Rauner nominates former Farm Bureau pres to lead Dept. of Ag

SPhilip NelsonPRINGFIELD — Philip Nelson, immediate past Illinois Farm Bureau president, plans to transition toward a new job this week — Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) director.

Gov. Bruce Rauner nominated the Seneca farmer to the post to succeed Bob Flider. Nelson said he plans to put a “new face” on the department of agriculture.

The department is not just about agriculture but also food. He says they can reach out to consumers in the same way Illinois Farm Families does, says Nelson, referring to an Illinois agriculture coalition, including IFB, aimed at sharing information with consumers.

Nelson served as IFB president from 2003-13. He led the organization as vice president from 1999-2003.

Prior to those roles, he served as Illinois Soybean Association and LaSalle County Farm Bureau, and vice president of the American Soybean Association.

Nelson told the RFD Radio Network that the budget will be something that will be under scrutiny very shortly as the governor is going to make a budget address in February.

He says Rauner knows, and he knows the challenges facing the state, noting that Rauner told him if he were to come on board, he would be given the resources he would need to truly make an impact on the department.