This week for writing my column, I have traded in my office chair and cup of coffee for a bus seat and an unsweet tea, as our charter bus heads back to Illinois.
This week I have had the opportunity to host a farm bureau bus trip to Shipshewana Amish Country. We have had three days full of activities. Our trip started with a dinner and a show at the Blue Gate Theater. The food was delicious, and the show was even better.
Our second day included a whole day worth of stops at Amish-run businesses. We visited a country market where they make noodles. Next, we visited a woodworking shop where we learned about the basket making process. We then enjoyed lunch at an Amish homestead; our hosts shared about their culture and community. Our afternoon was rounded out by stops at a creamery and a bakery. For dinner we headed to another Amish homestead to enjoy a “threshers” meal, meaning it would be a larger, heartier meal. This type of meal was typically served after the harvesting was complete when workers would be extra hungry. Everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the food and the company. Our final day in Shipshewana included a free day where attendees could go to the flea market, shop downtown or relax at the hotel. This is a favorite bus trip of our members as many come year after year. If you’d like to see some photos from our trip, please view our Facebook page at “Stephenson County Farm Bureau.”
Stephenson and Carroll counties farm bureaus host field day: Stephenson and Carroll counties farm bureaus are partnering with several local stakeholders to host a general education meeting, which will cover a variety of agriculture and conservation-related topics, including cover crops. Speakers will include representatives from Illinois Farm Bureau, Clinton County Farm Bureau, the University of Illinois, Stephenson and Carroll County Service Companies and Hunter Haven Farms. This program will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 9 at the Pearl City Fire Station, 300 Station St. To register, please contact the SCFB at 815-232-3186 by July 1. This program is free and does include lunch. Additional information can be found on stephensoncfb.org.
Benefit Highlight: Farm Bureau members receive up to a 20% discount with Choice Hotels with advance reservations. To learn more visit ilfb.abenity.com
Mental Health Lunch and Learn: The Stephenson and Carroll CFBs will host a lunch and learn June 22 via Zoom. This 30-minute program will highlight how agriculture professionals can support farmers during stressful times. This event is free and open to the public. To register and receive the Zoom link please email email@example.com or to register yourself at stephensoncfb.org under the “news” tab. Questions can be directed to Victoria at 815-232-3186.
Roots and Shoots Grant Funding: The Stephenson County Farm Bureau Foundation is offering Roots and Shoots Apprentice/Internship Grants. While Bruce Johnson was the SCFB manager, he established the Roots and Shoots Program. The goal of Roots and Shoots is to encourage Stephenson County youth to explore job opportunities within our community and the agriculture industry. As part of this, we are offering a matching grant for agriculture related businesses who employ Stephenson County high school students or college students. Applications and a full list of details can be found on our website at stephensoncfb.org or by calling 815-232-3186. Applications are due back to the SCFB by June 18.
Dairy Month Blood Drive: In celebration of June Dairy month the Stephenson County Farm Bureau will host a blood drive at our building from 8 a.m. until noon on June 19. Each donor will receive a carton of ice cream to enjoy at home. First time donors will receive a season pass to the SCFB. We will also offer dairy themed activity bags for any kids that come with their parents or those at home. If you’d like to reserve your spot, please call the Stephenson County Farm Bureau at 815-232-3186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victoria Hansen is manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau
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