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Recognizing the Centennial Celebration of the White County Farm Bureau

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 13, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I rise to recognize the Centennial Celebration of the White County Farm Bureau.

The White County Farm Bureau had its origin in 1920 when farmers organized an association to accomplish together what one farmer could not do alone. Following a mass meeting of area farmers at the White County Courthouse, and after many stirring speeches, the White County Farm Bureau was organized. The most important issue of the time was soil composition, and poultry was the most important industry in the county followed by dairy and livestock.

As is the case today, the strength of the early Farm Bureau laid with its members. For example, in 1925, a tornado crossed the county causing widespread destruction and death. The Farm Bureau worked closely with relief organizations to help neighbors get their farming work done and back on their feet.

The purchase of alfalfa seeds was a growing interest to the Bureau in the 1930s. And as the financial condition of White County farmers improved, so too did the value of the organization. Membership increased, especially with women, and in 1940 the White County Home Bureau was organized.

The Farm Bureau moved into its new building in 1947, paying the final loan installment in 1957. Through the 1960s and 1970s, the organization was involved in legislative, marketing, and membership policy development programs. Steady membership growth ensued, and member participation reached an all-time high.

In the 1970s, the Illinois and county Farm Bureau's successfully lobbied for legislation to reduce fees for farm truck and trailer license plates. In addition, the Bureau was busy studying taxation policy, concluding early on that property taxes needed reform.

Madam Speaker, the spirit of cooperation and hard work lives on in today's White County Farm Bureau, continuing a proud legacy filled with accomplishments and overcoming challenges. To celebrate this legacy, the Bureau plans to share historical photos and documents on social media, interview past leaders, compile a video presentation, produce a Centennial Booklet for members, and hold the 100th Annual Meeting in January 2021.

It is an honor to stand today to acknowledge the centennial anniversary of the White County Farm Bureau, and I wish the Bureau many more years of success.