Our People

Our People

Our biggest asset

We planted our roots as the Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) in DeKalb, Illinois in 1912 and then became the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) at the state level in 1916. IFB is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), which was organized in 1919. AFBF is the unified national voice of agriculture. IFB has the 5th largest Farm Bureau in the nation and we are very proud to be a leader in the agriculture industry. We’re a grassroots membership organization made up of people who support farms, food and families in Illinois. Our members join because they are looking for advocacy, access to reliable agriculture information and education and our member benefits. At IFB, we advocate for farmers and agriculture. We connect the farming community with consumers and create a great value with our by promoting the values and quality of life we hold dear in Illinois. Our Mission Improve the economic well-being of agriculture and enrich the quality of farm family life.

Sim Sandhu

When I started eight years ago as an intern, I never expected both the professional and personal development offered to me by the Illinois Farm Bureau. I’ve received nothing but support and enthusiasm from our leadership. I have been able to follow my passions here and consistently grow into new opportunities, including my most recent as manager of a newly formed department. I’m thankful for my IFB family and look forward to being a part of it for many years to come!


Melissa Rhode
During my Senior year of college, I was recruited to be a county Farm Bureau Manager Trainee. Shortly after, I was hired as the Boone County Farm Bureau Manager. This position was very rewarding as I had the opportunity to work firsthand with farmers and non-farmer members. After three years, I moved to Illinois Farm Bureau where I have had the opportunity to hold several different manager positions. Throughout my career, I am very thankful to be able to work for an organization that focuses on agriculture and making a difference for our members.

Jeff Brown

I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I hope to spend the rest of my career at Illinois Farm Bureau. I feel like I’m working directly for our farmer-members and that my contributions have an impact on their success.

Dee Dee Gellerman

I started as a County Manager Trainee and then was hired as the Mason and Menard County Farm Bureau Manager, which lead into my current position as a Regional Manager. I have enjoyed working with twenty-two County Managers in my region and helping them to grow in their jobs. Working with members and staff in our organization is very rewarding!

Lauren Lurkins

I enjoy working on big picture environmental policy issues as an advocate for the farmer. Because of the support I receive from our farmer leaders and members, I am able to develop initiatives that “move the needle” to benefit the environment, work with scientific researchers across the state, and meaningfully engage our members in projects that fit the local need.

Dan Schlipmann

I’m thankful for the career opportunities that the Illinois Farm Bureau Family of Companies has provided, having been able to work for COUNTRY Financial and currently at Illinois Farm Bureau . Not only have I been able to grow professionally and personally, but I also get to help serve others and make a difference. Combine that with being able to work in a great culture with top-notch people. It’s a win-win!



Grow with us!
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