Attendees will notice a change when visiting the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Soybean Association at the 2021 Farm Progress Show, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 in Decatur, Ill. The two commodity groups will be present under the same tent, located at Lot 605.
With changes in ISA leadership since the last Farm Progress Show in Decatur, it has become a priority to work together on more projects and events.
“This is a historic opportunity for our farmer-members to really see what having their two membership organizations working together on their behalf can do for them and their farm,” says Lindsay Mitchell, director of communications and marketing at ICGA. “Hopefully, we can make an impact for people that aren’t members — show them what we can do for them and why a membership would be valuable.”
The two organizations serve the same members for the same purpose.
“Why not do more together?” asks Rachel Peabody, director of communications at ISA. “We’re really excited to show farmers in a very public way at the Farm Progress Show all that we can do when we work together.”
More hands involved means stronger content for farmers when they enter the ICGA and ISA tent.
One topic of discussion will be conservation programs, Mitchell says. Growers will learn not only how to make better conservation decisions, but also how the organizations are working to educate consumers on the topic.
Peabody says other conversations will include renewable fuels, like biodiesel and ethanol, and international trade. Another station will feature an advocacy opportunity for farmers in the center of the tent.
This year’s show means connection opportunities for the organizations and farmers.
“From a client’s perspective, we try to reach out to our farmer-members all the time,” Mitchell says. “Sometimes, this is a once-every-two-years opportunity to catch up with the farmers you don’t hear from the rest of the time.”
As growers enter the ICGA and ISA tent, they should remember the importance of their voice, Mitchell says.
“When we have farmers talk to us about what’s going on on their farm, it gives us the perspective we need to represent them in Springfield or Washington, D.C.,” she says. “Farmers can help us by bringing their ideas on various topics that affect them.”
Peabody agrees: “We represent all Illinois farmers. It is so important just to be there to hear from farmers, meet them, and answer any questions they may have.”
Both ICGA and ISA say they are eager to interact with corn and soybean growers in Decatur.
“Of course, we’re expecting big attendance from board and staff,” Peabody says. “We also really think that Illinois corn and soybean farmers are going to show up in a big way for this.”