Illinois brings home national honors

Read about the hardware IFB, various county Farm Bureaus and others took home from AFBF's 100th annual convention.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. addressing the general session at the AFBF national convention. (Photo courtesy of AFBF)

Illinois Farm Bureau received a New Horizon Award and multiple Awards of Excellence at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans.

The New Horizon Award honors states with the most innovative new programs, and IFB received Excellence awards for Advocacy, Engagement and Outreach, Leadership and Business Development, and Membership Value.

American Farm Bureau Foundation awarded IFB with one of six Scholar Awards given to states with the highest total donations to the Foundation within their membership group.

Illinois county projects receive acclaim

Three different projects implemented by county Farm Bureaus in Illinois received County Activities of Excellence Awards at the convention. Knox County Farm Bureau’s Sounds of Summer program, Winnebago-Boone’s Making Sense of Food Labels program and a regional television commercial campaign organized by county Farm Bureaus in Scott, Pike, Adams and Hancock counties were among 24 projects recognized from counties across the country.

Distinguished Service, Founders awards

Orrin Hatch, a recently retired U.S. Senator from Utah, earned AFBF’s Distinguished Service Award, and longtime Farm Bureau leader Dick Newpher took home the Founders Award.

The Distinguished Service has been awarded since 1928 to people who have devoted their careers to serving the national interest of U.S. agriculture. Hatch’s efforts to cut taxes were among those he noted for benefitting farmers and other residents of rural America.

And the Founders Award recognizes leadership, service and contributions from Farm Bureau officers or employees. Newpher started as a field representative for Pennsylvania Farm Bureau before eventually becoming AFBF’s executive vice president and treasurer.

Book of the year

A book teaching children about the people who produce their food earned the Foundation’s Book of the Year award.

Lisl Detlefsen’s “Right This Very Minute” is the 12th book to win the award, which honors educational books that help create positive public perceptions about agriculture. Detlefsen lives on a cranberry marsh in Wisconsin.

Donation drive announced

In honor of its 100th convention, AFBF announced a new partnership with Ronald McDonald House to raise $100,000. AFBF said more information on how to contribute would be released in coming weeks.

Ronald McDonald House allows families to access specialized medical care for their children by providing a place to stay at little to no cost.