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Your Electric Cooperative’s

JJune une 22012 012 •

Fair season ahead


Thanks to the 30% federal tax credit, a flood of inexperienced, questionably trained dealers are now offering geothermal. While some companies allow anyone to sell their products, WaterFurnace requires an ongoing commitment to the most extensive training and education programs in the industry. That’s why WaterFurnace is the most recognized and respected name in residential geothermal. Or maybe it’s because WaterFurnace units use the clean, renewable energy found in your backyard to provide savings up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. Or is it thanks to the industry’s best warranty? Decide for yourself. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today... or be prepared to deal with a flood of your own.

YOUR LOCAL WATERFURNACE DEALERS Albers Toennies Service Co. (618) 248-5130 Bloomington Wm. Masters, Inc. (309) 662-8481 Brighton Den-Son Heating & Cooling (618) 372-8375 Canton Spoon River Mechanical Services (309) 647-5009 Carbondale GL Morris (618) 457-0190 Charleston Jansen’s Heating & Air (217) 235-5223 Chester Schumer Bros (573) 547-6517 Cobden Davis Heating & Cooling (618) 893-2821 Decatur Design-Air Heating & A/C (217) 429-1105 Delevan Jeckel Plumbing & Heating (309) 244-8265

Effingham Jansen’s Heating & Air Energy RSP Heating & Cooling (618) 942-2424 Fairbury Popejoy Plumbing, Htg & Electric (815) 692-4471 Fairfield Electro Electric (618) 847-8102 Flora Electro Electric, Inc. (618) 662-4520 Gifford Duden and Silver (217) 568-7954 Goodfield Hinrichsen Heating & Air (309) 965-2604 Hamilton Peters Heating & Air, Inc. (217) 847-2777 Harrisburg D&C Heating & Air (618) 997-6577 Lawrenceville Tracy Electric, Inc. (618) 943-2243

Litchfield Snell Enterprises, Inc. (217) 324-4560

Quincy Peters Heating & Air, Inc. (217) 222-1368

Macomb Arnold Brothers Heating & Cooling (309) 833-2852

Red Bud DeRousse Heating & Air, Inc. (618) 282-2224

Marion D&C Heating & Air (618) 997-6577

Salem Booher Tin Shop (618) 548-1295

Mount Vernon Holloway Heating & Air, Inc. (618) 242-5481

Springfield Collins Plumbing & Heating (217) 793-8031

Oglesby John’s Service & Sales (815) 883-3637

Taylorville Jansen’s Heating & Air (217) 824-4138

Pana Jansen’s Heating & Air (217) 562-5201

Thomasboro Hoveln Heating & Cooling, Inc. (217) 643-2125

Paxton Houston Plumbing & Heating (800) 379-2165

Tilton Blackie’s Automatic Engineering (217) 442-1440

Peru Service Pro’s Heating & Cooling (815) 223-0715

Virden Snell Enterprises, Inc. (217) 965-3911

Petersburg Collins Plumbing & Heating (217) 632-3670

Waterloo DeRousse Heating & Air, Inc. (618) 282-2224

Pittsfield Peters Heating & Air, Inc. (217) 285-1600

Winchester Little Heating & A/C, Inc. (217) 742-3332

Edwardsville Cummings Heating & Cooling (618) 656-8953 (800) GEO-SAVE ©2012 WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.

Published by Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives 6460 South Sixth Frontage Road East, Springfield, IL 62712 800-593-2432 • For address changes contact your local electric co-op. President/CEO Duane Noland Chairman of the Board Darrell Shumard Editor John Lowrey Assistant Editor Jonie Larson Gates Contributing Editors Catrina McCulley Wagner, Ed VanHoose


Public Relations/ Business Development Manager Lisa Rigoni

State and county fairs are Midwest attractions that continue to grow in appeal and attendance.

Advertising Coordinator/ Graphic Designer Sandy Wolske Graphic Designers Jennifer Danzinger, Kathy Feraris, Chris Reynolds Circulation Coordinator Connie Newenham Illinois Country Living is a monthly publication serving the communications needs of the locally owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives of Illinois. With a circulation of more than 181,000, the magazine informs cooperative members about issues affecting their electric cooperative and the quality of life in rural Illinois. Illinois Country Living (ISSN number 1086-8062) is published monthly and is the official publication of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, 6460 South Sixth Frontage Road East, Springfield, IL 62712. The cost is $2.50 plus postage per year for members of subscribing cooperatives and $10 per year for all others. Periodical postage paid at Springfield, Illinois, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Illinois Country Living, P.O. Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708. ADVERTISING: Contact Lisa Rigoni, Advertising Manager – 1-800-593-2432 or Acceptance of advertising by the magazine does not imply endorsement by the publisher or the electric cooperatives of Illinois of the product or service advertised. Illinois Country Living is not responsible for the performance of the product or service advertised.

Volume 70, No. 2, June 2012 4

COMMENTARY Illinois Department of Agriculture Director wants to increase exports and strengthen rural economies.


CURRENTS Seven students win electric cooperative scholarships to help them achieve their educational goals.

14 SAFETY & HEALTH Roadway work zones deserve your attention.

16 YARD & GARDEN Take advice on minimizing your yard work.

18 ENERGY SOLUTIONS Make wise investments to help cut your electric bills.

20 2012 YEAR OF COOPERATIVES Saluting the International Co-operative Alliance.

22 FINEST COOKING 24 POWERED UP The Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives and 25 Illinois electric cooperatives are members of Touchstone Energy, a national alliance of 660 electric cooperatives. Touchstone Energy cooperative employees adhere to four core values — integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.

25 MARKETPLACE 28 WE’LL SEE YOU AT THE FAIR, TOO Electric cooperatives have a presence at many of the state’s fairs.



New director on a mission Goals: expand exports, strengthen rural development


s a former mayor and legislator who represented both rural and urban parts of east central Illinois that depend upon a robust agricultural economy, I’ve always understood that Illinois is an agrarian state. So, when Governor Quinn appointed me as director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, I was humbled by the opportunity to serve in a role where I could promote real, positive change in the lives of Illinois families. I have established three immediate priorities for the department: First, I want to achieve Governor Quinn’s goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2014. Exports are absolutely vital to Illinois agriculture. Every year, the industry sells almost 40 percent of its commodities – the corn and soybeans it grows and the pork and beef it raises –overseas. In fact, Illinois currently ranks as the fourth largest agricultural exporter in the United States with sales of $5.8 billion. These figures are significant, but not just to the farmers in rural Illinois. Nearly 25 percent of the state’s workforce is employed in agriculture or an agriculture-related profession and, considering the percentage of our agricultural production that is shipped to foreign markets, to a large extent each and every one of those paychecks is tied to foreign trade. Expanding exports, therefore, is good not only for agriculture, but also for our economy. Second, I want to maximize every opportunity to strengthen rural development. Last fiscal year, the department participated in 16 international and domestic trade shows, led 13 foreign buyers’ missions and industry tours, facilitated 7,102 buyer-seller

introductions and disseminated 383 trade leads to Illinois companies. These activities generated $59 million in actual sales and another $119 million in projected sales for Illinois food companies and agribusinesses. They are vital to support agriculture-based employment and strengthen the rural economy. They are also a good investment. Every dollar the department spent on marketing yielded $46 in sales, nearly five times the industry’s standard return on investment of $10 for each dollar in expenses. The development of a local food distribution system also holds great potential. Although Illinois has one of our nation’s largest agricultural economies, only a small fraction – about 10 percent – of Illinoisans’ $48 billion annual food budget is spent on products grown in-state. According to the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force, if we could increase the amount of money spent on Illinois-grown food to just 10 percent of the statewide total, it would generate more than $20 billion in new economic activity every year, create thousands of jobs in farming and the food industry and revitalize both rural and urban communities. My department looks forward to working with its industry partners to make sure the economic potential that local foods have for our economy is realized. Third, I want to initiate a frank discussion with agriculture stakeholders about our budget and regulatory programs. Due to the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis, the department’s share of state general revenue funds has been cut more than 40 percent the past five years, from $49 million in FY ’08 to

$29 million in the current year. While the department has managed to fulfill its regulatory responsibilities during these trying times, further cuts could threaten its ability to deliver services. Among these often overlooked, but important duties, the department: • Tests motor fuel and checks gas pumps to make sure consumers get what they pay for when they buy a gallon of gas; • Certifies the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring devices, including grain moisture meters and grocery store scales; • Licenses and inspects slaughter facilities to ensure the meat and poultry we buy is safe to eat; • Protects pets and livestock by investigating complaints of animal abuse; • Detects and eliminates animal diseases; • Reviews plans for livestock facilities to make sure they’re built in appropriate locations; • Protects farmers through annual inspections of grain elevators and administration of the Grain Insurance Fund. As painful as the cuts have been, they were necessary to help balance the state’s budget. Reductions alone, however, aren’t enough to solve our budget challenges. We also need meaningful reforms to eliminate our structural deficit and put Illinois on a path to economic recovery once and for all. Robert F. Flider, former State Representative, serves as Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

4 • Illinois Country Living •


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Currents NEWS - LEGISLATION - TRENDS - RESEARCH Checkout OutdoorIllinois Online OutdoorIllinois Online connects the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with today’s Prairie State sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts in the digital world. At OutdoorIllinois Online ( you’ll find more outdoor news, in-depth features, how-to tips

and great places to visit in our wild Illinois. Check out our “bonus” features, including full-length stories about Illinois’ natural and cultural resources, plus outdoors blogs, where DNR staff and guests offer their insights into the wild opportunities awaiting us all.

