Gov.-Elect Pritzker, Lt. Gov.-Elect Stratton Announce Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee

Gov.-Elect Pritzker, Lt. Gov.-Elect Stratton Announce Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee

Governor-elect JB Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton announced the formation and members of the transition’s Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee.

The committee is the fifth of several working groups of the transition made up of subject-matter experts who will advise and guide the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration. The Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee will be chaired by former USDA Rural Development state director Colleen Callahan and former state senator John Sullivan and consist of 22 members.

“Agriculture accounts for one in 17 jobs in Illinois, and JB and I are committed to supporting farmers across our state,” said Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton. “This committee will focus on policies that help our agriculture and rural communities thrive — from investing in farm to market infrastructure and expanding access to capital for family farmers to defending agricultural education and growing rural areas in downstate Illinois.”


Colleen Callahan co-chairs the transition’s Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee and is the former state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois. During her tenure, she oversaw a 20% reduction in staffing while still being able to generate a $1 billion increase in the Illinois loan portfolio. Prior, Callahan served as the agribusiness director for WMBD in Peoria, a position she held for 30 years. She was the first female president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

John Sullivan co-chairs the transition’s Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee and served as state senator of the 47th district from 2003 to 2016 and as chair of the Senate’s Agriculture and Conservation committee. In the Senate, he championed legislation to create jobs, improve industry and infrastructure, and grow the economy. Before elected office, Sullivan managed his family-owned auction business that specialized in farm real estate and machinery.

Scott Bennett, State Senator, Illinois General Assembly

Joni Bucher, President, Illinois Beef Association

Jerry Costello Jr., State Representative, Illinois General Assembly

Ben Curtin, Agribusiness Star, Future Farmers of America

Mark de Souza, CEO, Revolution Cannabis

Tim Drea, Secretary-Treasurer, Illinois AFL-CIO

Rich Guebert, President, Illinois Farm Bureau

Scott Halpin, President, Grundy County Farm Bureau

Sonya Harper, State Representative, Illinois General Assembly

Roger Hugenberg, General Manager, Ursa Farmers Cooperative

Kim Kidwell, Dean, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

Juan Luciano, President & CEO, Archer Daniels Midland

Ryan McCrady, President, Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County

Paul McNamara, CEO, AgReach program at the University of Illinois

Chris Merrett, Professor and Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University

Glenn Poshard, former president, Southern Illinois University

Craig Ratajczyk, CEO, Illinois Soybean Association

Anton Seals, Executive Director, Grow Greater Englewood

Jennifer Tirey, Executive Director, Illinois Pork Producers

Rodney Weinzierl, Executive Director, Illinois Corn Growers Association

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