News & Updates

Friday Leader 3-20-15
March 19, 2015 by: Lesley Gooding

The Friday Leader

News from the Champaign County Farm Bureau

News for the Week Ending Friday, March 20th, 2015


Earth Partners

Thank you to everyone who has joined Earth Partners’ and the Coffee Shop Tour this week. Today will be held at the Philo Tavern at noon and tomorrow, Friday,  will be Gifford at the Gifford Community Building. Below are photos taken from Dewey and Mahomet!



This Week’s Hot Topics

·       STRESS TESTS - The nation's 2,036 farm banks will survive the downturn in the agricultural economy, according to a new report released Tuesday. The annual Farm Bank Performance Report says the banks benefited from several years of strong performance in the agriculture sector and have strong balance sheets.


·       WHAT IS A FAMILY FARM – USDA has just issued a report on what makes up a family farm, based on the most recent Ag Census. Some facts: 97% of the 2.1 million farms in the United States are family-owned operations; 88% of all U.S. farms are small family farms. Small family farms have gross farm sales of less than $350,000; midsize family farms have sales from $350,000 to $999,999; and large family farms have sales of $1 million or more.


·       HAPPY AG DAY - National Agriculture Day is Wednesday, March 18. The day recognizes and celebrates the abundance and contributions of agriculture.


·       MEDIA TRENDS - The country’s largest marketers are slashing their advertising budgets as they shift a larger portion of their spending to digital, according to new figures released on Wednesday. Newspaper ad spending decreased 10 percent, and local papers slid 11.6 percent, according to Kantar Media.


·       BIRD FLU OUTBREAK PROMPTS RULES – The biggest U.S. outbreak of avian influenza has poultry producers tightening security procedures to avoid trade disruptions. China halted U.S. poultry imports in January, while Mexico, the European Union and other trade partners have stopped buying the meat from Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas, where outbreaks of the disease have been reported.


·       DEMAND GROWS FOR FARM PROGRESS SHOW SPACE– The expansion of Progress City USA is being considered as Farm Progress Show organizers work to accommodate increased demand from exhibitors. Exhibit space inside the fenced area of the 80-acre site is already at capacity. The event has gone from 525 exhibitors in 2005 when it was first held in Decatur to more than 600 in 2013. About 680 applications have been received for this year’s show.


·       A NEW BATTLE IN OIL-CAR CONTROVERSY – U.S. refiners are suing BNSF Railways Co., claiming the railroad’s new change on oil shippers that use tanker cars implicated in several fiery train derailments is improper. The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group that represents refinery owners, filed suit in a federal court in Houston. The group alleges that BNSF is overstepping its authority and penalizing oil shippers for using less-crash-resistant DOT-111 tanker cars, even though U.S. regulators haven’t outlawed them.


·       LAWMAKERS URGED TO CREATE MONARCH BUTTERFLY LICENSE PLATE–Environmentalists are urging Illinois lawmakers to create a new monarch butterfly license plate to help boost the population of the state insect and other pollinators. Bills introduced in the House and Senate would create a specialty plate, with the money generated by sales going toward planting milkweed throughout the state.


·       MORE REPUBLICANS JOIN OPPOSITION TO TRADE DEAL– A diverse bloc of House Republicans is threatening to join Democrats in opposition to the White House’s trade push. Most Democrats in Congress and nearly all unions oppose President Barack Obama‘s quest to win a major trade deal with 11 other Pacific countries. Up to 60 House Republicans are expected to side with the Democrats opposed to fast track.


·       STATE FARM TO TEST DRONES– It’s a bird; it’s a plane … it’s a State Farm drone. The Bloomington insurance company has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones for commercial use. The company plans to use the drones to assess potential roof damage during the claims process and respond to natural disasters.  



Mark Your Calendar!

·    MARCH 21, 2015 (ALL DAY EVENT)

American Passion Play

Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
600 N East St
Bloomington, IL 61701

·    APRIL 2, 2015 FROM 06:30PM TO 08:30PM

Young Ag Leaders

801 N Country Fair Dr
champaign, IL 61821


·       March 28th – Gifford Tree Planting!

See below.


Great Opportunity!!!

Let’s Keep Growing – The Gifford Tree Effort

Contact: Bill Malone
Cell Phone: (217) 202-4030

Champaign, IL – Last April, the Rotary Club of Champaign partnered with The Champaign County Farm Bureau and the tornado-ravaged Gifford community to help plant more than 200 trees with the help of more than 200 volunteers.   A year later, the hardest hit areas of Gifford are still in need of significant attention and project manager Bill Malone from the Rotary Club of Champaign feels this second planting effort is possibly more important than the first effort.

Malone says, “Last year our volunteer effort had a very positive impact on the Gifford community.   Unfortunately, we could not access the hardest hit areas where the worst damage occurred.   This year we will focus on those areas and we are seeking volunteers to help us finish the job.”

Thus, the effort continues again this year. There are 200 hundred volunteers needed to make this replant a success. This year there will be 150 trees planted. Trees were ordered from Moore Trees of Champaign.

With the support of Rotary District 6490 and the Champaign & Piatt County Rotary Clubs, Gifford Lion’s Club, Champaign County Farm Bureau, Ludwig Bros Landscaping and the Champaign County Design and Conservation Foundation, we hope to continue increasing our volunteer numbers. There will be three different crews this year, digging, planting, and mulching/staking. No matter what a talent may be, all are welcome - Physical labor, tying knots, walking wheelbarrows, raking, cutting strings etc.

This year’s planting date to help Gifford will be March 28th. If you are interested in volunteering and helping this effort please call the Champaign County Farm Bureau today to sign up (217) 352-5235. PLEASE call to sign-up if you wish to volunteer so crews can be assigned.

Call today to help rebuild Gifford and support the cause by volunteering March 28th – Let’s Keep Growing.


Today in History

March 20th

·       1727   Sir Isaac Newton dies.

·       1916   Albert Einstein publishes his theory of relativity.

·       1969   John Lennon and Yoko Ono get married.

·       1985   The first woman wins the 1,135-mile Iditarod dog sled race.