Volunteers needed for IDNR sites and projects Interested in volunteering at an IDNR site or on an IDNR project? Sign up to be part of the IDNR Volunteer Network. See the IDNR website for more details at:

Seven students win electric co-op scholarships Don Wood, Vice President of Government Relations for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, announced the names of the seven winners of the 2012 Thomas H. Moore IEC Memorial Scholarship in May. “There were 230 applications received this year and, as always, a large number were extremely qualified applicants,” said Wood. The amount of each scholarship is $1,250. Anyone interested in next year’s scholarship should contact their local electric cooperative or local high school guidance counselor. In the “son or daughter of an electric cooperative member” category, the four winners are:

• Lindsay Morr of Bloomington, Ill. Lindsay’s family receives electricity from Corn Belt Energy.

• Jace Biggs of Palestine, Ill. Jace’s family receives electricity from Norris Electric Cooperative.

• Mikaela Walk. Mikaela’s family receives electricity from Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative.

• Billy Hatfield of Dahlgreen, Ill. Billy’s family receives electricity from Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative.

The 2012 winner of the program’s eighth scholarship, the new “LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworkers Scholarship,” will be announced shortly.

• Alexander Dunker of Rockton, Ill. Alexander’s family receives electricity from Rock Energy.

6 • Illinois Country Living •

In the “son or daughter of an electric cooperative employee or director” category, the winner of the “Earl W. Struck Memorial Scholarship” is Megan Altfillisch of Elizabeth, Ill. Megan is the daughter of Jo-Carroll Energy Line Foreman Donald Altfillisch. The two winners of the scholarships reserved for use at an Illinois Community College are: • Hannah Herzing. Hannah’s family receives electricity from Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

Currents Small-town Illinois postal facilities to remain open With increased pressure from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and others, the U.S. Postal Service backed down from plans to close thousands of rural post offices in May. About 200 were scheduled to close in Illinois. The new plan would keep the existing post offices in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Some would only be open for two hours. Access to the retail lobby and to post office boxes would remain unchanged, and the town’s Zip Code and community identity would be retained. The new strategy would be implemented over a twoyear, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014. Once implementation is completed, the postal service estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually. Durbin called on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to keep Illinois post offices and mail processing facilities open in order to give the House of Representatives

additional time to act on the comprehensive bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate to reform the postal service. Durbin cited the important role these facilities play in the postal service’s operations and Illinois’ economy. On April 25, 2012, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to reform the Postal Service by a vote of 62 to 37. Before that, on December 13, 2011, Durbin joined with 14 other Senators to announce that the Postal Service voluntarily agreed to put in place a five-month moratorium on closing postal facilities. The moratorium was scheduled to end on May 15, 2012. The Postal Service had planned to move forward with the elimination of overnight delivery and the closure of as many as 3,700 mostly rural post offices and over 200 mail processing facilities, including at least eight in Illinois, five of which – Springfield, Quincy, Carbondale, Centralia and Rockford – are still being considered for consolidation with out-of-state facilities.

Cooperative leaders attend Grassroots Summit In April representatives from more than 500 cooperatives in 42 states descend on Washington, D.C. for the first ever “Grassroots Summit.” The co-op leaders met with Capitol Hill staffers to discuss policy issues, but the primary focus was on engaging co-op members in grassroots and political action. “Investing time and energy in developing our grassroots today will pay dividends in the future as we face challenges not just on the federal level, but the state and local levels as well” says Randy Dwyer, Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA). “Consumer-member engagement really determines how well we can get our message across at the state and federal levels” says Kirk Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Government Relations at NRECA. “Without our grassroots advocates communicating with their members of Congress, NRECA would not have nearly as big of an impact on behalf of electric cooperatives. The Grassroots Summit is a tremendous opportunity for us to focus our advocacy efforts in a major election year and hone techniques that will maximize our impact.”

Representing Corn Belt Energy at this year’s NRECA Cooperative Leaders’ Grassroots Summit were (l-r) Don Taylor, Vice President of Utility Services and board members Rae Payne and Charles Meisenheimer.

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


Currents NEWS - LEGISLATION - TRENDS - RESEARCH Electric co-ops back rural efficiency bill Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., introduced S. 2216, the Rural Energy Savings Program Act, on March 21. Under the bill, the Rural Utilities Service would make zero-interest loans to individual electric co-ops or state groups of co-ops. In turn, they would lend the money to eligible members at no more than 3 percent interest to cover the up-front cost of energy-efficiency improvements. Supporters say energy efficiency is a major need in older, rural dwellings and inefficient manufactured housing units. “Energy efficiency is sometimes

called the ‘fifth fuel,’ but that concept will remain just a concept unless we find a way to make efficiency gains affordable for energy consumers. If enacted, the legislation introduced today would go a long way toward achieving this goal,” said NRECA CEO Glenn English. Typical microloans could finance weatherization, insulation, heating and air conditioning systems, boilers and other upgrades. The bill contains provisions to ensure the work is monitored and evaluated properly. Homeowners would repay the loan through a monthly charge on their electric bills.

“This is a common sense, bipartisan bill,” Merkley said. “Energy-saving renovations create essential construction jobs and lower energy costs for consumers. We can get people back to work and put more money in homeowners’ pockets, and if that’s not common sense, I don’t know what is.” Merkley and Lugar said their bill does not have a specific authorization amount, but is written to be incorporated into the larger Farm Bill, which is up for reauthorization this year. Source: Steven Johnson, Electric Co-op Today

Electric co-ops lead the way in introducing outage-prevention technology It may surprise some folks that electric co-ops have emerged as leaders in the down-line automation field. But innovation is a key part of our cooperative DNA. It embodies the same spirit that drove rural residents to find ways to overcome seemingly insurmountable technical, engineering, legal, political, and financial hurdles and bring electric service to all corners of America 75 years ago. Today co-ops are building a smarter grid. In sprawling, rugged service territories with densities sometimes as low as two or three consumers per mile, down-line automation can substantially lower costs by reducing truck rolls. Following massive storms, the ability to target outage locations from the office and efficiently dispatch line crews can significantly speed up getting the lights back on. One of the major areas where advancements are taking place involves down-line automation. An umbrella term describing the use of digital meters and equipment, software applications, and two-way communications, down-line automation allows your electric cooperative to effectively monitor the flow of electricity in near real-time; identify voltages out of allowed ranges; pinpoint outages; and transmit signals to transformers, capacitors, circuit breakers, and other devices to initiate diagnostic or corrective actions that can isolate, reroute power around, or even remotely repair the cause of a power interruption. One of the most promising advances in down-line automation, distribution fault analysis (DFA), taps

8 • Illinois Country Living •

Electric co-ops are leading the utility industry in the installation of smart meters that can provide more than a meter reading. Smart meters can provide power quality information and help pinpoint outages and momentary blinks. high-resolution monitors installed on electric lines and cutting-edge algorithms to zero in on hard-to-find electric system trouble spots before they morph into full-blown outages. DFA “reads and identifies” specific fault signatures in a waveform — such as a cracked insulator or a tree limb occasionally brushing a line and causing a blink. Source: By Maurice Martin and Brian Sloboda, Cooperative Research Network

Through Touchstone Energy® Our cooperative’s members have access to the Co-op Connections Card! Co-op Connections … Offers discounts on vision, dental, hearing, chiropractic, lab work & imaging services and prescription drugs

Co-op Connections … Has saved Illinois electric cooperative members nearly $1.1 million on the prescription discount benefit alone since January 2007

