Farmers tout importance of off-farm involvement


Farmers tout importance of off-farm involvement

A group of northwestern Illinois farmers have experienced the benefits of being involved with farm and commodity organizations and are encouraging others to do the same.

Rob Elliott serves on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.

“Being less than 2% of the population it’s really pretty important that we all get engaged and determine our own destiny. If we don’t do it, someone else is going to define who we are.”

Jim Purlee serves on the board for Big River Resources in Monmouth, IL creating new pathways for ethanol. He tells Brownfield some years he missed out on harvest completely.

“You have to take time to serve. You have to see the vision of it and the worth of it. Good projects take a lot of time, but it is certainly worth it.”

And Matthew DeSutter says their operation has benefitted from ideas mentioned at commodity group meetings.

“Like how to trade farmland between a variety of people. That is something that has been used a lot in our family over the years and I think that was originally learned through a variety of meetings my dad was attending.”

Elliot says even if leadership does not fit a farmers schedule, in today’s digital world it is even easier to get involved by simply contributing to checkoffs and contacting legislators about critical ag policy.