Protecting Illinois Farmers' Way of Life

Ashley Deal

Sep 21, 2023  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Legislation & Regulation

IL Corn Growers Association is a state-based organization that represents the interests of corn farmers in Illinois by maintaining a high profile on issues in Washington, DC, and Springfield, IL. As a grassroots advocacy group, we strive to engage our members and advocates by sharing news and involvement opportunities that will impact farm families, agribusiness’, and farms overall bottom line. The quickest communication method we use, with the highest response rate is through text messaging farmers in Illinois.

Video of Call to ActionThe Call-to-Action Process

When a high priority issue is up for vote, or a docket is opened for comments, IL Corn summarizes the issue giving consideration to how it will impact corn farmers in Illinois. This information is then shared in a way that is easy to understand via a link. Staff draft a narrative that’s applicable to IL Corn advocates’ agricultural circumstances sometimes offering a step-by-step question and answer scenario making it an even more personalized submission that automatically gets submitted to either a docket or your congressman.

Only the Most Important Issues

IL Corn's text alert platform is only utilized for the highest priority issues. In 2022, IL Corn only sent six calls to action, so when advocates receive a text, they can be sure that they’re only receiving the most vital requests necessary to incite change. Privacy and security is always a priority of IL Corn. Personal contact information is never shared outside of the organization and they honor all “opt out” requests.

Best Practices

Computer programs keep track of constituent engagement in a variety of ways. Congressional offices can flag news articles that mention their elected official or specific topics. Keywords are flagged on social media sites. Personal communication (like our calls-to-action) from constituents are organized by topic and position; the bigger the response, the more congressional staff resources are allocated to that topic. The quality of these messages is also weighted. A more personalized message is considered “more valuable” than a canned message. To grab a staffer’s attention, always make sure to state your name, town, and a bit about your farm or business in the first couple sentences of the message. It takes about 500 “canned” messages to measure up to the value of 100 personalized messages. Personalization is key!

The Impact

When a federal agency or Congress hears a similar concern from a substantial number of people, it puts pressure on them to take action. IL Corn has experienced, first-hand, Congressmen and Senators who take direct quotes from our messaging to committee meetings or debates on the floor. On occasion, elected officials will even reach out to constituents to thank them for sharing their experiences and position with them. This is our government operating as it should; citizens exercising their rights and politicians their privileges. IL Corn is honored to assist in this process!


>> Opt in to the text alert system to become an IL Corn Growers Association political advocate <<