Co-op Connections … Offers more than 22,000 local discounts on products and services at all participating businesses across the country and more than 100 national offers, PLUS access to My VIP Savings and

Contact your co-op for more information, or visit and see how you can start saving today! Touchstone Energy IS the power of human connections

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


c e ast r o F

Fair season ahead

More than carnival rides, cows and cotton candy By Jonie Larson Gates


here can you find 815,000 people, 10,000 farm animals and all kinds of food on sticks? It’s a fair question. Really, it is. The season is set to begin and attendance is expected to remain high, having increased steadily for the last eight or nine years. In 1853 the first fourday Illinois State Fair took place in Springfield. Until 1894, various cities across the state would host the annual event, but it eventually took up permanent residence in Springfield on 156 acres of land. The Exposition building, the first brick structure erected on the grounds

10 • Illinois Country Living •

was laid on July 4, 1894. Families have been making Springfield an annual destination ever since, with attendance growing every year. It’s a Midwest iconic venture, according to Amy Bliefnick, Manager of the event. She says some people just think of the fair as carnival rides and entertainment, but it is so much more in that it stands for “good, strong middle class values.” Bliefnick speaks from her own childhood experience. She and her siblings, who number seven kids in total, started going to the Decatur fair with their father when Bliefnick was less than

10 years old. She is now serving in her 8th year as the Illinois State Fair Manager. “It’s a pleasure for me,” she says, noting a favorite sight. “One is seeing a family walking hand in hand, eating corn dogs and just enjoying the fair.” Of course, the Illinois State Fair has its own unique features. It’s 366 acres with 171 buildings and a slant toward agriculture. In addition, there is always high-profile entertainment and don’t forget the butter cow. She’s been around since 1935. Each year an artist carefully carves out an elaborate full-sized model of a cow in its natural habitat. It’s a fair favorite. Bliefnick encourages families to visit the fair, saying so many things are free. “We maximize the quality of the event while keeping it affordable for families,” she says. Unlike many states, Illinois lays claim to yet another State Fair, this

one being in Du Quoin. It, too, draws many patrons – between 350,000 and 370,000 annually. This fair was established back in the ’30s when W.R. Hayes, the owner of Du Quoin Coca Cola Bottling Company and Perfection Ice Cream ventured out to the World’s Fair in St. Louis. When he returned, he had decided to be a showman. As the story goes, Hayes bought the Old Black Gold Strip Mine adjacent to his 30-acre fairground tract and turned it into a State Fair patterned after Calumet Farms in Ky. From there he developed horse racing at the grounds, owning some of his own and winning what is known in horse racing as the Hambletonian and the Little Brown Jug. Both horses who won the races are buried in the infield of the track. Today, horse racing is still part of the draw in Du Quoin, which serves as a destination for many southern Illinois residents. While Hayes started the fair in 1939 and it was privately

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


Take me out to the fairgrounds …

owned for many years, the state of Illinois purchased it in 1986. The 1,400-acre fair, which features a lake and trails, has been said to be one of the most beautiful fairgrounds in the United States, comparable only to one in Albuquerque, N.M. And it is home to some event 365 days a year, says Assistant Manager Norman Hill. Some of those events include the Monster Truck Show, auto racing, motorcycle racing, equine shows and more. As for the fair, expect to see rodeos, bull riding, demonstrations, demolition derbies, lots of food and grandstand events. It’s a fair bit of fun says Hill. “It’s part of our culture down here.”

12 • Illinois Country Living •

A song originally recorded by Edward Meeker in 1908 and made famous by the late Cubs icon Harry Cary, was all about baseball, a favorite American pastime. But the lyrics of the catchy tune could easily transcend time and evolve into another Midwest much-loved event – the county fair. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2011, out of 104 county fairs in Illinois (there are 102 counties, some have more than one fair, others have none) a reported 2,552,906 people attended, says Charlyn Fargo, Bureau Chief of County Fairs and Horse Racing. That mega number includes many cooperative members. Similar numbers are expected this year, possibly more, as residents continue to spend their vacation dollars closer to home. Local fairs are funded in part by the state, but are heavily supported by counties and their businesses/sponsors. Members can visit the website: http://w www.aagr.s gr.s .sta t fair irss ir sssch hed ed.p .p php p for a complete listingg off ffairs airs and nd d dates.

Farm fresh experience at the state fair By Jonie Larson Gates NEW BERLIN – Farm animals ruled the days and the nights when Gene Bergschneider was just a young lad showing steers and Hereford breeding heifers. He slept on hay bales for 10 days each summer, ate meals in the barn and mom would bring a change of clothes. At 76, Gene recalls with fondness those days some 63 years ago spent at the Illinois State Fair. He and his three siblings were the first to show animals, followed by his three sons, a niece, a cousin, a grandson and now a granddaughter. In other words, going to the fair is an all-in-the-family, fun time. While Gene is beyond sleeping in the livestock barns, his good name is still at stake, as 13-year-old Alexis Bergschneider steps forward to show goats, lambs, pigs and calves. While Alexis lives in Springfield, she ventures out to the farm in New Berlin to feed the animals and prepare them for summer competition. Her grandfather and her dad, Menard Electric Cooperative members, help with their care. On a Thursday evening in late April, Alexis and her dad, Chris, were taking her pigs for an evening walk, building up the muscles the pigs need.

Although slight in stature, Alexis was in charge as she guided the pigs along, teaching them to be show ring ready. “I like being around the animals,” she said. This year she will be showing two sheep, two pigs and Hereford cattle. It’s a growing experience for everyone and everything involved. Chris, who has shown at the fair for nearly 40 years, says showing animals teaches responsibility. Alexis agreed, naming the tasks involved: feedings, watering, walking and grooming them. While she is the lone “farm girl” among her Springfield friends, she looks forward to the fair experience every year. She says the fun times are seeing all the people at the fair, friends you make that return year after year and the competing. This teenager has other interests including dance and volleyball, but she keeps coming back to the farm on a regular basis. Her dad says it’s a natural habit, at least for him. “When you grow up with it, it’s in your blood … it comes natural,” Chris says. Gene, the patriarch farmer of his family, says the fair is truly a lifechanging experience for all involved.

eet a lot of “You meet u probably friends you would not have met ny other up with any ays. way,” he says. edly, the fair Admittedly, ed through has changed the years, Gene says. In the earlier dayss the biggest grandnts were the horse races. stand events Today thatt has changed to high ertainment, which profile entertainment, brings in crowds. hil competitors tit used d tto And while sleep among the livestock to care for them, today most head for campers and hotels when the sun goes down. But there’s something more than competition that keeps Gene going back year after year to the fairgrounds, too. In fact, he goes there even when the fair is over, to see other events throughout the year. The grounds, themselves, are a place where Gene is at home. “I guess you can call me a ‘fair rat’,” he says with a laugh.

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


Safety & Health

Your inattention could be deadly Drive carefully through roadway work zones


rivers approach them with little forethought, until the warning sign appears that prison time is the result of killing a working in a highway work zone. Then you see it – the animated driver talking on a cell phone and then braking hard to avoid hitting a flagman. Electric utility crews, highway repairmen and many others who work along roadways are in danger when motorists are unfazed by the orange traffic barrels, flashing arrows, and other signals that try to slow traffic. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 700 people were killed in accidents occurring in work zones in 2008. In addition to the fatalities, more than 40,000 people are injured each year in motor vehicle work zone crashes. Many of these accidents could be prevented if motorists simply slow down and pay attention. In 2009, 115 construction workers lost their lives in the U.S., as did 667 motorists who died in construction zones. Electric utility vehicles and workers often share streets and roadways with motorists in order to access overhead power lines and other electrical equipment. In light of the potential hazards these conditions create, Safe Electricity urges motorists to slow down and pay close attention to work crews while driving. As part of the “Teach Learn Care” TLC campaign, the program urges everyone to make sure their friends and loved ones, and especially inexperienced drivers, are aware of the hazards surrounding work zones. Power poles and electrical equipment line our streets and highways,

and narrow roadways often require crews to place their equipment in traffic lanes. Their work activities are often taken for granted but benefit us all, and like everyone, they deserve a safe workplace. Be alert to utility crews and other work zone workers for their safety as well as yours. Fatal work zone crashes occur most often in the summer and fall. More than twice as many work zone crashes happen on weekdays compared to weekends, so be extra cautious driving to and from work. To help prevent fatalities and injuries this year, Safe Electricity recommends the following guidelines while driving: z Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic barriers, trucks, construction equipment and workers. z Be patient: Traffic delays are sometimes unavoidable, so try to allow

14 • Illinois Country Living •

time for unexpected occurrences in your schedule. z Obey all signs and road crew flag instructions. z Merge early and be courteous to other drivers. z Use your headlights at dusk and during inclement weather. z Minimize distractions: Avoid activities such as operating a radio or cell phone, or eating while driving. Many states have recently restricted the use of cell phones in work zones, so be aware of the legislation in your area. The most common crash in a roadway work zone is the rear-end collision, so remember to leave at least four car lengths of braking distance between you and the car in front of you. Be prepared to leave more room between you and the car ahead of you if the weather presents hazardous driving conditions. When people are traveling between locations, we’re often preoccupied with maintaining a schedule and become impatient with delays. Unfortunately this may lead us to neglect the most important factor in our lives - our safety. It’s always more important to arrive at a destination alive and unharmed, than on time. For more information on work zone safety, visit the Federal Highway Administration website at Molly Hall is Director of Safe Electricity. E-mail molly-hall@ Safe Electricity is a public awareness program of the Energy Education Council.


