Every year, members tell us that their number one reason for belonging to the Illinois Corn Growers Association is because “it’s the right thing to do.” The number two reason – for representation in Washington, D.C. and Springfield, IL.
Clearly, it is very important for ICGA to have a vibrant relationship with the elected officials that represent our corn farmer members, with open lines of communication and many check-ins throughout the year. But how exactly do we do that?
ICGA is a grassroots organization, and the first and most important way we build relationships with Illinois elected officials is because you, their constituents, told them to. Yes, we can try and ask and beg those Congressmen to give us time on their schedules, but they are more apt to do so if you’ve told them that their farmer constituency is important and that they SHOULD listen to what ICGA has to say.
How can do you more of that? One important way is by signing up for ICGA’s advocacy platform.
You give us permission to help you contact your Congressmen, and we’ll be letting you know when the time is right via this platform. We’ve made it super easy to make a contact without even leaving your tractor or combine cab. Join the other 680 members and sign up today.
ICGA also invests in relationships with our elected officials – especially those from urban districts – with routine visits to their DC and Springfield offices. Relationship with Congressmen and their staff are just like other relationships you have; if you aren’t visiting with each other several times a year, the relationship shuts down. This is where those fly-ins to DC become so important and why we build in an extra day during quick trips to DC for visiting our entire delegation.
In between visits, we also email Congressional offices and let them know what we have going on. We remind them of our priorities, we send them copies of important daily updates, and we answer questions from staff routinely. We position ourselves as a resource for more information about every aspect of Illinois agriculture.
And then, we use our Political Action Committee and our communications to reward the elected officials that prove they are working for you with their voting record. The ICGA PAC donates to Congressmen and campaigns every year to show support for elected officials that have your best interests in mind. And, you’ll notice routine communication to our members when Congressmen and Senators are voting with us, hosting Congressional briefings on our issues, receiving awards for working on our priorities, or being seated on important committees with impact in Illinois.
ICGA strives to develop and keep a positive relationship with every elected official that represents our Illinois corn farmer members.