News & Updates

Friday Leader
May 18, 2015 by: Lesley Gooding

The Friday Leader

News from the Champaign County Farm Bureau

News for the Week Ending Friday, May 15, 2015

Thank You!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in this week’s Farm Bureau Action Requests. WOTUS has passed in the House and is now in the Senate, Shimkus and Davis BOTH said yes! Your contacts help with these requests and it gives CCFB great honor that both contacts for this area helped us with our effort. . PLEASE continue to report on TPA and report your contacts to:

If for some reason you have not reported WOTUS or TPA contacts to the CCFB office, please do so by emailing the above address, or calling at: 352-5235.

Yesterday, CCFB was able to meet with Senator Scott Bennett, Representative Adam Brown, Representative Chad Hays, Adopted Legislator Greg Harris, Senator Chapin Rose, Representative Bill Mitchell and Representative Carol Ammons. We thanked them for their support and discussed current/upcoming Illinois Farm Bureau Priorities.

                                                                Dale Tharp and Nancy Strunk with Representative Adam Brown                                             Senator Scott Bennett, we thanked Scott for his supporting HB 2515, CDL reg             (left to right): President, Eric Suits; CCFB Adopted Legislator, Greg Harris; Nancy Strunk and Dale Tharp

Adam Nielsen, Illinois Farm Bureau Director of National Legislation and Policy Development:

H.R. 1072 passes the U.S. House

Great news from the U.S. House of Representatives last night.   H.R. 1072 – a bill that would force EPA to withdraw and rewrite the WOTUS rule – passed 261-155.   Twenty-four Democrats voted for the bill including three from Illinois.   Our delegation voted 10-5 with two not voting.  Thanks to all who made contacts over the past few weeks on this high priority issue for Farm Bureau.

Please keep the contacts going on the phone and through the Legislative Action Center requesting Senators Durbin and Kirk cosponsor S. 1140, a bill similar to H.R. 1072.     As of 11 a.m .this morning, we’ve had more than 90 emails sent to each office.   

Yes – Bost, Bustos, Danny Davis, Rodney Davis, Dold, Hultgren, Kelly, Kinzinger, Roskam, and Shimkus.

No –  Duckworth, Foster, Lipinski, Quigley, Schakowsky

Not voting – Gutierrez and Rush


Keep the calls and emails going on TPA

The U.S. Senate dealt Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)  a setback yesterday when Democrats backed away from a deal that would have allowed debate to begin on the bill.   A motion to proceed to TPA failed by eight votes.   Senator Kirk voted yes to start the TPA debate.  Senator Durbin voted no.   Democratic leaders are insisting that Republicans include a customs enforcement bill and an Africa trade bill as part of a four bill package that includes TPA and Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers who lose their jobs as a result of free trade.   Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell considers the two other bills a “poison pill” that would kill TPA.  Some have speculated that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid simply wants to delay consideration of TPA past Memorial Day weekend to give opponents more time to attack the bill.    Democrats are floating a compromise, but it has apparently been rejected.  The White House is reaching out to pro-trade Democrats who rebelled.  Stay tuned.

We need to keep contacts going through at least the end of the week.  

Sen. Durbin – 202-224-2152

Sen.  Kirk – 202-224-2854


This Week’s Hot Topics

TRADE VOTE UPDATE – The Hill reports Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and New York Sen. Charles Schumer are proposing a compromise to move forward on President Obama’s trade agenda.


WOTUS VOTE - H.R. 1072 – a bill that would force EPA to withdraw and rewrite the WOTUS rule – passed 261-155. Twenty-four Democrats voted for the bill including three from Illinois. Our delegation voted 10-5 with two not voting.  Thanks to all who made contacts over the past few weeks on this high priority issue for Farm Bureau.


COST PRESSURES – U of I farm management specialist Gary Schnitkey says farmland returns are projected to be lower in 2015 than in recent years. He says if prices do not rebound significantly, there will be pressures to reduce cash flows for the 2016 year. Farmers will need to reduce one or more of the following costs: fertilizer, seed, chemical, and cash rents.


