By STEVE BINDER
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Growers and ranchers interested in serving on three of the state’s commodities boards may now begin circulating petitions for the seats. Elections to the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the Illinois Soybean Board and the Illinois Sheep and Wool Board will take place July 2.
Candidates interested in serving may pick up petitions for the seats at their respective county extension offices or at Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) offices. Bob Reese, a marketing and promotion representative for the IDOA, said the commitment to serve on any of the boards is significant.
“On average, for the Corn Board for instance, members are on the road about 70 nights each year for the various meetings and other demands,” Reese said. “It’s a pretty hefty commitment.”
The three-year terms are all staggered so about one-third of the members are elected each year. Board members can serve two consecutive, three-year terms but must go off the board for at least one term before they are eligible to run again.
These boards oversee and approve the distribution of checkoff dollars raised each year on the sale of their respective commodities. The money for each commodity pays for industry promotions and research projects, but cannot be used to lobby for specific state or national policies.
Requirements to qualify to run for a seat on any of the boards are fairly basic, Reese said. Those who want to run must be at least 18 years old, have produced or marketed the commodities recently and must prove they reside within the specific districts set up for each board.
The Corn Board has 15 members; the soybean board has 18 and the Sheep and Wool Board has 7. Seats up for election this year and the counties covered in each district are:
Corn: District 3 with Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer, Rock Island and Warren counties; District 6 with Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion; District 9 with Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Pike and Schuyler; District 12 with Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar and Jasper; and District 15 with Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson.
Soybean: District 3 with Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Stark, Warren and Whiteside; District 4 with Bureau, Grundy, Kendall and LaSalle; District 6 with Livingston, McLean and Woodford; District 8 with Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler; District 15 with Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair; and District 18 with Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson.
Sheep and Wool: District 3 with Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Rock Island and Warren; and District 6 with Christian, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Montgomery, Moultrie, Sangamon and Shelby.