Vinegar, Better than Prescription Drugs? Thousands of years ago ancient healers trusted apple cider vinegar, and modern research shows - vinegar truly is a wonder cure! In fact, apple cider vinegar’s biggest fans believe this golden liquid can help solve the most troublesome of human afflictions. Since even the earliest of times a daily vinegar cocktail was used to help control appetite to lose weight and continue good health. And now after years of continued research all across the globe, over 1000 new vinegar super-remedies and tonics are available in the brand new 208-page Vinegar Anniversary Book by famed natural health author, Emily Thacker. Author of the very first book of its kind since the 1950’s, Ms. Thacker brings her unique wisdom, experience and down-home flavor to this complete collection. From the Bible to Cleopatra to the fierce Samurai warriors of Japan, vinegar has been documented as a powerful tonic to ensure strength, power and long life. In China, the health system that has been in place for thousands of years recognizes the value of vinegar. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) oversees the health of millions of Chinese – not with modern drugs – but with proven remedies that include vinegar. Today’s research studies and scientific reports continue to praise the healing powers of vinegar to maintain good health and well being. Even grandma knew that her old remedies worked even if she wasn’t able to explain why. And scientific research confirms this. For instance, grandma said putting diluted vinegar in the ears would ward off infections. The American Academy of Otolaryngology’s doctors – who specialize in treating infections like swimmer’s ear - now recommend using a vinegar mixture as a preventative. The Yale-New Haven hospital uses vinegar as a hospital disinfectant. When after-surgery eye infections became a problem, their Department of Bacteriology solved it with vinegar. Food poisoning? Some doctors suggest that regular vinegar use can prevent it!

The 208-page Vinegar Anniversary Book will amaze you with its over 1000 natural remedies, secrets, tonics and cure-alls for a healthier, happier life. You’ll get easy recipes that mix vinegar with other common household items to help: s Calm an upset stomach s Ease leg cramps s Soothe sprained muscles s Control appetite to lose weight s Relieve coughs s Banish nausea s Arthritis pain s Make hiccups disappear s Cool a sunburn s Boost memory s Reduce sore throat pain s Relieve itchy skin s Lower blood pressure & cholesterol s Eliminate bladder infections s Chase away a cold s Treat burns s Reduce infection s Aid digestion s Improve memory s Soothe sore feet s Treat blemishes & age spots s Remove corns & calluses s Replace many household cleaners And that’s just the beginning of the over 1000 new and improved hints and tips that you’ll get. 50 years ago a daily dose of an apple cider vinegar and honey tonic was used to ease arthritis. During the last 30 years or so, many wonder drugs have replaced this time-tested home remedy. Now vinegar, along with countless other old-time tonics, have new supporters including many medical professionals. The reason? Almost everybody has experienced the negative side of some of the powerful new drugs. Strep and Staph infections? Vinegar is a powerful antiseptic and kills even these dangerous bacteria on contact. Headaches will fade away with this simple vinegar concoction. Feel good and look good with these hair and skin-friendly vinegar remedies. You’ll learn when you should and should not use vinegar. Can apple cider vinegar really do all this? The answer is yes because it is such a marvelous combination of tart good taste, germ-killing acid and an assortment

of important vitamins and nutrients. Join readers like L.S. of Monroe, N.C. who says “Thanks, this book is wonderful. A real life saver for me!” Find different ways to combine vinegar with common foods like lemon juice, blueberries, onion, strawberries, garlic, honey, ginger and more to create recipes to help improve health and quality of life. All new ideas to put vinegar to work around the home to clean, disinfect and eliminate mold and mildew. Great for those with allergies or asthma! Save money as you put Emily’s latest discoveries to the test! There’s even 365 additional tidbits to take you through the year beginning with January’s winter snows through the dog-days of summer and into the golden leaves of autumn. Yes that’s over 1000 tried-and-true remedies and recipes in this handsome collector’s edition and it’s yours to enjoy for 90-risk free days. That’s right, you can read and benefit from all 208pages without obligation to keep it. To get your copy of the Vinegar Anniversary Book direct from the publisher at the special introductory price of $19.95 plus 3.98 shipping and handling (total of $23.93, OH residents please add 6.25% sales tax) simply do this: Write “Vinegar Anniversary” on a piece of paper and mail it along with your check or money order payable to: James Direct Inc., Dept. VA2002, 500 S. Prospect Ave., Box 980, Hartville, Ohio 44632. You can charge to your VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express by mail. Be sure to include your card number, expiration date and signature. Want to save even more? Do a favor for a relative or friend and order 2 books for only $30 postpaid. It’s such a thoughtful gift. Remember: It’s not available in book stores at this time. And you’re protected by the publisher’s 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. SPECIAL BONUS - Act promptly and you’ll also receive The Very Best Old-Time Remedies booklet absolutely FREE. It’s yours to keep just for previewing “The Vinegar Anniversary Book.” Supplies are limited. Order today. ©2012 JDI VA142S06

Yard & Garden

Either you love it or hate it Take wise steps to minimize the agony of yard work


ccording to Consumer Reports, 17 percent of the people would rather go to the dentist than do yard work. A third of you would rather visit the in-laws. That’s sad. Gardening can be therapeutic, but like any hobby, you want to make sure you control the hobby and not the other way around. Part of the problem is that we want to control nature, and nature pushes back hard. Part of the problem is expectations. We want perfection because the lawn and garden companies, including many gardening magazines, place these fantastic yards in our faces and we naturally think if that person can do it, so can we. We want to keep up with the Joneses, though that’s more of an urban attitude than a rural one where folks speed down the back roads a little faster than they should and can’t tell one plant from another. Some people don’t mind all the work. Putzing around the yard, bit by bit, can provide a sense of wonder, as well as rewards of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Breathing in fresh air and getting a little physical exercise is great. You just need to know when to slow down and quit for the day. There are a couple of things you can do this summer to minimize the amount of effort you expend, giving you more time to watch the Cubs lose, the kids run around the yard, and while you lay in the hammock with a good book and cool drink. Mulch. Mulch. Mulch. While you don’t want to mulch your lawn, mulch everything else with 2 to 4 inches of material, unless you’re using cocoa bean hulls; with those you only put down an inch at the most or they start molding. Mulching cuts down on the weeds and diseases, and keeps the ground

moist by preventing evaporation. Make sure you water thoroughly, or have nature wet the ground with an inch of rain, before applying the mulch. Take a ruler out with you to make sure you don’t over mulch. Too much can limit air exchange, tie up some nutrients and makes it harder for water to penetrate. Work in the early morning or early evening. It’s cooler then, and most insects aren’t out. Getting up at 5:30 a.m. in the summer seems like a chore, but you’d be surprised what you can get done in an hour. However, do NOT mow at that hour. Your neighbors will thank you for waiting. Drink lots of water. This serves two purposes. First, you need the water to keep hydrated, especially when it’s hot. Also, lots of water will force you to take breaks to relieve the excess water that collects in your body. That brief respite from work keeps muscle strain at a minimum. Set small goals. Don’t look at the yard and say “Darn, I need to do all this work.” Map out the tasks as small chores and finish one of them. You can say “I’ll finish weeding one-third of the garden today” instead of trying to do it all. Bit by bit. Small amounts. *Water in the early morning. You can buy timers that will kick on while you are still in bed, showering, or reading the paper. Water in zones, so you’re done by 7a.m. Two hours is usually how long it takes to water thoroughly. Plant more trees and shrubs and flowers. The greater the diversity, the less room for weeds, insects and diseases. Have kids. The more kids and/or

16 • Illinois Country Living •

grandkids you have, the more you can get them to do the work, especially the mowing. But make sure they are old enough to properly handle the equipment. David Robson is Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety for the University of Illinois.

