At the Illinois Soybean Association’s annual policy meeting on Feb. 2, the emphasis was on telling the story of soybean farmers and being proactive in the push for B20.
Chairman Doug Schroeder said he has seen first-hand how conversations between farmers and politicians can produce results. One of the major efforts the group is working on today is a push for B20 to be the standard for diesel in Illinois.
B11 sunsets soon, so “by far the No. 1 policy effort” is to make B20 the standard, he said. He is hoping to do that with Illinois HB 229, which already has three sponsors.
One of the sponsors is a Chicago Democrat who sees B20 and E15 as better alternatives than electric cars to solve pollution issues, Schroeder said. That conclusion was reached after talking to soybean farmers at harvest last year, he said.
Speakers at the policy meeting empathized the importance of soybean growers telling their stories. To do that, the 24-member farmer board, who met in a combination of virtual and in-person events on Jan. 24, created a new market development committee and chair, naming McLean County farmer Ron Kindred to that role.
“The timing couldn’t be better,” Schroeder said.
Board members also introduced the 250 Challenge. ISA is seeking 250 people to donate $250 to “build the war chest” to tell these stories, Schroeder said. They will announce details of the campaign soon.
The effort is needed for funding because checkoff dollars cannot be used for lobbying efforts, he said.