Illinois 2nd District State Representative Theresa Mah, center, accepts her Friend of Agriculture award from Bona Heinsohn, Director of Governmental Affairs and Public Relations at Cook County Farm Bureau, and McDonough County Farm Bureau Manager Sarah Grant on October 5 in a ceremony at the 2nd District office.

Mah Lauded for Supporting Illinois Agriculture

Published October 10, 2018

Illinois 2nd District State Representative Theresa Mah received a Friend of Agriculture award and an endorsement from an Illinois farmers advocacy group in a ceremony on Friday, October 5, at her public service office in the McKinley Park neighborhood. The award and endorsement come from her strong support for Illinois farmers, thanks to lessons she's learned about agriculture through the Illinois Farm Bureau's Adopt-a-Legislator initiative.

"I am proud to support legislation that benefits farmers and small businesses," Mah said, adding that she was honored to be named a Friend of Agriculture. "I enjoyed being part of the Adopt-a-Legislator program."

The award and endorsement come from the bureau's ACTIVATOR political involvement fund: a voluntary, non-profit, segregated fund that supports pro-farm candidates "no matter their party affiliation," a press release from the program stated. The decision to honor and endorse Mah came from the votes of ACTIVATOR trustees for Illinois' 2nd District, said Cindy Gustafson of the Cook County Farm Bureau.

"We appreciate [Mah's] strong support for agriculture," Gustafson said. "We look forward to her re-election so we may continue to work together on behalf of Illinois farmers."

Requirements of the award and endorsement are an understanding of the important role that agriculture plays in Illinois, and demonstrated actions toward supporting farmers and the issues important to them. Mah's first-hand farm experience comes from her match with the bureau office in McDonough County in western Illinois, connecting her to agricultural issues via district and farm visits.

The Adopt-a-Legislator program began in 2001 with the purpose of building long-term personal relationships between urban state legislators and farmers from across the state. According to the ACTIVATOR press release, the goal of the program is to educate urban legislators about agriculture — Illinois' largest industry — and rural life, while also helping bureau members better understand the concerns of an urban district.  

To date, county bureau offices have adopted 73 urban legislators in Illinois through the Adopt-a-Legislator program.

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