While it was conducted largely by Zoom, the 106th Bureau County Farm Bureau annual meeting was held Monday night, based out of its new home on North Main Street in Princeton.
In his report, Bureau County Farm Bureau President Evan Hultine said the Farm Bureau’s biggest accomplishment from the past year was its new building and “room we’re currently standing in.”
“Definitely been a long road, but things are finally accomplished and completed and I think it’s something we can all be very proud of,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing but positive comments from all the members who have come through the doors at this point.
“I think with everything going on with the pandemic, the building has been a blessing for obvious reasons. With the economic planet, it’s pretty nice not to have to worry about renters.”
Hultine said it’s a positive to see an increase of total assets of about $75,000 over the past five years.
“I think that’s something to hang our hat and be proud of and help us light the path that we’re hopefully moving things in the right direction and providing financial stability for future years for the organization,” he said.
Hultine applauded the Farm Bureau’s partnership with Country Financial and the new community grant program they started this year.
“I think as we move into 2021, that’s going to be a real important program moving forward and also help provide provide our relevance and support to Bureau County,” he said.
Hultine asked that the board and membership “look to reconnect and re-energize the membership and organization and why it’s important to be involved in the community.”
The Farm Bureau President thanked Bureau County Farm Bureau Manager Jill Frueh and her staff for all their flexibility in a trying year during the pandemic. He also recognized longtime Bureau County Farm Bureau staffer Becky Cook, who is retiring after more than 44 years at the end of the month.
“I don’t know if there’s too many people across the state in county Farm Bureaus who have put this many years of service into the county organization,” Hultine said.
Election of directors
Brian Sanden (District 1, Seat 1), Kent Bickett (District 2, Seat 1), Kathi Reed (District 3, Seat 1), Derek Molln (District 4, Seat 1) and David Ohlson (At Large, Seat 1) were all elected as directors of Illinois Farm Bureau.
William Anderson, Farm Bureau secretary, declared that the men and women submitted have all been duly elected for two-year terms.
In other business
• Delegates were appointed to the next Illinois Ag Association annual meeting.
• The “acts and deeds” of the Bureau County Board of Directors for the past year were approved.
• The treasurer’s report was approved.
• Retiring directors Tony Stirling (District 4) and Kathi Reed (District 3) were recognized and presented awards by Hultine.
State Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, attended the meeting on call from the House Floor in Springfield for the Lame Duck Session.
He talked about House Bill 163, which Monday moved to House Bill 3653, to “defund the police,” and the on-again, off-again re-election campaign of Mike Madigan.
Swanson called House Bill 3653 “terrible legislation” and “three words I can’t even imagine, ‘defund the police.’” He said they are fighting to try to stop it.
On Madigan, he said, “Don’t count the horse out of the race, until he’s actually pulled. He’s working the Caucus hard.”
Swanson congratulated Bureau County Farm Bureau for its 106th year and said he enjoys his time with it.
“Unfortunately we missed out on the Fair Bureau Convention this year, but I look forward to seeing you as we move forward in 2021,” Swanson said.
Illinois Farm Bureau District 4 Director Don Meyer, who represents Bureau, Lee and LaSalle County Farm Bureaus on the IAA board, was on the call and thanked everyone for their support.
“I’ve just been on the position for a month. There’s a lot to learn and I look forward to working with all of you,” Meyer said.
Brian Puetz, the Illinois Farm Bureau Region 1 Manager serving northwest Illinois, also participated via Zoom and congratulated the Bureau County Farm Bureau on its new office.