Press Release

Illinois Soybean Farmer Elected Livestock Group President

January 29, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, ILL ֠January 30, 2012 ֠An Illinois soybean and livestock producer and secretary of the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) last week was elected president of the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG). Rob Shaffer, El Paso, Ill., believes the position will help soybean farmers strengthen ties with their number one customer; animal agriculture.

"It is an honor to be elected to the position of ILDG president. I hope to carry on the tradition and follow the wonderful examples of past chairman, Curt Rincker, and retiring board members, Bill Christ from Illinois Corn Growers Association, and Phil Borgic from Illinois Pork Producers Association. The position gives me a good platform as a livestock producer and soybean farmer in Illinois to help further the mission of ILDG to increase livestock production here."

Shaffer hopes to raise the awareness level of and encourage support for animal agriculture in Illinois. More livestock mean more jobs and taxes and a better basis for corn and soybean prices. He says that ISA's number one priority for the current fiscal year is the animal agriculture industry, which includes hogs, poultry, dairy and beef cattle and aquaculture.

"We are ready to help grow the industry in Illinois," says Nicole Boettger, ISA animal agriculture lead. "With Rob's can-do attitude and leadership strengths, we can highlight for our investing farmers that animal ag is very good for them and their communities. This shows not only a strong commitment with dollars, but also personal time investment by ISA leaders."

ILDG says the Illinois livestock industry has been shrinking, while the industry grows nationwide, noting in the past 10 years that Illinois livestock receipts fell from $2.3 to $1.7 billion. ILDG as a coalition of commodity representatives, understands the economic and social impact that the decline has on the entire state. ILDG's ( mission is to, "promote, develop and facilitate strategies to increase livestock production in Illinois."

Shaffer will serve with Chad Schutz, White Hall, vice president representing Illinois Farm Bureau; Mike Haag, Emington, treasurer representing the Illinois Pork Producers Association; and Doug Scheider, Freeport, secretary, representing the Illinois Milk Producers Association.

The Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board (ISPOB) manages the state's soybean checkoff funds through strategic target areas prioritized to enhance soybean farmer profitability and competitiveness. ISPOB invests in programs designed to improve soybean production and programs to increase demand for Illinois soybeans. The mission of the organization is to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, contact 309-663-7692, or visit