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Energy Solutions

Super smart planning Tips to cut your electric bills and stay safe


lot has happened since my last article. Record numbers of tornadoes have occurred in several states, resulting in massive destruction and loss of lives. Probably few, if any, lives were lost to those who planned ahead and installed a safe room. For many years I have recommended that folks include a safe room as part of their new house construction. Planning is important. Record flooding has also occurred, resulting in similar destruction and additional loss of lives. Although the flood plain maps will no doubt be revised, those who planned ahead and built above the existing flood plain received less damage than those who did not. When I built my wife’s new house, I used the 500-year flood map. I had seen way too many houses flooded that were located in the 100-year flood plain zone. Twice in the last eight years, I have been glad that I used the 500-year map. Again, planning is important. And now, adding to our problems, there are record prices at the gasoline pump. Because of this and other things, we are seeing cost increases in practically every item that we buy. What are we going to do? Well, I hate problems, but I enjoy trying to solve them. I have learned that most can be solved if common sense prevails. Common sense tells me that if there is a shortage of funds, I must spend less or make more money. Some of you are already thinking here comes his energy efficiency stuff again. And you are right. I have a friend who has lived in his 1,800-square-foot Doug Rye house for 25 years. He spent an extra $2,000 to build his house to my specifications, which included a

geothermal heat pump. As best we can determine, he has saved his family about $10,600 in utility bills by doing so. And consider this - he is still saving money every month for as long as he lives in the house. When someone else lives in the house, he or she will receive the benefits. Remember the famous Doug Rye saying, “Energy efficiency costs nothing, it makes you money?” Think of this. If he had not used my techniques in his new house, he would have sent that $10,600 to the utility company by now. Actually, he included the $2,000 in his 30-year loan, which increased his house payment by $12 per month. That saved him $25 per month on his utility bill, which means he spent none of his own money and had a positive cash flow from day one. That was super smart planning. We are at the beginning of the summer season. If your utility bills are high, why not make a plan now that will help you lower those bills? It’s a little difficult for me to tell you exactly what you need to do at your house, but if you have read, and continue to read these monthly columns, you

18 • Illinois Country Living •

should be able to develop a good plan. With the 30 percent federal tax credit, geothermal is more feasible now than ever, so you might want to make it a part of your plan. As a member of an Illinois electric cooperative, your cooperative can assist you. Just give them a call because they definitely want to help you. I just returned from conducting seminars in Florida and Alabama where the electric rate is almost a third higher than in my home state of Arkansas. Every indication is that electric rates will increase in the near future. You can either make and implement your plan or find a way to increase your income. Planning is important, but it is up to you. Feel free to call me and I will also help you. See you next month.

Doug Rye can be heard on several different Illinois radio stations. You can go to Doug Rye’s Web site at, e-mail him at, or call 501-653-7931.

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The Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives salutes …

Those who recognize the benefits of the cooperative model We are taking an opportunity this year to spotlight cooperatives other than our own - of which you belong. Just to give you a better understanding of the bigger picture, let’s look at the tiered structure of cooperative influence. Your cooperative is a member of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. The AIEC belongs to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which believes wholeheartedly in the cooperative model in which to business. In marking its commitment to the model, the NRECA asked the President of the International Co-operative Alliance to give a keynote address at the 2012 NRECA Annual Meeting. Dame Pauline Green spoke candidly to our cooperative leaders, calling on electric cooperatives nationwide to educate the public about the cooperative business model, a model “based on human need, not human greed.” She drew a sharp contrast between a business model concerned with maximizing profits for distant shareholders and memberowned, not-for-profit cooperatives.

An excerpt from her address follows: As our world’s leaders cast around looking for job creation initiatives to restore lost hope and aspiration to so many of its unemployed, we must be arguing the case that support for the grass roots cooperative model of business, has the potential to do so much more. The world would be a different place if just a fraction of the public money was put into cooperative development that went to bail out the big commercial banks across the world … Cooperative businesses are built on the globally accepted principles of sound democracy; a commitment to an economic return to members on their trade with the business, and not the size of their shareholding; and businesses having a wider social engagement as a core part of their DNA. For nearly two centuries we have been helping to reduce conflict, build community cohesion, build skills and expertise, develop local leadership potential, support women in positions of economic activity and leadership in their communities – in effect we have been building civil society – all with the intellectual underpinning of the value of common endeavour in sustainable

20 • Illinois Country Living •

member-owned, local enterprises. Cooperatives have taken millions out of poverty with dignity, by helping them to build their own cooperative enterprises. Ladies and gentlemen, our commitment to our democratic and social agenda is built on a sound and successful member-owned business model. What is more, it’s a business model that can compete successfully in the market place with other forms of business, and succeed.

In celebrating the International Year of the Cooperative, we ask you to join us each month as we continue to feature a different cooperative that you may recognize or might also be a member.

Voting is a matter of values… values Americans are still fighting for today. Too many Americans have given too much for you to ignore your responsibility.

In [INSERT STATE], youregister must register by 10, Illinois, you must by October 2012 to DEADLINE] be able to vote thetoNovember [INSERT to bein able vote in the election.Find Findall allthe theinformation informationyou you need election. need and and download a registration form by visitng download a registration form by visiting

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


Finest Cooking A Taste Of Heaven Who: Fountain of Life United Methodist Church of Buffalo, IL Cost: $13, including shipping Details: soft-backed, spiral-bound Pages of recipes: 92 Send checks to: Lori Prehoda, 14830 Water Tower Rd., Buffalo, IL 62515 or call 217-364-4486

Creamy Orange Salad 1 sm. pkg. cook tapioca pudding 1 sm. pkg. cook vanilla pudding 1 sm. pkg. orange Jell-O 2 C. water 1 (8-oz.) ctn. Cool Whip 1 lg. can mandarin oranges, drained. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add puddings and Jell-O, stirring constantly until mixture is thick. Cool in refrigerator until slightly jelled. Once cooled, stir in Cool Whip and oranges. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving for best results.

Ultimate Ranch Cheeseburgers

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread (above) 3 eggs 1 C. oil or applesauce 2 C. dark brown sugar, packed 2 C. grated zucchini 3 C. flour

1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. vanilla 1 C. chopped nuts

Beat eggs; add oil, sugar and zucchini and mix well. Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda. Add vanilla and nuts. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350-degrees.

Chicken And Broccoli 3 C. chicken breast, cooked 1-1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into pieces 1 tsp. lemon juice 1/2 C. bread crumbs 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese 1 T. butter Combine chicken, broccoli, soup and lemon juice. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Top with Cheddar cheese. Mix butter with bread crumbs and sprinkle over cheese. Bake at 350-degrees for 45 minutes.

22 • Illinois Country Living •

Ranch Beans 1 lg. can pork and beans 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans 1 (15-oz.) can butter beans 1 lb. ground beef 1 onion, chopped 3 slices bacon, diced 1/2 C. brown sugar 2 T. vinegar 1/2 C. ketchup Brown bacon; drain. Brown ground beef and onion; drain. Combine beef and bacon with undrained beans in a large casserole dish. Combine brown sugar, vinegar, and ketchup and mix well. Fold into beans. Bake at 350-degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix 1 lb. ground beef 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese 4 lg. hamburger buns Combine dressing mix with beef and cheese. Shape into 4 patties; cook thoroughly, then serve on toasted buns.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole 1 lb. chicken breast, boneless, skinless 1 pkg. frozen broccoli, broken apart 1 can cream of mushroom soup 3 T. mayonnaise 1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese Boil chicken breasts until cooked. Drain. When cooled enough to handle, cut into 1-inch pieces. In a square or round casserole dish, mix mayonnaise and soup. Add broccoli and chicken and mix well. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Visit to see an archive of past Illinois Country Living recipes.

Recipes & Remembrances Fruit Smoothie (right)

Who: United Methodist Church of Chester, IL Cost: $12.50 including shipping

3/4 C. quick oats 3/4 C. skim milk 1 banana 3/4C. mixed frozen blueberries, strawberries and raspberries 1 T. Whey protein powder 1 T. flaxseed

Details: hard-backed, comb-bound Pages of recipes: 127 Send checks to: Jeanne Kleinschmidt, 1047 William St., Chester, IL 62233 or call 618-534-5174

Monster Cereal Bars

Add oats, protein powder and flax seed to a blender. Next add milk and banana. Blend until smooth. Add frozen berries and blend with previous ingredients until it reaches desired consistency.

