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TAYLORVILLE — The guest speaker for the annu- al Ag Appreciation Dinner will be Mark Gebhards, Executive Director of Governmental Affairs & Commodities at Illinois Farm Bureau. The Ag Appreciation Dinner will be held on Thursday, July 22nd starting at 11:30 A.M. in the entertainment pavil- ion at the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville.
The annual dinner is sponsored by the Christian County Ag Group, Christian County Soil and Water Conservation District, the University of Illinois Extension-Christian County, Christian County Farm Bureau, and many other agri-businesses and banks from Christian County. The program acknowledges agriculture’s contribution to the area and is free and open to members of the general public with agricultural interests.
The meal will be catered by Country Girl Catering. Members of the Christian County Ag Group have gra- ciously donated Door Prizes for the event.
Mark Gebhards is execu- tive director of the Illinois Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division. In this position, Gebhards supervises a staff that han- dles all lobbying and politi- cal action functions of the IFB at state, and national levels, and assists county Farm Bureaus in local gov- ernmental activities. He administers programs for all commodity activities of the IFB, including matters related to farm bill imple- mentation, biotechnology, trade, livestock, and other commodity issues. He also serves on President Guebert’s management team.
Gebhards also coordi- nates IFB activities with closely related commodity groups, including Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Pork and Beef Associations, and Illinois Milk Producers Association.
Raised on a grain and livestock farm near Springfield, Gebhards remains involved in agri- cultural production. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Administrative Science from Southern Illinois University, and his master’s from the University of Illinois.
Prior to joining IFB, Gebhards served as
Executive Director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association from 1994 to 2003, and was Director of Association Marketing for the American Soybean Association from 1989 to 1994. He also served as a county Farm Bureau man- ager in Macoupin and Stark counties between 1982 and 1989.
He and his wife, Beth, have four children Shane, Grant, Logan, and Molly.
Tickets are available at the Christian County Farm Bureau office, USDA Office & Miller Media Radio Station.
For more information, contact Mellisa McMillan at 217-824-2940.