Women for Family Farms Meets

Farm Bureau Graphic

The Women for Family Farms committee met on Thursday, March 6th with the following members present: Nicole Issert, Loretta Sartori, Anne Soucie, Karen Warrick, Ashley Davis, Anita Schneidewind, Melissa Hack, Amy Brandau, Kelly Sinka, Kelly Reus, and Mark Schneidewind, Farm Bureau manager.

The group started the program with a zoom from the Progressive Ag Safety Day group and Susan Turner was the speaker. The group that has 7 employees. They provide training for volunteers to teach these safety programs. The target is youth ages 4-13 with 5 stations, the kids rotate with 4–6-minute presentations and they have a card that is punched when they go through the stations. When they finish, they get a prize for the program. T-shirts are involved as well for participants and volunteers and there are 35 different topic areas including mental health. They keep the program active for the kids and the cost is $75 for the sponsoring agency for a year of programs. The training part is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and the program can be done in 4 ways: public, at a school, classroom style and as a safety zone. Some of the programs were machinery on a farm, PTOs, animals, grain safety, disabilities, fire safety, and home alone safety to name a few.

The group then thanked her for her presentation of 25 minutes after a Q and A and they then discussed how this could work locally. Some more research will be done locally to seek out people who may be interested in presenting and assisting. The group then approved the minutes from the previous meeting as printed. Ashley reported on the upcoming Christmas party as she said you must book now to get your desired date and times.

Wreaths Across America has a new leader as Debbie Bennett has retired. The new person is Gerri who has been helping with the main roles for the past 3 to 4 years. Our duties stay the same as we oversee trucks, wreath delivery and tasking them to the cemetery as well as recycling bin for all the cardboard. They discussed the need for sign drop areas and having a weatherproof sign for the delivery day at the cemetery.

The group reviewed their fall luncheon and theme was decided as a Hawaiian theme. They have the smaller room booked and discussed the center pieces which are not Hawaiian, but they will work on that. Tracey has booked the Elvis entertainment as it will be like a “Blue Hawaii” movie. They will do the 50/25/25 wreaths raffle and they decided to do a hat, scarf and glove collection this year for needy women as the purse program was excellent with over 125 purses collected.

The garden and managing your home’s yard program with pinching, pruning, shaping and attracting and handling unwanted wildlife has 33 people already signed up April 7th. Ashley asked who else could attend and 3 more were added. Nancy Kuhajda is booked as the guest speaker and they discussed refreshments with several volunteering to help. The program will run 1 to 3:30 pm. The committee reported on the annual meeting and Ashley thanked all who worked and helped clean up. They discussed the meal and a few adjustments will be investigated. The auction raised the second highest amount with over $27,540 raised in the end. They discussed themes and decided on Honkey Tonk Red Solo Cup. The annual meeting will be on January 25th, 2025 at the north end of the atrium and the auction will be online again with no live auction for 2025. Foundation has decided to just do 3-4 raffles. They discussed ideas to replace the magic show and threw out kid ideas.

The golf outing “Save the date” has been placed on social media already and it is back at Green Garden Country Club as there has been guarantees on a cool location for the meal. Three already knew they could help and with the dome down a 30,000 square foot wedding tent will be where we eat and finish the program. More details to follow. Harvest dinner is on hold for 2024 and will return in 2025 as we just needed to give volunteers a break as this was a large undertaking and has grown each year for the past 3 years. Ashley indicated we do 100% of the work. The Tractors for a Cure Cash bash is this Saturday and it is sold out, but you can buy a food/drink ticket at door. Christmas Cuties and Farm Animals will continue for 2024 and the emergency farm meeting for local services will now be held in August with the County.

Family Fun Night was reviewed and the event will be held on July 11th. They suggested to investigate a balloon animal person. They will do face painting and the photo ID again. Full Circle will be the entertainment and the sponsors are Country Financial, Heritage FS and Compeer Financial. Ag Expo is next week, and we have a couple of members helping to speak – Nicole and Annie. With the 4H dinner cancelled they donated their basket to the Peotone FFA event that did extremely well making good money for the program. Ashley reported that four years back they had approx. 48 students in the ag program and because of Abby and Dakota they now have 188 students.

Spring flowers are set for May 4th and 4H is helping in the afternoon so we need to fill the morning time slots. They have 8 helpers so far and need a total of 10. Pesticide applicators testing has the final one on March 24th. The paint program is totally full for April 14th from 1-3:30 pm and we have stopped the advertising. Mark has refreshments covered. We are over full but know we will have a few no shows. Karen will do more research on a CPR program for this fall. The young farmers have their retirement party for RJ and Kevin Ardaugh on September 14th with the location to be determined. Flags at the local veteran’s cemetery set for May 24th. The Threshermen’s show will be held July 18-21 with the pedal pull on July 20th. The Will County Fair is August 21-25 with the pedal pull on August 24th and tent set up is August 20th. New ideas for the fair included the safety program, maybe a scavenger hunt, a rocks program and more. The next women’s committee meeting is set for Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30 pm.

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