Fresh Strawberry Pie 4 C. fresh strawberries, hulled 1 C. granulated sugar or 1/3 C. honey and 1/2 C. sugar 1/4 C. water 3 T. cornstarch 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. butter 1 baked 9-inch pastry shell 1 C. whipped topping Line baked and cooled pastry shell with 2 cups uncooked strawberries, arrange hulled side down. Make a sauce with the other 2 cups of strawberries, cut up and cook until thick with sweetener, water, cornstarch and salt, mixed together. Remove from heat, add butter and stir well. Cool mixture, then pour over berries in the pastry shell. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fruit Smoothie

Fiesta Taco Salad (below) 6 (6-inch) flour tortillas 1 lb. ground beef 1 (15-oz.) can chili beans 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped 1 med. pkg. tortilla chips, crushed 1 C. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Divide 6 inverted 6-oz. custard cups among baking sheets, placing 3 inches apart. Spray tortillas with cooking spray; drape over each cup. Bake until lightly brown and crisp, about 8 minute. Let cool on the cups. Meanwhile cook beef and drain. Add beans; simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Turn tortilla bowls right-side-up. Layer lettuce, beef mixture and tomatoes in the bowls. Sprinkle with chips and cheese.

Spicy Talapia 2 (6-oz.) fish fillets (any white fish will work) 1 sm. onion, sliced 1/2 C. pitted, chopped green olives 1 (12-oz.) can diced tomatoes 1/2 T. olive oil 1/2 C. white wine 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. crushed red pepper Salt and pepper, to taste Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the fillets, flesh side down and cook for 3 minutes until a crust has formed. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside. Add the wine and onion to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, add the olives, tomatoes, garlic and red pepper and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return the fish to the pan. Baste the fillets with the simmering sauce. Cook until fish flakes with gentle pressure (5-7 minutes).

Fiesta Taco Salad Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


Broadband boosts rural business Y

ou might not think farms have much need for broadband services, but in fact agriculture is being shaped by the services offered. According to the USDA report, Broadband Internet’s Value for Rural America, the more multi-faceted the farm business, the more the farm uses the Internet. Grant Noland of Noland Farms says, “In today’s agriculture environment everything is high-speed. Broadband is the way we access information in real time which adds quite a bit of value to our business. Market quotes and the volatility on the market directly affect our bottom line. On the other end, a lot of our field management, from the seed to the fertilizer, is done off files that are capable of being accessed via mobile broadband that can be saved and later plugged into our equipment.” The farm sector, a pioneer in rural Internet use, is increasingly comprised of farm businesses that purchase inputs and make sales online. Farming isn’t the only rural business impacted by broadband services. Analysis suggests that rural economies benefit generally from broadband Internet availability. In comparing counties that had broadband access relatively early (by 2000) with similarly situated counties that had little or no broadband access as of 2000, employment growth was higher and nonfarm private earnings greater in counties with a longer history of broadband availability. Matthew Carroll, Innkeeper of The Inn at Irish Hollow, and member of Jo-Carroll Energy says, “We’re out in the country on a 500-acre property where we run a beautiful country inn with private cottages. We have broadband Internet through Sand Prairie Wireless which helps run the business behind the scenes, taking reservations, and keeping us connected with our

guests that stay with us. And, if they wish, we also now have access for our guests to keep them connected even while they’re out here in the country.” Most employment growth in the U.S. over the last several decades has been in the service sector, a sector especially conducive for broadband applications. Without broadband services, rural communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for service sector economic development opportunities, such as call centers and software development. Jean Anne Grunloh, Executive Director for the East Central Illinois Development Corporation says, “One of the reasons we started our regional broadband initiative is because when I asked our economic development professionals what we could address on a regional basis, all 26 economic development leaders from 11 counties agreed that there was an absolute need for rural broadband in our areas to continue being competitive for economic development.” So, if broadband is so desirable, then why is there a disparity in the broadband offerings between rural and urban areas? Residents in rural areas have always faced higher costs for telecommunication services than those in urban areas and, at least for the foreseeable future, will continue to do so. Rural areas are characterized by low population density. With fewer people in any geographic space, the per capita costs

24 • Illinois Country Living •

of providing telecommunication services rise. Rural maintenance and repair crews, especially those providing services in very remote regions, cover a larger territory than urban crews, resulting in more overtime and travel expenditures. (National Telephone Cooperative Association, 2000). While costs are higher, the benefits outweigh the costs. Look at the numbers. In 1995, there were roughly 16 million Internet users across the globe; by 2008 there were nearly 1.5 billion, about 22 percent of the world’s population. Two-thirds of U.S. adults had in-home Internet access by 2008 (PEW). The Bureau of Census reports online retail sales went from $31 billion in 2001 to $107 billion in 2007. Online wholesale trade in farm products was an estimated $5 billion or 4 percent of all wholesale farm product sales in 2006. Many rural electric and telephone cooperatives have taken on the challenge of offering broadband services to their respective memberships despite the costs. They see the benefits of rural broadband and they want you, their rural members to have every advantage. Your quality of life is being affected by broadband whether or not you are a frequent Internet user. Support the efforts your cooperative is making to enhance your connections. It could mean a greater harvest for your community in terms of economic development and job creation.

Ed VanHoose is the Digital Communications Administrator/IT Manager for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives in Springfield.

Market Place Used rental work clothes - pants $4.99, shirts $3.99, jackets $10.95. Call 1-800-233-1853 or order online Guest house vacation rental. Elizabethtown, IL. 2BR, 2Bath. Overlooking Ohio River. Near Garden of the Gods/Shawnee Forest. 618-876-9118. Stay and Play in Southern Illinois’ Hardin County. Shawnee Forest, Ohio River, Garden of the Gods, Cave-in-Rock. Illinois Mile After Magnificent Mile. 618-287-4333. Cabins in Shawnee Forest of Southern Illinois. Five cabins of all sizes with all amenities. Near Garden of the Gods, Rim Rock Hiking area, Pounds Hollow Lake, Cave in Rock State Park and much more. Pet friendly. Excellent reviews. Check www.rimrocksdogwoodcabins for availability. 618-264-6036.

Wanted to buy: Coin collections. Top prices paid. Call 309-376-7300. Miniature Mediterranean donkeys. Pet, show and breeding quality. Gray duns, chocolates, spotteds and blacks. Visitors welcome. Canton, IL. 309647-7162. First Street Restaurant Equipment used slicers, tenderizers, grinders, meatsaws, ss sinks, tables. New and used cooking equipment, pottery wheels and kilns. 2615 So. First, Springfield, 217-522-3934, 217-971-8592. Vacation cabins-Ohio River, Shawnee National Forest, Elizabethtown, IL. Cedar Hill River Cabins, Ohio River Scenic Byway, 217-652-4257, 618-287-6001. Authorized Rainbow distributor. Repairs, supplies and service. Living air purifiers. L&L Distributing, 116 S. VanBuren St., Newton, IL 62448. 618-783-3755.

Mute swans. Will beautify your pond. Good moss control. No chemicals. Average life 20 years. $475.00 a pair. 217-414-1349.

Insulation. 4x8 sheets, foil-backed foam. Also rolls of foil-bubble pakinsulation. All factory seconds. Ken Nichols, 800-424-1256.

Geothermal filters, off-sized or regular filters, quality custom made at low cost. www.filtersabcgeothermal. com to order or call with questions 217-379-2400.

Vacation Rental Gulf Shores, AL. beach condo. 2BR/2BA/WD/Pool/ Elevator/Covered Parking/on the beach. 314-210-8967.

Earn $2,000 to $5,000/mo. without leaving your job! To find out what others are doing call 866-274-0657.

Midwest Bird and Animal Swap & Sale, June 24, at Monroe County Fairgrounds, Waterloo, IL from 5:30 to Noon. 618-939-6809.

US 50 Antiques at U.S. 50 and Holly Road, Olney, IL. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10-5, Sunday, 12-5. For more information phone 618-843-8322. Reed Cutlery at www.reedcutlery. com. Knives and accessories for the hunter, collector, farm, home and work. Use coupon NE2012A. Wanted to buy: Standing timber. All species. Pay top price. Clear or select cut. Call 815-434-4141.

