IFB USMCA banner

Illinois Farm Bureau members signed a banner supporting ratification of the USMCA.

CHICAGO, Ill. — Illinois Farm Bureau delegates voted in favor of two member resolutions regarding renewable fuels and trade with Canada and Mexico at their annual meeting in Chicago Dec. 9.

The 339 voting delegates voiced unanimous support for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in response to waivers granted to small refineries. The resolution stated the Illinois Farm Bureau supports all renewable fuel use and is opposed to efforts to defund, repeal or roll back the RFS.

The resolution stated the small refinery waivers cost farmers the production of 4 billion gallons and 20 billion in sales of renewable fuel.

The delegates, on behalf of 79,159 voting members, asked legislators to “fairly and firmly” address the “intent and integrity” of RFS.

USMCA support

IFB delegates also unanimously supported the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

A Clark County resolution stated that Illinois is well positioned for export, and that farmers prefer “trade over aid.” It also stated that more than 6,000 farmers contacted Congress to show their support for the USMCA. The resolution called on legislators to ratify the agreement with neighboring trading partners.

In the exhibit hall, members also signed a banner supporting ratification of the trade agreement.

Climate and health issues

One delegate, Ken Taake, representing Pulaski Farm Bureau, said he is active in the organization because Illinois Farm Bureau has a voice with legislators.

He said he was surprised there were so little talk about climate change at the event. He said there isn’t disagreement that it exists, more if it is man-made and what can be done about it. With the weather concerns that affected so many this year, he expected more talk on that subject.

Taake said he was glad to see attention paid to health care. The southern Illinois row crop farmer said health insurance was his highest monthly personal cost on the farm before he became old enough to have other options. He is disappointed Illinois legislators limit options for health insurance that could help farmers, he said.

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Phyllis Coulter is Northern Illinois field editor, writing for Illinois Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Missouri Farmer Today.