8/30/2017 12:00:00 AM
Last week, the Illinois Farm Bureau Adopt-A-Legislator Program® traveled to the Northwest side of Chicago where State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) hosted the Shelby County Farm Bureau for a tour of his district. Senator Mulroe and his assistant Kim coordinated a variety of stops for the agenda to help the Central Illinois farmers learn more about the Senator's district and concerns of those living in an urban area.
The farmers toured the Chicago Police Department's 16th district station, which geographically is the largest police district in the city. Lt. John Garrido spoke with them about public safety issues and police department initiatives. They also learned that the 16th district is home to most of the city's policemen and firemen.
Afterwards, the group stopped at Wright Community College, which serves numerous city neighborhoods and has an enrollment of around 13,000 students. Lunch was held at the headquarters of the world famous Eli's Cheesecake. Owner Marc Schulman, an avid supporter of agriculture and ag education, met with the farmers and talked to them about the importance of agriculture and his interest in establishing a second agriculture-focused high school in Chicago, perhaps somewhere in the Senator's district. Senator Mulroe hosted a wonderful buffet lunch at Eli's, complete with some amazing cheesecake for dessert!
After lunch, the farmers toured and met with staff from Maryville Crisis Nursery, an organization that provides free short-term, round-the-clock care in a safe and nurturing environment for children of families who are experiencing a severe disruptive crisis or family emergency. They also provide vital medical care to medically fragile children recently discharged from the hospital, while their families prepare to bring them home. The work being done at the nursery to help these families is remarkable, and they rely heavily on volunteers and donations. Nursery Director Amy Kendal-Lynch also took the farmers on a tour of their new vegetable garden, asking the farmers for their advice on how best to grow the produce. Ms. Kendal-Lynch also mentioned that a new Crisis Nursery is opening in Effingham, not far from Shelby County, and the farmers showed an interest in learning more and perhaps supporting that organization in the future.
After leaving the nursery, the Senator took his adopted farmers on a driving tour of his district and made a stop at a local Chicago firehouse, where farmers were able to tour the firehouse and talk with the firemen. The day concluded with afternoon refreshments and conversation at Firewater, a well known eatery in Edison Park. A few friends and neighbors of the Senator met the group to welcome the farmers to the area and talk about issues of concern in the district.
A big thank you to Senator Mulroe and his assistant Kim for hosting a fun and educational day for the Shelby County farmers. We are excited to host them for a farm tour sometime soon!
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