SPRINGFIELD, IL. â€“ The Illinois Senate voted to confirm Philip Nelson as the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.Â The fourth-generation grain and livestock farmer was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner on January 16, 2015.
“Iâ€™ve been in agriculture my entire life, both as a farmer and a professional working to promote the industry,â€ Nelson said.Â â€œI realize that there is a lot of work to do, such as strengthening our transportation infrastructure, increasing exports, and serving our customers in a timely manner.Â My priority is to listen and work with producers and stakeholders to make sure we are supporting our #1 industry and ultimately working to turnaround Illinoisâ€™ economy.â€
Nelson previously served as the President of the Illinois Farm Bureau.Â Additionally, he was president of the companies that make up COUNTRY Financial, Illinois Agricultural Service Company, the IAA Foundation, and served on the Coordinating Committee of GROWMARK, Inc.Â He operates a farm near Seneca, growing corn, soybeans, and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf operation.
Director Nelson has been very active in community and agricultural organizations throughout his career.Â Among his accomplishments, Philip was state FFA Star Farmer of Illinois in 1977; American Farm Bureau Federationâ€™s National Outstanding Young Farmer in 1984; President of the Illinois Soybean Association from 1989-1991; President of LaSalle County Farm Bureau, 1993-1999; Vice President of the American Soybean Association from 1993-1994; Chairman of AFBFâ€™s Swine Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2000; and Prairie Farmer Master Farmer in 2001.