TECH UPDATE - Smartphones are now the third most-owned consumer electronics product in the country, trailing only TVs and DVD/Blu-ray players, according to a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association.  Tablets saw the largest increase in ownership growth over last year now at 54% ownership, and for the first time joining the list of top 10 most-owned tech products.


AG JOBS OUTLOOK - Nearly 58,000 jobs will open annually across the United States in occupations involving food, agriculture, renewable natural resources and environment over the next five years, according to an employment outlook led by Purdue University.   There should be a strong employment market for e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agriscience educators, crop advisers and pest control specialists.


CHANGING WORKFORCE - More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.


DRIFTWATCH – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is holding a news event in Alto Pass today to entice more vineyards to participate in the Driftwatch program. The Driftwatch program was launched in 2010 as a coordinated effort between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several other Midwestern states in an effort to promote better communications between pesticide users and sensitive crop growers.


AVIAN FLU - A strain of avian flu that until now had been found only in the Western United States has cropped up in Indiana, bringing the total number of states affected by the virulent outbreak to 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. No cases yet reported in Illinois.

CATTLE HERDS ARE GETTING BEEFED UP– For the first time in nearly a decade, ranchers in the Great Plains are expanding their herds, betting that a recent break in a multi-year drought will persist. Ranchers are building up their herds, seeking to capitalize on high cattle prices and lower costs for feed.


SHELL WINS NOD FROM U.S. TO DRILL IN ARCTIC OCEAN– The U.S. government Monday conditionally approved Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s plans to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer, removing the biggest remaining obstacle before the company can explore for oil and natural gas in the Arctic’s frigid, isolated waters.


OBAMA’S ‘FAST TRACK’ BILL HITS 1ST SENATE HURDLE TODAY– President Barack Obama’s trade agenda faces its first test in the GOP-controlled Senate today, with a vote on whether to move forward on legislation giving the president “fast track” trade authority. The administration is pressing lawmakers to approve the bill so that it can conclude the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade pact with 11 Asia-Pacific nations.


NEW BLOOD TESTS MAY TRANSFORM CANCER CARE– A new type of blood test is starting to transform cancer treatment, sparing some patients the surgical and needle biopsies long needed to guide their care. The tests, called liquid biopsies, capture cancer cells or DNA that tumors shed into the blood, instead of taking tissue from the tumor itself.


COST CUTS BUOY DEAN FOODS– Dean Foods Co. said resilience in prices for its dairy products drove better-than-expected results in the first quarter and is continuing to buoy its business in the current period, sending its shares up sharply. The Dallas company got a boost from the 25 percent drop in its outlays for raw milk.


MARKET FOR CLEAR INFO– Shoppers at farmers markets in Illinois should find more product-origin information on produce this summer as a result of a state law enacted in the summer of 2014. The state rules were in anticipation of federal regulations that could come this summer.


FARMER’S FRIDGE OUT TO MUSHROOM– What better than a hospital complex to test demand for healthier fare? Farmer’s Fridge is bringing three of its salad filled vending machines to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Chicago company, Farmer’s Fridge, has grown to 13 kiosks since opening in 2013. Shoppers see rows of salads in clear plastic jars in the refrigerated salad vending machines.            


Mark Your Calendar!

MAY 29, 2015 FROM 11:30AM TO 01:30PM

Foundation Scholarship Dinner

2235 S Neil St
Champaign, IL 61821


MAY 30, 2015 (ALL DAY EVENT)

Josephine's Tea Room & Gifts

Josephine's Tea Room
6109 Godfrey Road
Godrey , IL 62035



Great Opportunity!!!


June 6th: Join Lois on her trip to Chicago-shopping on Michigan Avenue! Take a day and visit the “Windy City” Sign up today!!


Champaign County Farm Bureau Communications Committee is starting a blog on our website! What do we need?? We need CCFB members to email us photos taken by members, planting, at the shed/shop, “my day off”, family etc. with a short caption to add to our new blog! Please send all photos and captions to:

Reference, please visit:

Today in History

May 15th

·       1756   England declares war on France starting the Seven Years' War.

·       1928   The first appearances of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

·       1940   The first McDonald's opened in San Bernardino, California

·       1941   Baseball player Joe DiMaggio starts his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak.

·       1970   The Beatles' last LP, Let It Be, is released