ICGA and FFA grows roots in DC

Haley Bickelhaupt

Jul 26, 2023  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Ethanol |  Legislation & Regulation |  Farm Policy

IL Corn farmer leaders and Illinois FFA were seen throughout the United States’ Capitol last week advocating for membership priorities and attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress.


ICGA leadership and FFA members met with all 17 Illinois representatives and both senate offices. Farmer leaders also built relationships with members of congress during the National Corn Growers Association “Farm Bill Frenzy” reception.


“Washington D.C. is a busy time before August recess,” said IL Corn Growers Association President Matt Rush. “This atmosphere provided us a receptive audience with the Illinois delegation to share our priorities and also hear their concerns related to agriculture in the districts.”


The Farm Bill, ethanol and voluntary conservation practices were priorities discussed during the fly-in. In addition to Illinois meetings, ICGA leadership met with the majority and minority leaders of the house and senate agricultural committees.


Bill Leigh, an Illinois farmer, and a newly elected member of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board attended the meetings. He said although Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture Glenn Thompson (PA-15) remained optimistic the bill would get through the House’s committee this September, there is still much work to be done before then.


“There’s so many things to discuss,” said Leigh. “They’ve got to go through the FAA reauthorization first, and they’ve got to do appropriations bills. Then they are going to get to the Farm Bill as a whole and the August recess is coming up.”


Illinois FFA state officers and section presidents attended Corn Congress with ICGA. The young leaders attended congressional meetings and shared IL Corn’s priorities with administrative and industry offices.  


Illinois FFA State President Thaddeus Bergschneider attended his second trip to the U.S. capital with IL Corn. He said he is thankful for the opportunity to make an impact on agriculture while bringing to life his education.“(We are here) to advocate for our farmers back home and to see what we want to accomplish in agriculture this year,” said Bergschneider. “….It’s so nice to be in this environment, and to be in D.C. where our nation’s policies are made.”