This week the County Farm Bureaus in northwest Illinois, including Stephenson, Carroll, JoDaviess, Ogle and Winnebago-Boone, in partnership with Illinois Farm Bureau, are donating a total of $5,000 to Northern Illinois Food Bank and River Bend Foodbank to purchase over 1,900 gallons of milk for 31 food pantries.


We are doing our part to help provide milk to families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These are trying times for not only our residents, but also the farmers our organizations represent.


Dairy Days Parade: The 2020 Dairy Days parade is scheduled for 1 p.m. June 21, with lineup to start at noon. This event is sponsored by Stephenson County Farm Bureau and Union Dairy. If you or your group would like to participate, please print and return the registration form found on our website at stephensoncfb.org. Registrations are due to the Farm Bureau office by June 12. Please note: This event may be canceled if need be due to COVID-19, but we are moving forward with planning at this time. If canceled, we will contact any registration entries already received and announce the cancellation on our website and Facebook page.


Kid’s Corn Scavenger Hunt: Are you looking for something fun for the kids to do? Stephenson County Farm Bureau is holding a kid’s corn scavenger hunt. Have your children put together a list of all the products they can find that have corn in them. Prizes will be given to the three longest lists. Lists can be completed as sibling teams. Return lists to Stephenson County Farm Bureau via email at manager@stephensoncfb.org or by mail at 210 W. Spring St. by May 1. Please include the child’s, or children if sibling team, name, age and address. Please contact Victoria at 815-353-9655 with questions.


Deadline Approaching for Veterinary Student Loans: The Illinois Farm Bureau is accepting applications for its Illinois Veterinary Education and Training loan program. Loans are available to students attending any accredited college of veterinary medicine in the U.S. and who are focused on Illinois food animal medicine. The IVET program helps offset the high cost of veterinary education. The program loans up to $40,000 to as many as three veterinary students each year. Loans are made over a period of two to three years. IVET awards recipients receive a $1,500 stipend during their fourth year in school to help pay expenses associated with clinical rotations. Loans are repaid over five years, during which graduates must commit to working in a food animal practice that services Illinois livestock producers. “Illinois Farm Bureau encourages veterinary students to pursue a career in caring for food animals. To succeed, farmers need the services of a food-animal veterinarian to help them care for their beef cattle, swine, sheep, and poultry,” said Tasha Bunting, Associate Director of Commodities & Livestock Programs, IFB. “It’s an opportunity to help bring a calf into the world and share in the love that farmers have for their animals.” Applications are due May 15, and can be found online at ilfb.org/IVET. The selection committee will interview applicants in late spring 2020 at the IAA building in Bloomington. Successful applicants will be notified by mail. IFB established IVET in 2005. Since then, the organization has awarded more than $430,000 to 24 veterinary students who focus on caring for food animals in Illinois.


Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program: Quality health care is a growing need in rural communities, and they are not just looking for doctors. This program, which started in 1992, is an effort to encourage and develop a pool of rural health practitioners to help meet the needs of primary care in rural Illinois. Based upon selection by the Scholarship Committee, a grant award of $4,000 shall be paid directly to the recipient’s educational institution offering the approved nurse practitioner curriculum. Payment shall be made in two installments, the first in September and the second in January of the academic year. Upon each installment, the student agrees to sign a promissory note. Grants are contributed by the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program. Applications are due to the Illinois Farm Bureau Program Manager by May 1. Applications can be found at rimsap.com.


Victoria Hansen is manager of the Stephenson County Farm Bureau