When thinking travel in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln sites are the most common to come to mind, but in the Capital city, many events bring visitors to town. One event that has brought agricultural leaders and those in farming communities to Springfield for many years is the annual Ag Legislative Day. The 44th Annual Agricultural Legislative Day took place in Springfield at the State House Inn on March 6, 2014. The State House Inn is only blocks from The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and Amtrak Station and only four miles from the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.
The State House Inn is the perfect location for a conference that brings legislators together with the farming community because they are located across the street from the Illinois State Capitol complex where after the meeting was completed over 700 FFA members and vocational agricultural teachers delivered box lunches and commodity baskets to the legislators. The theme of this year’s event was “Food for you.”
FFA leaders were at this event. One of the young men in attendance was August Schutter, FFA State Reporter from Brighton, Illinois. Schutter feels anyone that has been a part of FFA is tied together. “Everyone has an FFA story. Once you go through FFA, you have a passion for the organization. “
The purpose of the legislative day is to foster understanding between legislators and the farm organizations and provide the legislators with the information they need to make informed decisions on the proposed legislation that has such an impact on the farm community. Jennifer Tirey of the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) said the goal is “To educate the General Assembly on the importance of the agricultural economy not only with corn and soybeans, but also food processing. We are the first in food processing in the nation and we want to make sure they see that
Summer Robbins, the newly crowned 2014 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen was one of the first speakers to kick off the event. This University of Illinois Freshman is studying finance and plans to go on to law school to specialize in corporate law. “I am enjoying the opportunity to meet so many people,” she said
IDOA Director Bob Flider shared his vision for the upcoming year. “This is our opportunity to come together and celebrate agriculture.”