had contact with should also be noted.
Suspicious signs and symptoms of illnesses in animals (such as blistering or ruptured blisters around the mouth, nose, teats, or hooves; central nervous system disorders that prevent the animal from rising or walking normally; loss of appetite and conditioning; swelling around the eyes and neck in poultry; dramatic drop in egg or milk production; large number of dead insects, rodents or wildlife; and unusual ticks or maggots) should be reported to your veterinarian.
If a crime is in progress, CALL 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information about a crime, or to report suspicious activity, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (217) 522-9675. The following information is needed:
This information was provided by the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group. The Illinois Agro-Security Working group is a partnership between frontline agricultural industry personnel and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for the purpose of preventing criminal and terrorist activities in and around Illinois agriculture and food systems. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Fertilizer Chemical Association, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, and the United States Department of Agriculture form the Illinois Agro-Security Working Group.