CPZ farm 110521FAYETTE COUNTY – As part of its Adopt-a-Legislator® program, the Fayette County Farm Bureau welcomed State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) to multiple farms in downstate Illinois to learn about their operations and further develop relationships with farmers in the state.

“The time spent in Fayette County with my family during our tours of the fields and farms was enlightening,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Maintaining connections to the land and relationships with farmers across the state is important for bridging the gap between urban and rural communities in Illinois.  In the months I’ve been a part of the Adopt-a-Legislator program, you recognize the significance of championing policy that benefits the agriculture industry and our environment so Illinois communities can be sustainable and thriving.”


The Illinois Farm Bureau’s Adopt-A-Legislator® Program, which the Fayette County Farm Bureau is a part of, was developed in 2001 with the purpose of building long-term personal relationships between urban state legislators and farmers from across the state. 


This past summer, representatives from The Fayette County Farm Bureau visited the senator in the district she represents to hear about how local stakeholders are pursing urban agriculture, expanding farmers markets, and addressing property tax relief. The senator’s recent visit to Fayette County expanded on that meeting to further her understanding of agricultural and food supply issues in Illinois.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with the Senator and her family so far. Visiting her district this summer was eye-opening for us, and we loved hosting them on our farms,” said Katie Albert, manager of the Fayette County and Bond County Farm Bureaus. “We have learned so much already and hope to continue this relationship well into the future."

During her visit, Pacione-Zayas and her family visited B & L Buzzard Farms to discuss crop rotations, technology and cover crops and take a ride in a combine, followed by a tour of Cripe Grain Company. Next was a visit with B. Willenborg Farms, a dairy cow farm that allowed the senator to see how a dairy operation runs. Last, Pacione-Zayas and her family joined Carl Albert and his family for a campfire and hot dogs made using beef from cows raised on his family farm.


“I thank all the farmers for welcoming myself and my family onto their farms to experience farm life first hand,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Not only was it fun for my kids, but it was also informative to have these vital conversations with the people who are responsible for putting food on our table.” Learn more about the Adopt-a-Legislator® on the Illinois Farm Bureau website.