We grow together

Over the last 2 years Porter County Farm Bureau’s partnership with Shirley Heinze Land Trust has flowered in ways we could have only imagined.  Our most recent example is Shirley Heinze’s support for our “Take Care, We’re Farming Around Here” public safety initiative.

21 years ago, while serving as Trustee of Porter Township I championed “Take Care” to promote farm safety; especially during times of planting and harvest.  With the increasing migration of people to rural NW Indiana, it became clear that our “new arrivals” were unaware of what to do when a passenger vehicle encounters farm equipment on the roadway. Porter County’s “new arrivals” did not appear to appreciate the fact that the “greener pastures” to which they moved are cared for by “stewards of the land” who need to move about on County roads and State highways from time to time with very large, slow moving machines.  “Take Care” became a safety program featuring road signs, public service radio announcements, window clings, magnets and flyers designed to raise awareness, educate, and inform.

Today, “Take Care” is honored to receive support from our Porter County Commissioners, Adams Radio Group (you know them as Indiana 105, XRock and Z107), our Porter County Sheriff Jeff Balon, and nearly 50 folks who sponsor our “Take Care” road signs.  Shirley Heinze Land Trust has joined in support, and we could not be more excited.  Last month our partners at the Porter County Highway Department installed 3 new road signs Shirley Heinze Land Trust sponsored at locations in proximity to their office at Meadowbrook Nature Preserve.  The sponsorship is another tangible example of how the 2 organizations are embracing (and celebrating) the successes of the other.  We are all stewards of the land and water in both preservation and production, and we all support safety in all that we do to accomplish our mission. Working together we discover new ways to support one another’s mission.

In May members of our Board attended Shirley Heinze Land Trust Spring Benefit celebrating new horizons in land and water stewardship.  In June, members of Shirley Heinze will join us at our annual membership meeting as they did last year!  We are grateful and thankful.

We grow together.

Pictured above: Kris Krouse, SHLT Executive Director; Alicia Pellegrino Conservation Director; Bob Wichlinski with Porter County Farm Bureau

Article and photos contributed by Bob Wichlinski, Vice-President of Porter County Farm Bureau

For a decade, Bob has taught at Valparaiso University.  When he is not in the classroom, Wichlinski serves as the Vice-President of Porter County Farm Bureau, Treasurer of Porter County 4-H Council, Treasurer of the Valparaiso University Guild, Volunteer in the Park (VIP) at the Indiana Dunes National Park, and Porter County Master Recycler.  Bob served in elective office as Porter Township Trustee and Porter County Auditor. He presently serves as a Special Deputy to the Porter County Sheriff.