Illinois Farm Bureau wants every member counted in Census

By Kay Shipman

Illinois Farm Bureau is working to ensure the U.S. Decennial Census counts each of its members.

“The results of the 2020 Census will have a large impact on each and every one of our members,” said Kevin Semlow, IFB director of state legislation.

Not only will census results determine the makeup of the size and number of congressional districts, but is also is used for the distribution of federal and state funds and grants, drawing state legislative district boundaries, and a host of other important items.

Because the U.S. Census Bureau is focusing on electronic completion, especially through the internet, some Farm Bureau members may be challenged because they have limited internet access, Semlow said.

IFB already is working with county Farm Bureau leaders and staff to raise awareness about the census and the importance of ensuring an accurate headcount throughout the state.

First, county Farm Bureaus will serve as a place where Farm Bureau members and others in the local community may receive direct help to complete the census. That help may include providing internet connections and some electronic devices on which to fill out the document.

Second, IFB is engaging its considerable communication network to encourage Farm Bureau members to complete and submit the census. As part of a census awareness campaign, county Farm Bureau promotions will highlight the need to complete the census and where to receive electronic assistance.

Census Bureau staff are also coordinating with IFB for direct communication opportunities, such as presentations at conferences or local meetings.

“The end goal of the campaign is to ensure that each and every member is counted during the 2020 Census,” Semlow concluded.

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