IFB leaders in Washington for unconventional trip

By Katie Zelechowski

Six Illinois farmers landed in Washington D.C. Monday morning to advocate for ag issues during an Illinois Farm Bureau Leaders to Washington trip unlike any other.

The three-day trip will include mask mandates, restricted visitor access and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Participants will meet with national representatives and government agencies through a mixture of in-person and virtual meetings and focus on supporting renewable fuels, transportation and infrastructure investments and rural broadband expansion.

The program’s fall 2020 and spring 2021 trips were canceled due to pandemic travel restrictions. Adam Nielsen, IFB’s director of national legislation and policy development, said he’s confident this week’s trip will be successful.

“Our members show their dedication when they come out here and take time from things - like harvest - to talk to policy makers and try to influence decisions,” he said. “Our people have never shied away from doing that and this group isn’t either.”

During the first day in the nation’s capital, participants received updates on national policy issues affecting ag from American Farm Bureau Federation staff. They’ll meet with leaders from other organizations and members of Congress later this week.

Participants include: Ida Hand, Montgomery County; Kent Kleinschmidt, Tazewell; Matt Lilienkamp, Washington; Keith Mussman, IFB District 6 director; Mark Tuttle, IFB District 1 director; and Michael Zecher, Mercer.

This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.