Illinois Farm Bureau is developing Strength With Advisory Teams (SWAT) to surface emerging issues in agriculture, provide a vision for IFB and the agriculture industry, and help guide issues.
“Agriculture is changing; the dynamics are changing. These teams will capture the strength of this organization and guide the organization and industry,” said Mark Gebhards, IFB executive director of governmental affairs and commodities.
“The teams will provide a new platform to better investigate and prepare the organization to understand, influence, and adapt to the changing realities in production agriculture, the rural economy, and rural family life,” Gebhards noted.
- Conservation and Natural Resources Team will work on issues related to environmental regulations, conservation programs, forestry, concentrated animal feeding operations, permitting, pesticide use, and related topics.
- Farming Production and Marketing Team will focus on issues related to crop production, marketing, risk management, trade, technology, farm policy, livestock, equine, local foods, specialty crops, and related sectors.
- Local and State Government Team will address rural development, local governments and economies, elections, education, energy, transportation, and related issues.
The three teams will identify issues and provide input to the IFB Board of Directors on issues relating to farmers, production practices, rural life, and other agriculture-related areas. “One of the goals of these teams is to be proactive instead of reactive to those changing dynamics,” Gebhards said.
Each team will guide and direct IFB as the members become experts on specific issues, regulations, and legislation on which they focus.
Each team will have 12 Farm Bureau members, an IFB board member, and a county Farm Bureau manager who will serve in an advisory capacity.
Team members will be appointed to two-year terms. The teams will meet four times each year for one-day meetings with the first meeting set for Jan. 31.
For information, contact your county Farm Bureau, call IFB at 309-557-3984, or go online to www.ilfb.org/swat