Adopt-A-Legislator Program®


The Illinois Farm Bureau Adopt-A-Legislator® Program was developed in 2001 with the purpose of building long-term personal relationships between urban state legislators and farmers from across the state. The goal of the program is to educate urban legislators about agriculture, our state's largest industry, and rural life, while also helping our members better understand the needs and concerns of an urban district. Legislators are matched with a "downstate" County Farm Bureau (which "adopts" the legislator) and the program kicks off by holding a district visit and a farm visit.

Once a legislator is "adopted", members of the County Farm Bureau will travel to the legislator's office for a district visit. Farmers will meet with the legislator to discuss his/her legislative priorities and major issues in the district. Often, the group will go to lunch in the neighborhood and then tour the district. The legislator takes them to a few places in the district that are unique to the area or that illustrate an important issue. District visits have included tours of schools, hospitals, police stations, community centers, small businesses, factories and local tourist attractions.

After the district visit is complete, the County Farm Bureau will invite a legislator and his/her family to visit the county for a farm tour. Farm tours are an excellent opportunity for urban legislators to learn first hand about modern agriculture and to better understand the challenges faced by farmers and rural residents. Farm tours visits often include combine rides and tours of livestock facilities, ethanol plants, grain elevators, barge terminals, agri-businesses and more. The County Farm Bureau will have the chance to discuss issues with the legislator over lunch at a local diner or a backyard cookout.

In keeping with the goal of developing a long-term relationship, Adopt-A-Legislator® activities continue well beyond the initial district visit and farm visit. County Farm Bureaus visit with their Adopted Legislators in Springfield and invite them to our Annual Meeting in Chicago. Our farmers have participated in their urban legislators' community fairs, hosting booths promoting agriculture and healthy eating. We've held constituent exchanges and bus tours with Adopted Legislators in an effort to bring more urban folks out to the farm and show them where their food comes from.

Currently, 72 urban legislators have been "adopted" by County Farm Bureaus. Almost every legislator in Cook County has joined the program. The relationships that develop are valued by both the farmers and urban legislators. This program allows our members to be an important resource to their adopted legislators when important agricultural issues arise in the General Assembly.

If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in the Illinois Farm Bureau Adopt-A-Legislator® program, please contact your county Farm Bureau manager or Christina Nourie.

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Adopted Legislators

Click here to view a listing of the state legislators that have been adopted and the county Farm Bureaus that have adopted them.

Plan a Spring Farm Tour Today!

Although winter is upon us, it's not too early to "think spring" and invite your adopted legislator to your county for a visit. Spring is a great opportunity for urban legislators to learn more about the planting process and the work involved in growing a crop. Legislators have busy schedules, so don't delay…call your adopted legislator and invite them out to the farm today!