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Bowlin: Franklin County farmers turn focus to upcoming harvest

By Gay Bowlin
Franklin County Farm Bureau
updated: 9/6/2017 1:35 PM

I hope that everyone had a nice Labor Day Weekend. Maybe some spend time with family, going to fairs or just relaxing, but regardless, the Labor Day Weekend is the "official" ending of summer. It may be hard to get focused on the upcoming holidays, but Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before your know it. But for farmers, their focus is on harvest. Just another reminder to be safe on the roadways.

With Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas and Louisiana so hard, I was surprised that Franklin County did not receive more rain that we got. Some places in the county did receive more than others last week, and it looks like there might be a chance for Hurricane Irma to make an impact on us in the future.

I have seen on many sites where people are taking tractor trailer loads of feed to the farm animals in Texas. People often forget that these animals are suffering, too. With no land to graze on, often there is barely any place for them to live. I was just told that several people make trips to pick up homeless pets as well -- check out the animal shelters if you are looking to add to your "family." As with all giving opportunities, make sure that you are donating so that the money or supplies can get to the right place.

I know that many people have been thinking about sending clothing, but when people don't have a place to live, they don't have a place to hang their clothes either. That is not to say that clothing and other items would not be needed in the future, but it would be beneficial to wait a while. Make a monetary donations to reputable organizations and also look for those organizations that will match your donation. When in doubt, contact the American Red Cross and stop and say a prayer for all those affected by this disaster.

Two longstanding contributors to agricultural literacy continued that support last week at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur with contributions to the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program (IAICT). Country Financial gave $100,000 while the Illinois Corn Checkoff program donated $90,000. These donations will help the IAITC to provide all Ag in the Classroom programs in the state with educational materials.

With this being said, the Franklin County Ag in the Classroom Program is always in need of donations to help with programs in our county. If you would like to make a donation, you can mail a check to P.O. Box 457, Benton, Ill., 62812 or call 618-435-3616 for more information. If you would like for your donation to be used for a specific project or at a particular school, just let us know.

If you are interested in participating in the 2018 Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow (ALOT), contact us on how to fill our your application. ALOT will be held in various places in southern Illinois this year. It is a program for Illinois Farm Bureau members who are ready to take the next step -- by being on the FB Board of Directors, heading up a farm bureau committee or becoming a leader in the community. There is a 25 participant limit, and if you are interested, please call me at 435-3616.

Just a reminder that farmers markets are still going on until the last week in October.

Remember, we are farmers working together. If we can help, let us know.

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