Wanted to buy: Standing timber, most species. Pay top prices. Call 217-285-2760. 4' white pine trees, delivered, planted, mulched. $64.50 and 4' Norway Spruce $79.50 per tree. Buy 10 get 1 free. Call for other sizes, varieties or shades. Price may vary depending on geographical location. Call 217-886-2316.

For sale: 100 Yr-old country grain elevator located in Boody, IL. 6 mi south of Decatur, IL. on Rt #48. This landmark: made of seasoned wood, covered in sheet metal, is adjacent to the old Wabash railroad - now the Norfolk Southern - on 1/2 acre. Don’t miss this opportunity to won a slowly vanishing piece of Americana. Cell: 217-412-3008. Fish, camp, relax. 319 wooded acres w/80 acres of water. Permanent camp sites w/full hook-ups. sand beach, beach house, swimming, paddle boating, petting zoo, playground, much more. Private Club. Annual memberships. Gibson City Fishing Camping Club. 309-826-8444. Lake Weed and Algae Control. “Mother Nature’s Way.” No chemicals. Biological method with live bacteria that dissolves plant nutrients, black muck, and rotten egg odor. Controls all aquatic vegetation. Proven product. Guaranteed results. 309-826-8444. Fiberglass corrugated, 26-inch wide. 8-12- foot long. 8 ft.-$6. 12 ft.-$9. Large supply, all colors. Dongola, IL. 618-827-4737. Sick camper refrigerator? Specializing 30 years in rebuilding cooling units. New and used units available. Camper repair. Crutcher’s RV, Cropsey, IL. 309-377-3721.

How to place an ad: 1) Type or print ad neatly. 2) Count words. Cost is $30 for up to the first 20 words. $1.50 each additional word. Ads with insufficient funds will not be printed. 3) Prepayment is required. Include check or money order with ad for amount due. Also include address label from Illinois Country Living or other proof of Illinois electric cooperative membership. Only members of Illinois electric cooperatives may place Marketplace ads. 4) Mail to: Illinois Marketplace, P.O. Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708, by deadline. Deadlines: August issue – June 20; September issue – July 20. We reserve the right to reject any advertisement. Ads postmarked after the deadline will be placed in the next available issue.

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •







09 6/2/20

Cooperative Design & Print has faithfully served cooperatives and other businesses for more than 40 years as part of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. We’re proud to continue in that tradition, providing for your business needs from concept to delivery!

Our team of editors and graphic designers can help bring your ideas to life. Web sites Signage Newsletters Stationery Annual Reports Brochures We deliver on our promises, and also your materials – even to the post office, if you like. Yes, we can prepare, print and deliver your mailing for you! Our pressmen and silkscreener take pride in ensuring that you’ll be pleased with your finished product.

For more information or to request a bid, please contact: Connie Newenham, Manager 217-241-7943 • Chris Reynolds, Coordinator of Web Services 217-241-7948 •

Advertising in

Illinois Country Living Produces Results

Illinois Country Living has the right recipe for getting your advertising message out!

Ingredients: • 416,300 readers who spend an average of 40 minutes per issue

• Largest downstate, monthly publication

• 88% have read 3 of the last 4 issues

• Regular articles on: rural lifestyle energy efficiency home improvement gardening travel and tourism health and safety

• 79% have read 4 of the last 4 issues • 22% have bought/requested information/recommended a product or service • 65+ years of tradition

… and of course, our recipes and events listing.

Call Lisa Rigoni at 217-241-7953 or email her at to get Illinois Country Living into your marketing mix!

26 • Illinois Country Living •

Light up the heart of your home T

he kitchen is often the heart of the home, serving as both a workplace and a gathering place for friends and family. The right lighting plan provides ideal lighting for every situation. “A pleasing distribution of light and flexibility are keys to great kitchen lighting,” says Mary Beth Gotti, a lighting expert with GE Consumer and Industrial. “You need to think in terms of layers of light - including general, task and accent lighting.” General lighting provides the basic light level and quality of light. Lighting fixtures can be surface mounted, recessed or pendant. Recessed fixtures, arranged in a uniform pattern throughout the kitchen, can provide a very clean, unobtrusive solution. A basic recessed fixture throws light downward in a variety of beam patterns, depending on the type of fixture and the light bulb used. For halogen and some compact fluorescent bulbs, dimmer switches can be used to provide additional lighting options. Task lighting focuses on specific areas of the room where activities like reading or cooking take place. Task lighting provides a higher level of light that’s specifically directed to that area. “In kitchens, light is directed down to the task from above - like downlights, pendants or undercabinet lighting,” says Gotti. In the kitchen, there are three primary areas for task lighting: Above an island “This is a good place for down lights or nice hanging pendants with halogen bulbs, such as the GE Reveal® halogen bulbs,” says Gotti. “These

bulbs give off bright, crisp white light and are a designer favorite.” Under-cabinet These fixtures are mounted under the cabinet and positioned over the counter. They should be mounted as close as possible to the front edge of the cabinet to light the front edge of the work surface and avoid glare. Fluorescent, halogen and even LED solutions are available. Above the sink “It’s best to have a fixture centrally located above the sink,” says Gotti. “There are so many style options available that it’s easy to find something that is attractive and gets the job done.” Gotti offers these additional tips for lighting up the kitchen: • A fixture hung over an eating area separates it from the work area of the kitchen. Hang the fixture 30 to

36 inches from the tabletop. Select a fixture 12 inches narrower than the top of your table. • Make sure that you are using the right type of bulb for your lighting fixture. Track and recessed bulbs typically are designed with built-in reflectors to direct light out of the fixture and onto the area you want to light. • Consider adding lighting within architectural details like cove lighting. Or add indirect lighting on top of cabinets to provide a pleasing glow to the room. Lighting is an important part of designing any room. With some creativity and a good plan, the kitchen can be functional and beautiful. Designers and lighting showrooms, in addition to online resources, can provide tips for guidelines. For more lighting ideas, visit

Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


y o e u e S

at the fair Rural electric cooperatives support the fair experience By Jonie Larson Gates


or many of you, your electric cooperative – or those they associate with in the heating and cooling industry – are your friends at the fair, too. You can generally find them in the vendor area, standing ready to meet and answer your questions. They can provide you with energy saving information to help you reduce your power costs. Perhaps you’ve seen the traveling Energy-Efficiency Wall. Constructed by Prairie Power, Inc., for use by member cooperatives, the wall is intended to educate members on “What Makes a Home Energy Efficient?” The 16-foot wall illustrates various opportunities for air infiltration or leakage within the common

home due to poor construction practices and materials. It addresses the proper use of caulking around penetration points in the home’s external walls, such as window and door openings, gas, water, AC and heating system fuel lines and ventilation systems, and the selection and installation of energy efficient insulation materials, ventilation equipment and lighting systems are just a few of the energy efficient items illustrated in the wall. The display is utilized at annual membership meetings, NRECA and Touchstone Energy regional events, community college workshops, homebuilder shows and also at county fairs. JoCarroll Energy in Elizabeth is reaching out in its territories, staffing display booths at three fairs, Carroll and

Whiteside County Fairs and Elizabeth Community Fair. In addition, this northern cooperative has staff that helps judge projects, sponsors several champion awards and also provides an entry in the Elizabeth fair parade. In the central region of the state, Corn Belt Energy has most recently become a major sponsor of the McLean County Fair, one of the larger 4-H fairs in the state. A representative of the cooperative staffed a booth at the fair and was able to interact with hundreds of co-op members throughout the week. Because of the interaction, the cooperative is returning to the fair again this year. Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative can be found at the Iroquois County Fair. Like some others around the JoCarroll Energy makes an appearance in the Elizabeth Community Fair pparade.

28 • Illinois Country Living •

state, Eastern Illini utilizes the Energy Efficiency Wall, talking with members about the savings they can achieve by incorporating a few changes in their homes. If you tune in, you will also hear your cooperative representatives on the radio, broadcasting live from the fair. Another cooperative, Shelby Electric, has a presence at two county fairs. It hosts a display and appearances by CFL Charlie at the Shelby County Fair. The cooperative also sponsors the kids’ attractions at the Christian County Fair. Down state in the southern regions, a beauty queen represents Southern Illinois Cooperative at a local fair. Those of you in attendance for the Union County Fair parade will see the reigning queen riding in a cooperative entry. The queen is chosen based on a number of criteria and given a grand prize of an all-expense paid trip on Youth Tour to Washington D.C. where she meets Congressman, sees the nation’s monuments and learns about cooperative business. Also in the southern region, Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Inc. takes an active role in its fair. Fair attendees visiting the cooperative’s booth are treated to small personalized giveaways, along with cooperative literature and information on energy efficiency. Children get introduced to cooperative hospitality, too, receiving helium balloons and candy. And for the big kid in all of us, there’s a grand prize drawing for a TV, microwave or other household appliance. Those visitors with questions on geothermal can talk with the adjoining booth, where a vendor displays. The Illinois State Fair in Springfield provides educational experiences about electricity. Former lineman Kyle Finley, owner of Live Line Demo, Inc. gives demonstrations on the dangers of electrical outlets and power lines. You can find Kyle under the tent sponsored by SafeElectricity, an organization founded to promote the safe use of electricity.

