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July 2010 Newsletter

On a Lighter Note

I hope you had a delightful 4th of July weekend.  I marched in four parades – Prospect Heights, Des Plaines, Northbrook and Glenview.  Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, the crowds were large and enthusiastic. Many thanks to the volunteers that walked with me and handed out hundreds of pounds of candy and thousands of bag clips!

I have amazing opportunities to learn about the myriad issues facing the citizens of Illinois.  One of those ongoing opportunities is through the Illinois Farm Bureau.  Their “Adopt A Legislator” program educates urban and suburban lawmakers about the largest industry in our state – agriculture.  For several years, it has been my good fortune to be the “legislative adoptee” of the Winnebago County Farm Bureau and because of their efforts, I am much better informed when voting on agricultural issues in Springfield.

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited up and toured a large Christmas tree farm and beef cattle farm.

I was fascinated to learn how the Christmas trees are planted, cared for and shaped (the knife used to shape the trees was scary sharp!).  Equally impressive was the continuous adaptation to ever changing customer preferences for types of trees (firs vs. pines) and the experience customers are seeking when selecting, cutting and taking the tree home.  It was a very sophisticated agriculture and retail operation and their entire business is dependent upon the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Yikes!

The beef cattle operation was equally interesting.  The art and science of creating a comfortable environment for the cattle and providing the right mix of foods, all at an affordable price, was impressive.

I wanted to give you a flavor of the types of things legislators do during the months we are not in Springfield.  And despite what the media says, I don’t even play golf!


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