| AGRICULTURAL PUBLIC POLICY|
Kane County Farm Bureau’s public policy influence has helped secure several important firsts for Illinois farmers. Kane County was Illinois’ first county to:
farms by ordinance from nuisance lawsuits, 1991
a stormwater ordinance to protect farmland, 2000
a Farmland Protection Program, 2001.
farmers in maintaining productive soils with a
farmland drainage assistance program, 2003.
Public Policy activities:
Food Checkout Day Shopping Spree
Food Check-Out Day is the date by which the average American has earned enough disposable income to pay for his/her food supply for the entire year. The date is calculated by USDA statistics.
Food Check-Out Day is marked each year by the Kane County Farm Bureau with a Shopping Spree between local public officials to benefit local food pantries. Each official is given five minutes to race to collect as many non-perishable groceries as possible for their food pantry. At the end of the shopping spree, each competitor’s groceries are tallied and a winner is declared (all in good fun of course).
Donations of non-perishable food items are also collected on site throughout the day for the Northern Illinois Food Bank to benefit food pantries throughout Kane County.
Since it’s inception in 2001, the Farm Bureau sponsored Shopping Sprees have donated over $30,000 in groceries to local food pantries. Area public officials who have participated in the events have included current and former State Senators Cristina Castro, Steve Rauschenberger, Chris Lauzen, John Millner, Linda Holmes and Michael Noland; Representatives Steve Anderrson, Keith Wheeler, Ruth Munson, Patricia Lindner, Tim Schmitz, Linda Chapa LaVia, Keith Farnham, and Kay Hatcher Circuit Judge Patricia Golden, current and former Kane County Board Chairs, T.R. Smith, Karen McConnaughay and Mike McCoy, respectively and Kane County States Attorney John Barsanti and Dr. Christine Sobek, President Waubonsee Community College, and Dr. David Sam President Elgin Community College.
back to top
Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference
An exciting Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference (GALC) is held early each year in Springfield. The conference is two days in length and will typically feature keynote sessions with a variety of breakout sessions on local, state and federal government issues. Also included each year is an optional tour to places like the Capitol Building and opportunity for attendees to meet with various state agency representatives.
back to top
Harvest Leadership Picnic
Each year in early autumn the Kane County Farm Bureau hosts a Harvest Leadership Picnic. This is an event where local legislators, public officials and local farmers meet for a casual evening on the farm that includes dinner, harvest demos, field tours, specialty crop displays and machinery viewing. Guests are able to visit with local specialty crop producers to see the variety of Kane County agriculture and can even set up a time to ride in a combine with a Kane County Farmer and experience harvest first-hand.
In the Kane County Farm Bureau’s 90 plus years of existence, we have always strived to maintain a good working relationship with public officials. We want to do all in our power to make Kane County government the most agriculture friendly local government in the state. The Harvest Picnic is an effort to maintain that relationship and thank our public officials for all they do to support agriculture in Kane County.
back to top
The Kane County Farm Bureau holds an annual “Legislators’ Roundtable” Breakfast Discussion each spring. This program is held in the Kane County Farm Bureau auditorium.
Our objectives for this program are to present legislators with information relative to our legislative priorities for the current session of the General Assembly, and more importantly to hear legislators’ perspectives on the most pressing issues facing Illinois and agriculture.
The primary goal is to develop a positive, mutually beneficial relationship with elected officials and allow the leadership of our organization the opportunity to make their acquaintance. We continue to correspond with these legislators regularly regarding issues affecting agriculture and our members here in Kane County.
back to top
Lunches to Legislators
The Kane County Farm Bureau’s Lunches to Legislators is a program held in conjunction with our Food Checkout Day activities. Each year lunch is provided to local legislators and their staff courtesy of the Kane County Farm Bureau, in recognition of Food Check-Out-Day. Food Check-Out Day is the day when the average American has earned enough disposable income to pay for his/her food supply for the entire year.
Kane County Farm Bureau and Kane County Corn Growers volunteers remind local legislators of the affordable food provided by America’s farmers by delivering Heavenly Ham boxed lunches, farm facts about Illinois & U.S. agriculture, and Farm Bureau Policy Resolutions. They are able to present a positive, professional and pro-active image of farmers.
Food is more affordable, abundant and safer in the United States than anywhere else in the world. This is due to the productivity of American farmers. But it is also a result of an economic system that rewards initiative and productivity and a stable political climate that relies on sound science to regulate the safety of products in the market place. Lunches are provided to local legislators to thank them for their role in promoting that climate.
In addition to information on the growth of the market and public support for corn based ethanol, materials enclosed with the lunches include Ag Mags and ag trivia in folders. Also included for each office are interactive DVDs on the importance of agriculture to our state and our nation’s history and economy. We do this to help the legislators and their staffs learn a little more about our industry. Also provided to each office is at least one copy of our organization’s Policy Resolutions. Legislators are encouraged to refer to this booklet, or call our office, anytime important public policy affecting Kane County and Illinois farmers is being debated.
As we celebrate the affordability of food in America, we also recognize that there are others in our community who are less fortunate. To call attention to their plight, and to assist area food pantries and food banks, the Kane County Farm Bureau hosts an annual Food Check-Out Day “Challenge” in February. The “Challenge” pits State Senators, Representatives and other public officials against one another in a shopping spree for area food pantries. Jewel-Osco and the Northern Illinois Food Bank help sponsor this event.
back to top