Pike-Scott Farm Bureau recognized at Illinois Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting
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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
The Pike-Scott Farm Bureau was recently recognized during the 107th Annual Meeting of the Illinois Farm Bureau for their outstanding programming during 2019 and 2020.
The Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for recognition of outstanding achievement by individual members and county Farm Bureaus (CFBs).
Awards given were evaluated under the County Activities of Excellence (CAE) program. The goals of the CAE program are to recognize CFBs for program excellence, encourage & assist CFBs in setting goals and priorities, inspire and promote innovative programming to meet member needs, promote programming in key areas, and to provide a resource to counties for the purpose of developing new programs.
The Excellence Award is given to the county with the most outstanding project for each program area. Excellence Awards encompassed ten program areas: Ag Literacy, Farm Income and Development, Health and Safety, Advocacy, Local Affairs, Engagement and Outreach, Membership Value, Multi-County, Membership Value, Foundation and Young Leaders.
Additionally, three other awards are given to recognize outstanding efforts by CFBs:
■ New Horizon Award – To encourage new and innovative programs;
■ Liberty Bell Award – To recognize outstanding efforts on issues of public policy impacting state and local Farm Bureau organizational priorities;
■ Pinnacle Award – Highest-level award given to the most outstanding county in each membership group to recognize overall program excellence as it relates to the County Farm Bureau’s goals and priorities.
Pike-Scott Farm Bureau was awarded the coveted Liberty Bell Award. Counties compete for the Illinois Farm Bureau awards with other counties of similar membership size. Only one Liberty Bell Award is given per grouping.
Awards are given for five county groups:
■ Group I — counties with 1,350 and fewer members
■ Group II — counties with 1,351 to 1,900 members
■ Group III — counties with 1,901 to 2,800 members
■ Group IV — counties with 2,801 to 5,500 members
■ Group V — counties with 5,501 or more members
According to Pike-Scott Farm Bureau President Kim Curry, Pike-Scott Farm Bureau members were honored with the Liberty Bell Award for their work to affect policy decisions impacting agriculture. Pike-Scott Farm Bureau received the award for membership group III.
“We received the award because of the number of members who responded to Farm Bureau action requests throughout the year,” Curry said.
Curry said the strong response to the Farm Bureau action requests help shape government policy decisions affecting the agriculture industry.
“When there is an issue going on in government, members are asked to make phone calls and send text messages and emails to legislators,” Curry said. “We always exceed expectations in those efforts.”
Receiving the Liberty Bell Award, Curry said, is a prestigious honor, reserved for only five county farm bureaus across the state. “We’re pretty proud of receiving it,” Curry said. “We’ve had the Liberty Bell for the past several years.”
In addition to receiving the Liberty Bell, Pike-Scott Farm Bureau was recognized for outstanding achievements by its Young Leaders Committee. The Committee received recognition for its ground pork distribution in 2020 and for its Harvest For All efforts.
According to Pike-Scott Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee Chairperson Marlee Jo Schultz, the Harvest For All pork distribution was prompted by community need for high quality protein at food pantries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of food pantries don’t get meat or any kind of protein like that,” Schultz said. “We got a lot of feedback from the food pantries that meat was a need.”
The Young Leaders Committee donated pork to every food pantry in Pike and Scott counties.