The Friday Leader
News from the Champaign County Farm Bureau
News for the Week Ending Friday, February 13, 2015
On behalf of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, thank you for your support with our FB ACT request. Please see below.
The U.S House just voted 272 to 142 to pass H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015. The Senate Finance Committee has created tax reform working groups and indicated that it plans to look at Section 179 and other tax extenders sometime this year. Meanwhile, President Obama threatened to veto the bill.
Thanks to all who made contacts over the past few days. The Action Request has concluded.
We will continue to press our Senators to consider a permanent extension of the Section 179 small business expensing option in an expeditious fashion.
Have a great weekend!”
Director of National Legislation and Policy Development
Illinois Farm Bureau
The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program is offering container garden grants. The grant award will include one 13 x 29 x 11 inch EarthBox® Portable Planting System as well as the IAITC Once Upon A Garden lesson booklet and one copy of each of the following books (or appropriate substitutes): Oh Say Can You Seed by Bonnie Worth, Harvest Year and Seed, Soil Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food by Cris Peterson, Water: sources, use, conservation by Nancy Carlson, and The Vegetables We Eat and From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons. Recipients will also receive a check for $20 to purchase potting soil, seeds and plants for their EarthBox®.
Contact Myla (firstname.lastname@example.org or 532-5235) for more information on applying. Grant applications are due to Bloomington by Monday, March 16.
This Week’s Hot Topics
FARMLAND VALUES SHOW SIGNS OF STRAIN– Farmland values declined in parts of the Midwest for the first time in decades last year, reflecting a cooling in the market driven by two years of bumper crops and sharply lower grains prices, the Federal Reserve reported on Thursday. The states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin saw farmland values drop 3 percent in 2014.
SENATOR: NEW EDUCATION BILL COULD HAVE BIPARTISAN SUPPORT– Two Illinois lawmakers say the time is right for lawmakers to fix the way the state distributes education dollars. Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington says he’s filing legislation that would commission a study to develop a formula for state funding of schools based on local needs. Barickman says common ground can be found between Democrats and Republicans because Gov. Bruce Rauner has pledged to make increasing education funding a top priority.
ORBITZ SOLD TO EXPEDIA - Orbitz Worldwide, a Chicago-based online travel agency, has agreed to be sold to industry giant and longtime rival Expedia for $1.33 billion.
SENATORS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO END CUBA TRADE EMBARGO– A bipartisan group of senators, that includes Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), introduced a bill on Thursday to lift the decades-old trade embargo against Cuba, a primary legislative step toward President Barack Obama’s goal of normalizing relations with Havana. The bill spearheaded by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would eliminate legal barriers preventing Americans from conducting business in Cuba by repealing key provisions of laws that established the embargo.
CHICKEN DEMAND EXPECTED TO OUTPACE PRODUCTION– Pilgram’s Pride Corp. expects a boom in the U.S. chicken industry to go on as restaurants’ and grocery stores’ demand for poultry outpaces meatpackers’ efforts to boost production.
DESPITE VETO IN THE PIPELINE, CONGRESS OKS KEYSTONE BILL– Congress gave final approval Wednesday to legislation that would expedite the Keystone IL pipeline, setting up the first substantial showdown of President Barack Obama’s administration. Obama has already vowed to veto the bill.
WHOLE FOODS BENEFITS FROM INCREASE IN CUSTOMERS– Whole Foods Market Inc. said its earnings rose 5.7 percent on stronger revenue as the natural-and organic-focused grocery chain attracted more customers to its stores during the quarter ended January.
SEED CORN PLANT IN EASTERN ILLINOIS TO CLOSE– Syngenta plans to close an eastern Illinois seed-corn plant and distribution site and cut its 24 jobs. Company spokeswoman Pam Molitor told The Paris Daily Beacon News that the facility in Paris will close on May 29.
REPUBLICANS EYE CHANGES TO FOOD-STAMP PROGRAM– House Republicans are laying the groundwork for a revision of the food-stamps program after its sharp expansion during the recession. The effort kicks off Feb. 25 when the House Agriculture Committee holds the first of several hearings scheduled this year on food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
ILLINOIS DRIVER’S LICENSES MAY NOT MEET STANDARDS– Illinois residents might not be able to use their driver’s licenses at airports starting in 2016. The Daily Herald reports the licenses don’t meet requirements set by the 2005 Real ID Act that were meant to increase security. Illinois doesn’t require a birth certificate to get a driver’s license, which Illinois Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt said is one of the law’s mandates.
OIL PRICES DROP ON RECORD SUPPLIES– Oil tumbled for the second day in a row, with the U.S. benchmark slipping back below $50 a barrel, after a government report showed U.S. crude stockpiles reached a new record high.
Mark Your Calendar!
FEBRUARY 16, 2015 FROM 09:30AM TO 11:00AM
FEBRUARY 17, 2015 FROM 07:30AM TO 08:30AM
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 FROM 06:30PM TO 08:30PM
CCFB Full Board
FEBRUARY 21, 2015 FROM 09:00AM TO 12:00PM
Equine Garage Sale
FEBRUARY 22, 2015 FROM 02:00PM TO 04:00PM
FEBRUARY 23, 2015 FROM 03:00PM TO 06:00PM
Women's Committee Blood Drive
Champaign County Farm Bureau Equine Garage Sale
Where: CCFB Auditorium
801 North Country Fair Drive
When: Saturday, February 21, 2015**
9AM – Noon
Tack! Saddles! Blankets & Coolers! Clothing! Boots & Shoes! Breyers! Books & Magazines! And so much more!
Interested in selling at this event?
This sale is by table rental only. No commission will be charged. Eight-foot tables are $10 each, paid with registration. Registration deadline is Saturday, February 14, 2015. Registration forms are in the CCFB January newsletter and at www.ccfarmbureau.com
Contact David at the CCFB office (217-352-5235) or email David@ccfarmbureau.com
**Snow Date: Saturday, February 28, 2015. The decision to postpone the February 21 sale will be made by 4:00 pm on February 20 and announced online at www.ccfarmbureau.com