Health care summit planned by Farm Bureau

Organization to begin analyzing options that might be available to help Illinois farmers manage rising medical costs.

Health _care _summit _planned _farm _bureau _1_636519515139748834

Speaking with Rita Frazer on the RFD Radio Network® this week, IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. recapped the recent AFBF Convention and offered a preview of a few upcoming events, including a summit on health care options for farm families.

By Jeff Brown

Illinois Farm Bureau plans to hold a health care summit in March to examine health care options for Illinois farmers.

“We plan to have speakers coming in to share views of different programs that are available for farm families, have a little background on what we’ve provided here in Illinois Farm Bureau or COUNTRY Financial over the years and maybe a way forward,” said Richard Guebert Jr. during an interview with the RFD Radio Network®.

The summit will take place on March 13 as a result of a resolution passed by delegates to the IFB Annual Meeting last month requesting the state organization examine the health care issue. County Farm Bureau and IFB leaders will participate in the Bloomington meeting, which will also be streamed online for interested members.  

This will be the first step in a process to identify options that could help farmers address rising health care costs, a topic of discussion that also surfaced at the recent American Farm Bureau Convention.

Related: AFBF sets 2018 strategic goals. Read more here.

Later this month, Guebert and IFB Vice President Brian Duncan will be meeting with county Farm Bureau presidents to discuss health care, the farm bill and other issues of interest to farmers around the state.

The organization also plans to hold its annual Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference March 14-15 in Springfield. The conference presents an opportunity for members to get updates on state and federal legislative issues and challenges.

The event also serves as an opportunity for members to build relationships with state legislators and talk with them about important issues for agriculture.

Guebert and Duncan also plan to build relationships through upcoming meetings with state officials. The two have sessions scheduled with Wayne Rosenthal, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Raymond Poe, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture; and Alec Messina, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

“Communication is key,” Guebert said. “They know what your points of view are, we know what their points of view are and we find some common ground.”

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