Guebert: 'Farmers teach the truth by living it'

It's important to educate legislators on misinformation, IFB president tells large crowd at Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr., spoke with members at the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference in Springfield about how building relationships is instrumental in a tough agricultural climate. (Photo: Illinois Farm Bureau)

By Deana Stroisch

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. stressed the importance of building relationships and sharing agriculture’s story this week.

“Relationships built here today with legislators and colleagues around the farming industry will prove instrumental in this tough agricultural climate,” Guebert told attendees at IFB’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference in Springfield on Tuesday. More than 400 members attended the one-day conference, which ended with a legislative reception.

This year brings much change in Illinois: a new governor, new state agency directors and 49 new members of the General Assembly. In addition, Guebert said 6,000 bills have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly.

“Many proposed bills are intended to create safe and sustainable food that feeds the world. This is a common goal we share with our legislators,” Guebert said. “Where we differ is the background on agriculture. Many of our legislators have been misinformed by groups, by the media and by concerned citizens who have never farmed, let alone ever visited a farm.”

Guebert shared a quote from James Garfield, which states in part: “There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are.”

“Farmers teach the truth by living it,” Guebert said. “And I encourage you to rely on that truth with your lawmakers today, by being a unified voice on Illinois Farm Bureau key issues.”

He also encouraged members to participate in the organization’s action request on the Clean Water Rule by texting “WATERS” to 52886. IFB hopes to send 2,500 comments through this action request.

“We really need to have everyone engaged in these calls to action,” Guebert said.