December 02, 2023

Daugherty: Advocating for soy growers

Illinois Soybean Growers was born to advocate for Illinois soybean farmers, providing them platforms to be heard firsthand, and constantly monitors legislative issues, opportunities and threats, providing farmers with information and resources.

Though we don’t always all agree on every issue, we do share the belief that many voices are hard to ignore — and that as an association and a committee, we must stand together and act as one voice in agriculture.

We must tell our story, promote policies that will most directly impact Illinois farmers and be intentional with our policy agenda in an effort to educate and inform legislators.

We want leadership in Springfield and Washington, D.C., to know we stand ready to work with them around these issues.

Recently, our committee met to discuss our role and work over the next fiscal year and to identify state and federal policy priorities.

Among many issues, the most pressing and largely discussed included biofuels, animal agriculture, foreign trade, transportation and climate-smart agriculture.

The upcoming farm bill remains a large area of focus for the committee as we support the timely passage of a bipartisan plan that continues to include both agriculture and nutrition policy.

We will continue working proactively to be a trusted source on Illinois-specific topics, to promote Illinois soy and the issues confronting our farmers.

From encouraging new trade deals and advocating for livestock farmers’ rights to the transition to higher blends of biodiesel in Illinois, this committee is bringing Illinois farmers to the forefront of policy-related efforts.

We will continue to grow our legislative reach by fostering relationships with state and federal legislators.

We will continue working to soften divisive political lines and advocate for bipartisan strategies that will strengthen us at home and abroad. And we will continue to shape Illinois’ agricultural future with Illinois farmers in mind.

Wishing for your peace, health and prosperity this holiday season!

Brad Daugherty is chairman of the Government Relations Committee of the Illinois Soybean Association.