Farmers have always cared for the land. They understand, more than anyone, the vital role that healthy soil, water, and wildlife play in producing an abundant harvest and a better planet for all of us.

Illinois Farm Bureau, along with their county Farm Bureaus, has developed a report to share their concerns, positions, and goals for the future. The purposes of the report are many. Of immediate importance is the need to provide information that will be used by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in the development of planning documents for refuges in our state. The report offers an introduction to Farm Bureau, a history of agriculture, and a synopsis of the contributions agriculture makes to the local economy and culture. The report then documents past and continuing concerns of local farmers regarding the establishment of a wildlife refuge.

Lastly, the report outlines expectations and recommendations for the US Fish & Wildlife Service for the future. Without a truthful and meaningful effort on the part of the US Fish & Wildlife Service to understand and work with farmers in our state, relationships will remain strained, and conservation efforts will be hampered. These recommendations are meant to create and foster a better working relationship for the duration of the agency’s conservation efforts in Illinois.