The recently released Illinois Farm Bureau Board Action Report was developed in response to COVID-19 and its impact on Illinois agriculture. The report identifies focus areas to improve farm profitability heading into the 2020 U.S. presidential election and into the 2021 growing season.

The priority initiatives in the report include:

  • Build demand for Illinois crops and products;
  • Support Illinois farmers and farm families through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond;
  • Prepare for farm policy shifts;
  • Advocate for the farmer role within the food supply chain; and
  • Identify climate and conservation programs that benefit all Illinois farmers

“If there is a change in the White House or a change in the Senate, what does that look like and what do we (in agriculture) need to be prepared for?,” asked Richard Guebert, Jr., IFB president. “And we’ve heard a lot of conversation about climate change and conservation programs. Also, when the pandemic hit in late March there was a ripple effect of the food supply chain here in the U.S. and we found out how fragile our delivery system is. So, this all raises concerns for what Illinois agriculture is going to look like in the short-term and then in the long-term. How is it going to change? Our IFB board has had that on our minds for quite some time, but it just raised the level when we got letters and Farm Bureau county leaders asking us what’s next or what are we doing?”

The Board Action Report will be shared with county Farm Bureaus and will be accessible to all IFB members. In addition, the plan will be shared with American Farm Bureau Federation.

IFB members are encouraged to read and provide input via their county Farm Bureaus, any IFB Board of Director or online. The plan is designed to be edited and updated as feedback is received and circumstances change.

“Maybe our IFB board didn’t think of everything and maybe there are some other areas that our members out in the counties have another thought on that should be included,” noted Guebert. “We want members’ feedback and we want them to spur conversations and have discussions out in their local communities. We are a grassroots organization, why would we not want their input?”