For the first time in Illinois Farm Bureau history, the organization’s annual meeting was conducted virtually with 336 county Farm Bureau delegates participating via internet across the state.
Delegates serving DeKalb County included: Steve Bemis, Berkeley Boehne, Ed Cowan, Roy Plote and Mike Schweitzer.
New IFB policy addresses the challenge businesses have faced during the pandemic. In new state and local government policy, IFB supports legislation that will protect businesses that make a reasonable effort to comply with applicable federal and state regulations from liability claims made by employees and customers.
Steve Bemis Ed Cown
Commercial solar energy policy also was addressed, coming at a time when commercial solar projects are being proposed in parts of the state. Delegates voted to support statewide regulations requiring a notice of intent to construct for commercial solar energy projects and statewide regulations requiring a hearing prior to the construction of a commercial solar energy project.
Legislative reform was top of mind for some county Farm Bureaus that received delegates’ support for their proposals. New IFB policy supports prohibiting state lawmakers from concurrently serving as an elected official and as a paid lobbyist. Delegates also passed policy supporting legislators only receiving compensation for the days they are in office.
Roy Plote Berkeley Boehne
Regarding crop protection policy, delegates approved support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policy that allows the expeditious use of existing stocks of pesticide products whose registrations have been amended, canceled or suspended.
Other crop protection policy passed by delegates included support for:
• Development of new crop protection technologies that benefit specialty growers and row-crop farmers alike.
• Establishment of an industry standard for voluntary field marking that displays the traits planted in a field.
As for water quality and watershed projects, delegates passed policy to support voluntary programs between the state or municipalities with farmers to solve issues with water quality and/or nutrient management.
On infrastructure policy, delegates voted to support requiring the township highway authority commissioner to provide written explanation if the highway authority commissioner denies a road access request of a landowner. They also passed policy supporting establishment of a process for landowners to appeal a decision of a township highway authority commissioner.