CFL Charlie makes a visit to the livestock barn, as he represents Shelby Electric Cooperative at the Shelby County Fair.

Justin Stuva of Corn Belt Energy Cooperative, staffs the booth at its county fair.

The Energy-Efficiency Wall shows fairgoers ways to reduce costs by making simple changes around the home. Illinois Country Living • June 2012 •


Date Book • July 2012 1 Kane County Flea Market.

13 17th Annual United Methodist

St. Charles. Located at the Kane County Fairgrounds. 630-377-2252. This is a two-day event and starts on June 30.

Children’s Home Charity Golf Class. Green Hills Golf Club. Mt. Vernon. 618-242-1070, ext. 234 or

1,2 Spring Art Show. Galena at the

14 ANLAD Shrine Hillbilly Clan

Stone House Pottery and Gallery. 815-777-0354. Also on the 5th through the 8th.

Shoot. Sparta. 618-295-2700.

14 Homes of Hope 3rd Annual Car Show Benefit. Normal. 309-862-0607.

3 Bob Steffan Summer Film Fest, Springfield. Auditorium of the Illiois State Museum. Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June. 217-782-5993.

14, 15 Contemporary Indian Art Show. Cahokia Mounds. Collinsville. 618-346-5160.

15 Metropolis Community Day with

3-8 48th Annual Petunia Festival.

SI Miners. Southern Illinois Miners face the Joliet Slammers on Family Fun Sunday. 877-424-5025.


4 175th Celebration in Carthage. Fireworks and a host of activities from Wednesday through Sunday.

16-18 Balloons at the Park. Chillicothe. Festival including Illinois State Championship Hot-Air Balloon Race. At Three Sisters Park.

6-14 Galena Festival of the Performing Arts in Galena. 815-777-4084 or

19 Gary’s Graffiti Night 30th

7 Living History: Independence Day at the Fort. Apple River Fort State Historic Site. Elizabeth. 815-858-2028.

7,8 Remote Control Boat Racing.

Anniversary Celebration. East Dubuque. Pre-1973 classic cars. 563-543-3646.

19-21 Mattoon Bagelfest. Peterson Park in Mattoon.

Mt. Vernon at the airport. 75 to 100 boats expected to enter. 618-242-7016.

8 Woodsong Concert at Klehm Arboretum featuring Corky Siegel, a blues harmonica master. Rockford.

20 Cruise to the Lake Car Show. Paris. 812-446-2612.

20, 21 Orange Power of the Past. Paris. 6th Annual Allis Chalmers Working Show with Combining, Baling and Plowing at the Dale Haymakers Allis Chalmers Museum. 217-275-3428.

8 Plainfield Church Car Show, a quarter mile east of Rose Hill. 618-793-2248.

8 World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Summerfest Birthday Party. Collinsville. 618-344-8775

11 Downs Village Market, Downs.

20-22 Waybirds Over Whiteside Fly-In. Rock Falls. Large variety of aircraft. 815-622-3591 or

21 Blessing of the Fleet. Boats launch in St. Louis and parade in the Mississsippi River, ending in Grafton.

21-22 Oregon Trail Days Festival. Oregon and Lowden Park. Commemorates the 100th anniversary of Black Hawk Statue.

22 Sandwich Antiques Market. Sandwich. Acres of antiques. 815-786-3337.

27-29 Illinois ASA Mens State Wooden Bat Tournament. Fairview Park. Casey. 217-932-3911 or 217-218-5834.

28 Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. Galena. Galena Cellars Vineyard. 815-777-3330, ext. 203.

28 Heritage Garden Days. Midway Village Museum, Rockford. 815-397-9112, ext. 116. See flowers in full bloom, make a gourd birdhouse and sample wines. or 815-397-9112, ext. 116.

28 King City Wiffle Clash. Lincoln Park.Youth and adult wiffle ball tournament. 618-242-6800.

31 “Mussels, Moonshine and Music.” Fulton. One in series presented at Windmill Cultural Center. of fulton. us

20,21 Aint Nothin But the Blues Festival. GE Park in Bloomington. 309-310-9466.

20,21 Centralia Lions Festival. Centra-

309-378-4223 or 309-378-4294. Additional market days in July are the 18th and 25th.

lia at the Central City Lions Park. Live bands, barbecue, games. 618-204-9710 or 888-533-2600.

Visit our website, bsite,

To be considered for inclusion, please submit events in the format used above. Preference is given to events sponsored by non-profit entities. Submitting an event is not a guarantee of publication. Photos are welcome, but will not be returned unless a self-addressed and stamped envelope is provided. Events are subject to change, so please contact the event sponsor for confirmation. Deadline: June 15 for September events. Mail to: Illinois Datebook, PO Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708. E-mail to:

30 • Illinois Country Living •



An underground loop system and the constant temperature of the Earth combine to create a comfortable climate in your home.

For deep savings on your energy bills, look no further than your own backyard. With a ClimateMaster Heating and Cooling System, you get a 30% tax credit and can save more than half on your energy bill. ClimateMaster uses geothermal energy to tap the constant temperature of the Earth, keeping your home comfortable year-round. Best of all, a new system usually pays for itself in about five years and is a cleaner choice for the environment. If you’re ready to uncover extra cash each month, visit

Auburn, IL

Champaign, IL

Jacksonville, IL

Pekin, IL

Taylorville, IL

Villa Grove, IL

Lonnie L Winn Heating & Cooling 217-438-1235

Lanz Heating & Cooling 217-202-6858

Aireserve 217-243-6531

Central Heating & A/C 309-346-6100

Yard Heating & Cooling 217-824-4737

R C Plumbing & Heating 217-832-9744

Carbondale, IL

Divernon, IL

Springfield, IL

Tonica, IL

Watseka, IL

Jacobs Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. 618-529-2989

Weidner Refrigeration Marion, IL 217-628-3400 Ponder Service, Inc. Dubuque, IA 618-977-8900 All Season’s Heating & Cooling, Inc. 563-582-2584

Aireserve 217-523-8594

Town & Country R&M Electric Services Plumbing - 815-432-4062 Heating - Electric 815-442-3415

Brennan Sheet Metal 217-245-7181

Sugar Grove, IL

TRICO Mechanical 630-466-3662

from your own backyard GeoComfort geothermal systems use the free energy stored in the ground to heat and cool your

To learn more, contact the GeoComfort geothermal dealer in your area or visit

environmentally friendly systems on the market today.

R & H Plumbing & Heating Inc. Altamont 618-483-6159 McCann & Sons A/C & Heating Inc. Alto Pass 618-893-4887 Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning Bloomington/Normal 309-454-1611 Climate Company Breese 618-526-2135 Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning Champaign 217-378-4328 Jesse Heating & A/C Champaign 217-352-8511 LD Mechanical Contractors Charleston 217-345-9633 Engel Heating & Cooling Collinsville 618-344-0359

Jesse Heating & A/C Decatur 217-422-1744 Weidner Refrigeration Divernon 217-628-3400 KCH Mechanical Inc. Effingham 217-347-5755 South Side Hardware Greenfield 217-368-2705 Mark’s Heating & Cooling Greenville 618-664-2499 Ernst Heating & Cooling Hamel 618-633-2244 William J. Kraus & Son Keocuk, IA 319-524-3714 Neuhaus Heating & Cooling Litchfield 217-324-2818 Fowler Heating & Cooling Marion 618-997-5288

Neal’s Heating & Cooling Marissa 618-295-3402 Weeke Sales & Service Okawville 618-243-5333 Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning Paxton 217-370-6305 Keck Heating & Air Conditioning Quincy 217-223-5325

Davis Electric Rushville 217-322-6677 Philhower Electric, Plumbing & Heating Tiskilwa 815-646-4481 Lemanski Heating & A/C Freeport 815-232-4519 Jaenke Heating & Air Conditioning Waterloo 618-939-8594 Pederson HVAC New Baden 618-588-2402

Illinois Country Living June 2012  

Illinois Country Living June 2012