Shelby County FB leaders tour senator's Chicago district

By Christina Nourie

Farmers learn about the district as well as the concerns of urban residents.

Shelby _county _fb _leaders _tour _senators _chicago _district _1_636415170887739668 (002)

State Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago, third from left, discusses issues with Shelby County Farm Bureau visitors during a recent tour of his legislative district. (Photo by Christina Nourie)

Recently, the Illinois Farm Bureau Adopt-A-Legislator Program® traveled to the northwest side of Chicago. State Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago, hosted Shelby County Farm Bureau members for a district tour.

Mulroe and his assistant, Kim, coordinated a variety of stops to help the central Illinois farmers learn about the senator's district as well as the concerns of urban residents.

The tour started at the Chicago Police Department's 16th district station, which geographically is the largest police district in the city. Lt. John Garrido discussed 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.

Next, the group stopped at Wright Community College, which serves numerous city neighborhoods and has an enrollment of about 13,000 students.

For lunch, the visitors stopped at Eli's Cheesecake. Marc Schulman, Eli’s president and an avid supporter of agriculture and ag education, met the farmers and talked about agriculture and his interest in establishing a second agriculture-focused high school in Chicago, possibly in Mulroe’s district.

From there, the farmers toured and met with staff at the Maryville Crisis Nursery, an organization that provides free, short-term, round-the-clock care in a safe and nurturing environment for children whose families are facing a severe crisis or emergency. The nursery also provides vital medical care to medically fragile children, who were recently discharged from the hospital while their families prepare to bring them home.

The nursery relies heavily on volunteers and donations. Nursery Director Amy Kendal-Lynch also provided the farmers a tour of the new vegetable garden and asked for their advice on growing produce. Kendal-Lynch noted a new crisis nursery is opening in Effingham, not far from Shelby County. The farmers expressed interest in learning more and perhaps supporting that organization in the future.

A driving tour was the next part of the farmers’ adventure. The senator stopped at a local firehouse where the farmers toured the facility and spoke with firefighters.

The day ended with refreshments and conversation at Firewater, a well-known eatery in Edison Park. Some of the senator’s friends and neighbors met the farmers to welcome them and discuss issues of concern.

A big thank you to Sen. Mulroe and Kim for hosting a fun and educational day for Shelby County farmers. We are excited to host them for a farm tour sometime soon.

Christina Nourie serves as Illinois Farm Bureau northeast legislative coordinator.

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