May 15, 2023

Coffee and Conversation with Victoria Hansen

My husband and I have a summer routine of grilling on Sunday evening. We grill different things each week to use for lunches throughout the week. Our grill was full of various items but the standout being bacon, cheddar hamburger patties, which is fitting since May, is National Beef Month. Beef is a good source of Zinc, Iron and Protein and provides B-complex vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12, which work to promote growth and maintain health. Essential B-vitamins are needed to release the energy in food. Beef is one of the top sources of many essentials B-vitamins.  A few other ways we like to celebrate the beef industry in my home is incorporating beef into our pasta sauce, beef roasts or even a steak from time to time. I hope you will find a way to celebrate and use beef in one or more of your meals before the month is over.


Membership Value Program Business Spotlight: The Rafters Restaurant offers a 10% discount off an entrée, up to 4 entrees to Farm Bureau members. They are located at 9426 West Wagner Road, Lena. For more information visit


Stephenson Scenes, A photo Contest that CARES!: Stephenson County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a photo contest to capture the essence of life in Stephenson County. In addition to caputuring our county’s beauty, we will be donated to a Stephenson County Food pantry of the first-place winner’s choice. Categories include


  • The trails we travel (photos of trails, roads, etc. within Stephenson County)
  • Grows from a seed (photos of things that are grown in Stephenson County)
  • Future Farmers (photos of the future of agriculture in Stephenson County)

Rules and guidelines:

  • Photos must be in Stephenson County, taken within the last year.
  • This is for Stephenson County amateur photographers only.
  • Pictures must be in digital format as a .jpg or .gif file.  No hard copies will be accepted. Submit photos to [email protected]. Be sure to include complete contact information: photographer’s name, address, email, contact phone number, and location where the photo was taken (city is sufficient), and picture identification. There is a maximum of 1 photo per person per category.
  • Entries must be received in the Farm Bureau office by Friday, July 7th at 4:30 p.m.
  • Top three finishers from each category will be selected and displayed for public voting at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau Tent at the Stephenson County Fair July 25 through July 29. Voters will indicate their favorite photo for each category.
  • The top finisher for each category will receive a $50 gift card. Second and Third place finishers will receive $25 gift cards.
  • Only one photo from each participant will be chosen as the number one finisher.
  • For each valid vote cast in the contest, Stephenson County Farm Bureau will donate $1 to a food pantry within Stephenson County.

Questions can be directed to our office at 815-232-3186 or by email at [email protected].

Ag, biofuel groups call for another summer E15 waiver: A half-dozen national farm and biofuel groups called on the Biden administration to again lift a federal ban on summertime sales of E15, echoing a move made last year. In a letter sent April 5 to President Joe Biden, the groups note current conditions “are analogous to those in place last year” when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used a national emergency waiver to allow nationwide sales of E15 starting June 1. It was signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy. “The EPA must do the same this year. There is ample reason to justify this emergency action,” the groups wrote in their letter, which was sent nearly one year to the date when Biden from an Iowa ethanol facility announced EPA would lift the ban. The organizations said the war in Ukraine continues to “reverberate across global energy markets” and domestically causes “fuel supply disruptions, high gasoline prices and ongoing uncertainty for millions of Americans.” They also explained domestic inventories and U.S. export volumes of crude oil and petroleum products remain at near-historic lows, and in some regions are lower than they were in 2022 when EPA first issued the E15 waiver. Oil output cuts recently announced by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could also further increase demand for U.S. exports, “putting additional pressure on domestic fuel supplies heading into summer,” they said. The groups further said renewing the temporary emergency waiver for the 2023 summer driving season would “continue to be in the public interest” because E15 at the pump can save consumers an average of 23 cents per gallon. “Furthermore, allowing summer sales of E15 would provide environmental benefits through lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced evaporative emissions and fewer harmful pollutants linked to poor air quality,” the groups wrote. “And, by displacing imported petroleum, continued access to E15 in the summer will enhance U.S. energy security, while supporting America’s farmers and rural economies.”

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210 W. Spring St.
Freeport, IL 61032

Phone: 815-232-3186
Fax: 815-232-0016
[email protected]
Stephenson County Farm Bureau(R) is affiliated with the Illinois Farm Bureau(R). Illinois Farm Bureau® is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation®, a national organization of farmers and ranchers including Farm Bureaus in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and is responsible for Farm Bureau® membership and programs within Illinois.
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