Maize Matters: Springfield sparks for Farm Succession

Apr 08, 2024  |  ICGA

A farm’s legacy is one of its most important aspects. No matter if you are a seventh-generation farmer or beginning a career in production agriculture, passing on a farm to the next generation is important to the future.  In 2023, we highlighted the statistic that 96% of Illinois farms are family owned. Illinois estate tax laws create a burden for many family farms, challenging that statistic annually.


In early February, Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria) and Rep. Sharon Chung (D-Bloomington) introduced the Family Farm Preservation Act, a bill amending the estate tax for farm families.


"Recently, my family’s farm implemented major changes due to the estate tax,” IL Corn Growers Association Vice President and farmer from Waterloo, Garrett Hawkins said. “Anything we can do to make it easier for farmers to pass on their operations to the next generation is good for farmers, rural communities and our state economy.”


The bill makes the current $4 million estate tax threshold an exemption and raises it to $6 million. The legislation changes the law so only dollars over $6 million would be taxed instead of the entire amount. 


ICGA is proud to work alongside the Illinois Farm Bureauwho spearheaded this change, to ensure farmers are represented at the Capital and the family farm legacy is protected.


ICGA’s growing presence in Springfield has allowed the association to play a bigger role in policies important to our membership. During the spring legislative session, the association is magnifying the voice of farmers in clean fuel standard and carbon capture and sequestration negotiations.


“March was a busy month with many bills introduced in our state legislature impacting agriculture,” ICGA President Dave Rylander said. “We continue to work on offense and defense, building relationships with our state elected officials to benefit our farmers.”


With many more discussions ahead for corn growers at the state Capitol, the General Assembly will be busy before its adjournment, May 24.