County Farm Bureau leaders eyeing many state issues

Livestock Management Facilities Act, mileage tax and more are top of mind.

State Rep. Fran Hurley, D-Chicago, left, talks with her constituent Cook County Farm Bureau President Janet McCabe, center, and Ruth Zeldenrust, a Cook County Farm Bureau director, during the Illinois Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs legislative reception Tuesday in Springfield. (Photo by Kay Shipman)

By Kay Shipman

County Farm Bureau leaders are interested in a variety of state issues that may come before the Illinois General Assembly. FarmWeek spoke with several during this week’s Illinois Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference in Springfield. Interviews were conducted before Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget address.

Steve Turner, vice president, Cass-Morgan Farm Bureau: “I’m concerned about the Livestock Management Facilities Act. We don’t want disruption of our siting (process). And how do we address the conditions of roads and bridges?”

John Howard, vice president, Jefferson County Farm Bureau: “As a good Farm Bureau member, I’m concerned about opening up the Livestock Management Facilities Act and (proposed legislation) that anyone could sue” about a permit decision based on that act). It’s tough because there are new (General Assembly) members and a lack of people with agriculture backgrounds.”

Terry Boydstun, vice president, Knox County Farm Bureau: “I’m concerned about maintaining the state farmland assessment system and the tax exemptions on (agricultural) inputs.”

Mark Eddleman, president, Union County Farm Bureau: “I’m concerned about an increase in the state motor fuel tax.”

David White, president, Wayne County Farm Bureau: “A mileage tax would be hard on us downstate because we have to drive so far. I think increasing the minimum wage will hurt us downstate. I’m worried it will drive businesses out of the state.”