I’m a fourth generation farmer in Moweaqua, Ill. In addition to soybeans, I raise corn, hay and Angus cattle.
As farmers, we rely every day on infrastructure to transport our beans, we work to find new markets and we adopt tools and technologies to sustain our farms for future generations. We address those challenges daily to ensure our success both today and tomorrow.
But, there are people out there who don’t see what we see every day – people who voice their opinions without really understanding farming and what regulations or laws could mean when put into action. That’s why it’s important that the farmer’s voice is heard. That’s why it’s important to be proactive.
The power of advocacy
Advocacy finds new markets, raises the bottom dollar of our soybeans, expands our value – both nationwide and worldwide – and limits overregulation that could negatively impact our ability to farm. When issues arise that threaten our social license, we need the agriculture community to come together with a unified voice.
The Voice for Soy Legislative Action Network makes advocacy easy for farmers. It’s simple to use and timely; relevant issue updates literally come to you, allowing you to act quickly.
Protecting our vital industry
Agriculture is a huge industry in Illinois, creating so many jobs – from food processors in Chicago to the 43,000+ soybean farmers across the state. Rural communities are vital to our state’s economic success, and that’s something I want legislators and other decision makers to know when they may be considering a piece of legislation or regulation that could impact Illinois farmers.
While soybeans may start on a farm in Moweaqua, they’re ultimately used nationally and globally to feed hogs and other livestock. Soybean oil is extracted to produce biodiesel, a renewable fuel that lowers our dependence on petroleum diesel. The different ways soybeans fuel our economy are nearly endless. But it all starts on a farm, which is why we need to make our voices heard.
Austin Rincker is a fourth-generation soybean, corn and cattle farmer in central Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in agricultural and consumer economics with a minor in crop and soil science. Austin is a former member of the checkoff-funded Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) Soy Ambassadors Leadership, and today he is active in the Shelby County 4-H Fair and Farm Bureau.