CHICAGO — Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) announced Dec. 5 the election of Brian Duncan, a grain and livestock farmer from Polo, Ogle County, as the organization’s 16th president, and Evan Hultine, a grain farmer from Princeton, Bureau County, as vice president. They will each serve a two-year term at the helm of the organization.
Four new members were also elected to serve two-year terms on the IFB Board of Directors. IFB is a nonprofit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB’s 329 voting delegates elected these new leaders during the organization’s annual meeting in Chicago.
“This organization stands on the shoulders of giants – our farmer members – who have come before and plotted a course for this organization,” said Duncan. “I look forward to navigating and charting that course along with them, our county Farm Bureaus and our board of directors into the next chapter. It is an incredible privilege to work alongside the team we have at IFB.”
In his capacity as IFB president, Duncan is also president of COUNTRY Financial, Illinois Agricultural Service Company and chair of the IAA Foundation.
Previously, Duncan served as IFB vice president. He also served as president of the Ogle County Farm Bureau (CFB) from 2004-2017, and on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Swine Advisory Committee 2003-2006, National Pork Producers Council Price Discovery Task Force, Ogle County Pork Producers board of directors and the IFB Young Leaders Committee from 1990-1994. He was the IFB Discussion Meet winner in 1990 and Young Leader Achievement Award winner in 1999.
Duncan is a graduate of Sauk Valley Community College and an active member of Forreston Grove Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Kelly, raise corn, soybeans, wheat, pigs and cattle on their farm near Polo; they have four children. Their son, Levi, and daughters, Sarah and Emma, are all part of the farming operation. Their youngest daughter, Molly, is a technician and crew leader for the Nature Conservancy Nachusa grasslands near Rochelle.
Hultine has served as Bureau CFB president since 2017. He previously served as Bureau CFB Young Leader chair, IFB Young Leader Committee member 2013-2016, IFB Young Leader chair 2016-2017 and AFBF Issues Advisory Committee member 2017-2021. He is a recipient of the 2022 IFB Young Leader Achievement Award. In 2023, he placed third in the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award competition. He holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from University of Illinois.
Hultine is a sixth-generation farmer in Princeton, where he grows corn, soybeans and seed corn.
“For just as our crops flourish with proper care, so does an organization thrive when it nurtures and invests in its members,” Hultine said during his candidate speech to the delegate body. “Whether you know it or not, you’ve been investing in me for many years now. Now you’re cashing in on your investment in me to see the policies, the values and the vision that resonate with each of you and to create the Illinois Farm Bureau that you want to be a partner with.”
IFB Board Directors Elected
New IFB Board directors are LuAnn Matejcak of Will County, Rick Edwards III of Adams County, Paul Beisiegel of St. Clair County and John Howard of Jefferson County.
Matejcak will represent District 5, which includes Cook, DuPage, Will, Kendall, and Grundy counties. She has served on the Will CFB board of directors since 2019. She has also served as Will CFB secretary and a delegate to IAA. She is a county Farm Bureau certified director and a member of the Order of Eastern Star. Matejcak farms alongside her husband, Steve; brother-in-law, Mark; and children, Stephanie and Shane, in Homer Glen. They raise corn, soybeans, hay, cattle, hogs and chickens. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from George Williams College.
Edwards III will represent District 9, which includes Hancock, McDonough, Adams, Schuyler and Brown counties. He has served on the Adams CFB board of directors since 2009, including as president 2013-2019. Edwards farms in Quincy, where he grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay. He also helps his brothers, David and Greg Edwards, on their dairy farm. He holds a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education, both from the University of Illinois.
Beisiegel will represent District 16, which includes Clinton, Monroe, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair and Clinton counties. He has served as St. Clair CFB president since 2014, vice president 2009-2014, and has held a position on the board of directors since 1998. Beisiegel farms alongside his father and two brothers in Freeburg, where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa hay. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and an associate degree from Belleville Area College.
Howard will represent District 17, which includes Edwards, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Wabash, Wayne and White counties. He has served as Jefferson CFB president since 2021. He also served as president from 2016-2018 and vice president 2013-2015 and 2019-2021. Howard grows corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum in addition to raising cattle alongside his wife, Nancy, and their children in Texico. He holds an associate degree from Rend Lake College.
About Illinois Farm Bureau
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 364,452 and a farmer membership of 75,959. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.
Learn more about Illinois agriculture at www.ilfb.org.
— Illinois Farm Bureau