IFB Young Leader Conference returns in 2022

By Tammie Sloup

The Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader Conference is back for 2022 and packed with a variety of workshops and activities promising something for everyone.

The conference will run Jan. 21-22 at Embassy Suites Riverfront Hotel & Conference Center, East Peoria. Registration is open and will close Dec. 17. Limited space is available, so register early.

Temple Grandin, Colorado State University professor of animal sciences and renowned animal behaviorist and autism activist, will deliver the keynote speech to kick off the conference.

Grandin’s impact on livestock welfare and understanding autism is known throughout the world. She has been featured on NPR, 20/20, 60 Minutes and in articles published by People Magazine and the New York Times, among other media outlets, and touts a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare.

In 2010, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and was the subject of an Emmy Award-winning HBO movie starring Claire Danes, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016, according to her website.

During the conference, attendees can choose from five tracks of workshops and 15 sessions covering topics such as soil health, carbon credits, managing change, farm finance, diversification, mastering the media, livestock, Ag in the Classroom, accounting programs, IFB policy, mental health and more.

“We are excited to welcome members back to this conference after not having one,” said Jenny Webb, IFB member engagement manager. “This is an excellent opportunity for new and seasoned members to learn, network and grow in their Farm Bureau involvement.”

The 2021 conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, the event brings more than 500 members from across the state together for a packed weekend.

“Our goal for the conference is to keep our members excited by the latest innovations in agriculture, informed about the ever-changing landscape in the industry and equipped to be better farmers and leaders,” Webb said.

“My favorite part as the conference organizer is to see the connections that members make at the conference or the network and friendships that they have developed from attending in past years.”

Additional activities will include a Collegiate Farm Bureau development session and dinner; Harvest for All Fun Night featuring a pedal pull, wall of spirits, games and bounce houses; leadership addresses and recognition of retiring Young Leader Committee members; networking lunch; silent and live auctions and a food-themed trivia night benefitting Harvest for All To donate an item for the auctions, visit https://bit.ly/ifbylauction.

Members must be between the ages of 18 and 35. The cost to attend the conference for adults and collegiate members is $100; children 4-12 years old is $50 and children 3 and under are free. Licensed child care will be available on Saturday for any children 12 and under. Members must sign up through their county Farm Bureau; collegiate members should sign up through their chapter president or adviser.

For more information about the conference, contact your county Farm Bureau.

This story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.