Don’t, No DO, Raise Your Voice

By Mike Levin, Illinois Soybean Growers director of public policy and regulatory affairs

“Don’t raise your voice!” How many times did we hear that from our parents growing up, and how many times have we perhaps said something similar to our children?

Today, I am asking you to do the opposite. DO raise your voice!

Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG), through Voice for Soy (voiceforsoy.org), provides a pathway for Illinois soybean farmers to add their voices to critical issues affecting our industry. When farmers collectively take action, we make our voices heard. Here’s how you can participate:

Raise your voice

Raise your voice to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Talk to your legislators. ISG is part of a broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates calling on President Trump to fix a flawed proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The plan fails in its effort to reinvigorate farm economies and reopen biofuel plants across the Midwest. In pressing for renewable fuels support, ISG and about 60 other organizations have stressed EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the RFS and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs).

Raise your voice for trade. ISG works hard to make sure international markets are open for top-quality Illinois soybeans. We monitor issues that can affect global market access, including activity to confirm ratified agreements are followed and new agreements address key issues for soybean farmers. Most recently, ISG has been pressing for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA is critical to expanding our exports.

Raise your voice for effective farm legislation. Without an effective farm bill, Illinois soybean farmers face uncertainties when making production decisions. The most recent legislation extended programs that provide needed price and income protection on a farm-by-farm and crop-by-crop basis and raised the soybean marketing assistance loan rate from $5 to $6.20 per bushel. Illinois soybean farmer contact with lawmakers is critical to maintaining favorable farm bills.

Raise your voice with ISG’s Political Action Committee. Illinois farmers are invited to join the ISG Political Action Committee (ISGPAC). ISGPAC offers farmers strong involvement in political races and a way to talk with legislators about key issues. ISGPAC helps nurture relationships and keeps key contacts in office. Visit ilsoygrowers.com/isgpac to learn more.

It’s time to raise your voice! Permission granted to take action and push for solutions that will enhance your farm’s profitability.