Director Bob Flider, Illinois Director of Agriculture spoke recently to area Macoupin agri-business leaders at a luncheon hosted by Macoupin Economic Development Partnership and held at the Macoupin County Farm Bureau building. This luncheon served as preliminary unveiling of an Agri-Business Industry Sector under the umbrella of MEDP’s Business Development Program.
“The luncheon was very good. Agriculture is our number one economic driver in the whole State and we need to preserve and expand as well as look for opportunities. To have all the players there along with Director Flider was a big plus. I have said all along we need to take advantage of our resources, create more business here which in turn creates more jobs,” said Representative Wayne Rosenthal.
“MEDP was honored to host the Agri-business luncheon. We hope this is the beginning of a partnership to create jobs and increase the agricultural contribution to our economy,” said Shari Albrecht Executive Director of MEDP. “Value added agriculture has a long history in Macoupin County. Prairie Farms and Mennel Milling are perfect examples of agriculture producers and manufacturing coming together to create jobs. We hope that the Agri-business luncheon was the beginning of an effort to look for more partnership opportunities.”
"The Agri-business luncheon was a great first step in bringing together local and state leaders, farmers and agri-business people to discuss opportunities for agricultural oriented economic development opportunities. Hopefully this will lead to further discussions and planning to promote already established local agri-businesses and products and to bring more value added agri-businesses to Macoupin County,” Mark Dugger, Manager Macoupin County Farm Bureau.
Along with the Agri-Business Industry Sector, MEDP’s Business Development Program would identify a Healthcare Sector, an Education Sector and a Commercial/Industrial Sector. Each sector would then begin to identify specific assets and needs, review growth and retention opportunities for their sector and establish collaborative goals.
State and local agri-business leaders came together to network and hear IL Department of Agriculture’s goals and focus for the near future.