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IFB members gather in the Windy City

Slideshow: Illinois Farm Bureau members and ag industry leaders attended the 2023 IFB Annual Meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago. Take a look.

Betty Haynes

December 11, 2023

17 Slides

Illinois Farm Bureau members from across the state convened at the Palmer House in Chicago from Dec. 2-5 for the 2023 IFB Annual Meeting, engaging in a week of policy discussions, networking and celebration.

Richard Guebert Jr. of Ellis Grove, Ill., bid the organization farewell, as 2023 marked the end of his tenure serving as president from 2013-23. Guebert said passing the torch is bittersweet, but he looks forward to slowing down and spending time with family.

“I’m not going to miss the issues, but I’m going to miss the people,” Guebert said. “Someone gave me the opportunity to sit here, and now it’s time for me to let someone else lead this organization.”

IFB’s 329 voting county delegates elected Brian Duncan of Polo, Ill., as the organization’s 16th president, and Evan Hultine from Princeton, Ill., as vice president. Each will serve a two-year term.

Guebert shared that during his tenure at the helm of IFB, agriculture has changed immensely, and as the organization looks forward, it will need to follow suit.

“Illinois Farm Bureau is going to need to change,” Guebert explained. “The structure has served it well over the last 107 years. But as we see leadership change, new members and a new day, it’s an opportunity to position Illinois Farm Bureau for the next 100 years.”

Related:IFB presidential race reflects change and conflict

There are both tremendous opportunities and threats facing the organization in the coming years.

“First and foremost, in the first quarter, we need to get a farm bill done, because our farmers need certainty going forward,” Guebert said. “Secondly, I worry about government overreach and overregulation. We need to continue to stay diligent in expressing our views on how any new law impacts agriculture.”

Guebert said in today’s tumultuous political landscape, IFB’s relationships in Springfield, Ill., and Washington, D.C., are more important than ever.

“It’s the relationships that we build and the ability of leadership, both on the county level and state level, to work with other folks to express their points of view,” Guebert said. “We have policy that tells us how to do that and what’s important to our members. IFB will continue to be that voice for years to come.”

About the Author(s)

Betty Haynes

Betty Haynes is the associate editor of Prairie Farmer. She grew up on a Menard County, Ill., farm and graduated from the University of Missouri. Most recently, Betty worked for the Illinois Beef Association, entirely managing and editing its publication.

She and her husband, Dan, raise corn, soybeans and cattle with her family near Petersburg, Ill., and are parents to Clare.

Betty recently won the Emerging Photographer Award from the Ag Communicators Network during the 2022 Ag Media Summit and placed in the Emerging Writer category as well.

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