Lindsay Mitchell

Jan 03, 2017  |  Today's News

Bloomington, IL – John Sullivan, Illinois State Senator (D-Rushville), is the 2016 Friend of Ag Award Recipient.  The Friend of Ag Award seeks to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the Illinois agricultural industry and who have sought to represent agriculture in the highest accord.

Sullivan was first elected to the Senate in 2002.  He was appointed Assistant Majority Leader in 2011 and served most recently on the Senate’s Agriculture, Higher Education, Financial Institutions, Transportation, State Government and Veterans Affairs, and the Environment and Conservation Committees.

Sullivan has always been a strong advocate for Illinois farmers and is the only farmer serving in the Senate, where his first-hand knowledge of farming gives Illinois farmers an effective voice in Springfield. 

Illinois agriculture is excited to thank Senator Sullivan for his service with this award.  Sullivan did not seek reelection in November 2016.  His service to the Illinois Senate will end in January 2017.

 “Senator Sullivan is always accessible, always approachable, always willing to work with the ag community,” said Jeff Jarboe, President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.  “He was often the only voice that understood agriculture speaking in the Illinois Senate.”

“The Illinois Pork Producers Association extends our deepest gratitude and appreciation to Senator John Sullivan for his years of service and continued dedication to Illinois agriculture. Our industry will always remember the senator as a strong advocate for livestock development,” said Jennifer Tirey, Executive Director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association. 

"John is a cattleman himself and he's always been an ally of his fellow beef producers. Seeing him leave the general assembly is sad in that we're losing that ally. Beyond our ranks, we know many of his fellow legislators are sad to see him go too. John Sullivan leaves behind a reputation for leadership and open mindedness that will be sorely missed in his absence," said Reid Blossom, Executive Director of the Illinois Beef Association.

Sullivan graduated from Quincy College, now Quincy University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in history.  Before joining the Senate, he worked as a real estate broker, loan officer and auctioneer in addition to running his family farm.

The Friend of Ag Award, now in its 24th year, is given annually by the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Milk Producers’ Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, and Illinois Wheat Association.