Lee County Farm Bureau works to advance legislative priorities

Illinois Farm Bureau President Brian Duncan talks to more than 400 attendees of IFB's Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference about what it means to build the organization for success. The daylong event in Springfield featured speakers, breakout sessions and a legislative reception.

SPRINGFIELD – More than 400 Illinois Farm Bureau members gathered in Springfield for the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference on Feb. 20.

Local, state and national political leaders and legislators met with Farm Bureau leaders from across the state, including six members of the Lee County Farm Bureau, to discuss IFB’s 2024 legislative priorities.

The event culminated in a legislative reception, with almost 80 elected officials in attendance to meet with IFB members.

“As an organization, the most powerful thing we can do is connect our members with lawmakers,” IFB President Brian Duncan said. “Our members consistently make an impact on policy by giving legislators a true, boots-on-the-ground expert in agriculture.”

Featured speakers included former Arizona U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, who was the first woman in U.S. Air Force history to fly a fighter jet in combat and command a fighter squadron, as well as Kirk Bado, editor of the National Journal Hotline.

Breakout sessions featured experts on topics including the active state legislative term, stabilizing the ag workforce, livestock, soil productivity and more.

GALC is the annual central event surrounding IFB’s long-standing efforts to connect members and legislators. IFB’s Adopt-A-Legislator program, which is more than 20 years old now, fosters long-term personal relationships between urban legislators and farmers across the state.

IFB’s annual Leaders to Washington trip connects farmers with national legislators.

This year’s conference, with the theme “Building for Success,” identified obstacles that agriculture may face in the coming years and how to build relationships with governmental leaders.

Many breakout sessions focused on IFB’s legislative priorities for the upcoming year, including a new bipartisan estate tax reform bill, stabilized labor wages, California’s Proposition 12 and more. During the sessions, members had opportunities to share their perspectives with Farm Bureau leadership and staff.

“Every year, our members demonstrate both depth of knowledge on key ag topics and a desire to grow and absorb the latest information on emerging issues,” Duncan said. “That’s what makes GALC successful, and that’s why so many key legislators go out of their way to meet and partner with our members.”

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

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