Guebert highlights IFB's successes

Property-rights issues involving the Rock Island Clean Line and Great Lakes Basin Transportation among the organization's wins in 2017.

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Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. addresses members about this year's accomplishments and upcoming priorities at the organization’s recent Annual Meeting in Chicago. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)

By Deana Stroisch

During Illinois Farm Bureau’s recent Annual Meeting in Chicago, President Richard Guebert Jr. highlighted the organization’s significant accomplishments for 2017, including:

- Farm Bureau helped protect property rights for landowners in the path of the Rock Island Clean Line, a planned 500-mile, high-voltage transmission line. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the company does not qualify as a public entity under Illinois law and was ineligible for a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

“This was a great victory for Farm Bureau members made possible by the efforts of county Farm Bureaus and IFB,” Guebert said. “When a farmer asks: ‘What does Farm Bureau do for me?’ cite this as a perfect example.”

- Opposing the Great Lakes Basin Transportation’s plan to build a three-state rail line through Illinois farmland. Many county Farm Bureaus, along with IFB, submitted comments to the Surface Transportation Board, which ultimately rejected Great Lakes Basin’s application.

- Continued to advocate for repeal of the “waters of the U.S.” rule. More than 2,500 Illinois farmers signed a petition in support of the administration’s repeal effort – the largest response ever to an IFB action request.

- ACTIVATOR, IFB’s political action committee, raised nearly $150,000 from 47,000 individual members.

- Successfully advocated for maintaining the Illinois Livestock Management Facilities Act. Guebert thanked members Ginnie Six, Ron Lawfer and Mike Martz for testifying during a recent Senate hearing.

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