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IFB Brings Together Members and Legislators at GALC
Illinois Ag Connection - 02/29/2024

The five most gratifying words an Illinois Farm Bureau member can hear are “I know who you are.”

As IFB President Brian Duncan introduces himself to people, especially in the legislative arena, he loves to hear those words in response.

“We have the kind of relationships with the decision- makers that we don’t need to introduce ourselves,” Duncan said Feb. 20 to about 400 attendees of the Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference.

The daylong event in Springfield was themed “Building for Success” and featured speakers, breakout sessions and a legislative reception, where members had the opportunity to meet their respective legislators, discuss concerns and most importantly, share their personal stories.

Members could choose from breakout sessions ranging in topics from transportation regulations to navigating the H-2A visa program to building relationships through urban agriculture.

Looking inward, IFB staff also talked with members about the Organizational Member Strategy, which will serve as a roadmap for IFB to deliver effective and efficient advocacy for the future of Illinois farmers. Member engagement throughout the process will be critical to its success.

Building for success as an organization requires giving thoughtful study to complex issues. That’s what gives IFB credibility, Duncan said.

“Without it, we will fail to move our agenda forward,” he said. “How are we going to build for success? It’s not just knowing the issues and studying them. It’s crafting solutions.”

Farm profitability is always top of mind as IFB looks for opportunities for members. The organization is focused on helping get a farm bill passed this year, fixing the “absolute disaster” of the newly-implemented Proposition 12, seeking affordable and available labor and expanding and improving trade agreements, while enforcing ones already on the books, Duncan said.



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