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Sen. Rooney Tours Clinton and Marion County Agriculture

7/24/2017 12:00:00 AM
On July 24th, the Adopt-A-Legislator® program traveled south as the Clinton and Marion County Farm Bureaus hosted their new adopted legislator, Senator Tom Rooney. Senator Rooney joined the Adopt-A-Legislator program earlier this year and represents several communities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He was greeted by several members of the two County Farm Bureaus. Local legislators Sen. Kyle McCarter and Rep. John Cavaletto also stopped by the tour during the day. Since Clinton County is the number one county for dairies in Illinois, it seemed only fitting to kick off the tour at two family owned dairy farms. The first stop took place at the Henrich's dairy, which milks 250 cows using a stanchion designed system. The family recently constructed a new animal building on their farm and discussed the steps they took to ensure the facility was built according to LMFA regulations. Sen. Rooney toured the farm, learning about the milking process, how the animals are cared for and current challenges in the dairy business. Next up, the group headed to the Poettker family dairy which recently installed a robotic milking system. The advanced technology used to track, milk, feed and maintain data on each cow was fascinating. The Senator was able to watch the robotic milking process and learn about the steps the family took to transform into a robotic system. Before lunch, we stopped at family hog operation to learn about the hog industry. The Senator learned about how hogs are raised from farrow to finish as well as the hard work and challenges that come with livestock farming. Lunch was held at the Kaskaskia College agriculture building. School administrators, teachers and students were on hand to visit with the Senator, himself a high school social sciences teacher, to learn about the importance of ag education and the impact state budget cuts have had on higher ed. After lunch, the group toured the Pokojski's beef angus farm to learn more about livestock care as well as the rotational grazing program the family utilizes on their farm. The final stops took place at the Brown Produce egg processing plant in Farina to learn about the poultry and egg business, and an FS plant in Sandoval to better understand the products and services available to farmers there.

Thank you so much to the Clinton and Marion County Farm Bureau members who hosted and attendee the tours, as well as Senator Rooney for driving several hours south to spend the day learning more about agriculture. The farmers are looking forward to traveling to the Senator's district sometime soon to learn more about urban districts.
If high resolution images are needed for print media, please contact Christina Nourie at (708) 579-6060.