Free Trade Agreements Pass Congress

Thank you to everyone who called their representatives and congressmen in support of the Free Trade Agreement.  Your efforts made this possible!

 "Trade is important to Illinois and American agriculture," said Philip Nelson, president, Illinois Farm Bureau. "Passage of the three FTAs is a step in the right direction, not only for agriculture, but for the entire economy. These agreements will create jobs and that's important in this tough economic climate."

In fact, Nelson said, the three FTAs have the potential of adding 9,000 American jobs with every billion dollars in exports. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the three agreements will directly boost U.S. agriculture exports by nearly $2.5 billion when fully executed and will add more than 22,500 American jobs.  

 "We applaud our elected officials on their vote to pass this important legislation," Nelson said. "Illinois agriculture plays an important role in the nation's agricultural exports and we know these agreements will continue to benefit Illinois farmers and industry."  

Taiwan Delegation Sign Letters of Intent to Purchase Illinois Grain

Members of an agricultural mission from Taiwan signed letters of intent Tuesday, September 27th to purchase Illinois corn and soybeans.  The letters were signed at 9:15 a.m. during a ceremony in the atrium of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.  Illinois Agriculture Director Tom Jennings emceed the event, which also included representatives of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Soybean Association.  


New Requirement for Farmers with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)

All CDL drivers will have to appear in-person at a CDL testing facility to affirm whether they are required to have a medical card and whether they operate on an interstate or intrastate basis.  Generally, those interstate drivers who are required by law to have a medical card will have to have their medical card in-hand at the time of that visit. 

This requirement kicks in January 30, 2012, and must be completed by January 30, 2014.

Those drivers whose CDL expires within that two-year period can fulfill the requirement when they go in to have their CDL renewed.  Those whose CDL expires after January 30, 2014, will have to make a special trip to one of 47 CDL testing facilities prior to that deadline to complete the task.

The card is a wallet-sized document that has been signed by a qualified medical professional indicating that the driver has passed a DOT Physical and is generally physically qualified (under federal law) to drive a truck. That DOT Physical looks at a specified set conditions including such things as eyesight and hearing, range of motion in joints, loss of limbs, and the presence of potentially debilitating disorders such as diabetes or seizures. While most physicians are medically qualified to conduct the physical, not all offer the service. Special forms are available online.


The purpose of the law is to finally link the medical card to the CDL.  It will also make that medical record a part of the federal electronic database on CDL drivers known as "CDLIS" (Commercial Driver's License Information System.)  Until now, the only means of verifying a driver's compliance with the physical requirements of the federal law was the material presence of the medical card.  Under this new system, it might eventually be possible to eliminate the card and rely solely on the electronic record.

If you have additional questions and concerns on this matter, please contact the Sangamon County Farm Bureau at
217-753-5200.  Watch for more updates in the Sangamo Farmer and our website,

Women of Farm Bureau Fall Luncheon

 Join the Women's Committee on November 17, 2011 to celebrate   women in agriculture. Registration begins at 8:30, followed by antique   appraisals by Treasure Hunters Roadshow. Each lady attending is asked to   bring an item for appraisal. Lunch will be served at 12:00pm, followed by an   interactive demonstration by Scrapbook Your Story. We will also be honoring a   very deserving lady as Farm Woman of the Year. A great time is guaranteed for   all. Bring hats, coats, gloves, food or monetary donations to help those in   need in our community and you will be entered into a drawing for door prizes.   The cost to attend is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Please RSVP by   November 1st. Please contact Ashley at 217-753-5200 to register or request   more information. 


Young Leaders Make History

After a long day of serious thinking (and a few laughs) Adam Davis, Zack Pavich, Ben Ladage, and Ethan Krone led the Sangamon County Young Leaders Agri-Quiz Bowl team to the winner's bracket. In their first round, they were fired up, winning 200 points to 10 against Macon, Jo Daviess, and St. Clair Counties. They then went on to eventually take third place overall...beating out 31 other counties! This is the first time a Sangamon County team has made it this far in this competition. We couldn't be prouder of these men for pulling this off!! Great job!!

Healthy Harvest Campaign   The Women of Sangamon County Farm Bureau, during Farm Safety   Week, distributed snacks to farmers hauling grain at 5 local elevators. At   least 15 snack packs were given out at each elevator during the week, and   many of the farmers hauling grain asked for snacks to bring back to the   farmers in the field. This campaign is designed to encourage busy farmers to   take a quick break and hopefully prevent any careless mistakes that could   result in injury. This program is just a small way that the Women's Committee   shows their appreciation for the farmers who work every day to feed the world.

AgVenture Barn Tour  We just wrapped up   another successful AgVenture Barn Tour the week of September 26-30. We   travelled to 8 different schools in 5 days, and impacted nearly 1500   elementary students and 80 teachers. During the barn tours we visit each   classroom and teach them where their food and clothing come from and the   impact Illinois agriculture has on our economy and the world. Once the   classroom portion is complete, the students then take a tour through the   AgVenture barn where they can experience a little slice of animal agriculture   up close and personal. Each student leaves with a pencil that has various   Illinois agriculture facts printed on them. The "Barn" has become   so popular in the area that teachers call us every year asking to be added to   the tour and the week books up nearly a year in advance. This program is a   success due to the generosity of so many volunteers.

Beneficial Benefit


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-Ralph Waldo Emerson




Ashley Etherton

Sangamon County Farm Bureau


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