Illinois Dir. of Agriculture John Sullivan Talks Hemp Industry and Rural Broadband Issues
In the inaugural episode of the Machinery Pete Podcast, Greg Peterson talks to John Sullivan, the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The two discuss some big changes John plans to bring to the farming community in Illinois: industrial hemp and high-speed internet.
Welcome to the i
naugural episode of the Machinery Pete Podcast. You’ve come to know Machinery Pete as a trusted resource for buying, selling, and auctioning farming equipment. With this podcast, we hope to listen to folks across small town, rural America and have deep discussions about issues affecting the Ag community.
To kick off this new show, we’ve brought in a heavyweight guest, John Sullivan, the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. In this episode John talks about some of the challenges facing job growth and internet access in rural communities and discusses the exciting new farming frontier: hemp.
Tune in for discussion between John Sullivan and Machinery Pete on how to revitalize small town, rural America.
[00:11] – Welcome to the new Machinery Pete Podcast
[04:01] – What you can expect on the Machinery Pete Podcast
[08:51] – Conversation between Greg Peterson and John Sullivan
[09:26] – John discusses how he ended up the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture
[11:26] – John discusses his career as an Illinois State Senator
[13:42] – John talks about being a Democrat representing a Republican district
[16:15] – John’s experience with farming
[17:20] – How his experience informs John as Director of the Department of Agriculture
[19:47] – Current agricultural conditions in Illinois
[22:00] – The general mood of farmers in Illinois
[24:19] – John discusses Illinois’ Industrial Hemp Act
[28:18] – How Illinois was able to implement the Industrial Hemp Act so quickly
[32:12] – John discusses his initiative to improve broadband internet access in rural communities
[35:34] – Funding ideas to bring broadband to rural communities
[36:52] – How broadband is critical to growing jobs in rural communities
[42:40] – What can be done to entice people to move back to small town, rural America?
[44:51] – What happens when the population of rural areas declines?
[48:25] – How to compromise and reach across the aisle
[51:21] – Why we must listen to the other side
[58:28] – Why we must embrace change
[1:01:06] – John offers advice on raising a family in the farming community
John M. Sullivan is honored to serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
John has been involved in agriculture his entire life. Born and raised on a farm in western Illinois, he currently lives with his wife, Joan, on the family-owned farm just north of Rushville in Schuyler County. For 20 years, John was a partner in his family’s real estate and auction business.
In 2002, John successfully ran for the Illinois State Senate, representing the 47th Senate District from 2003 to 2017. The 47th District is the largest Senate district in the state, including all or parts of 13 western Illinois counties. During his time in the Senate, John served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Conservation committee and worked on many issues that affect farmers and agriculture.
John and his wife Joan have four children, three daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.
Machinery Pete was founded in 1989 and has grown from its humble beginnings to a full-fledged marketplace for farming equipment. Greg Peterson, founder and host, has also released Machinery Pete content across platforms including YouTube with his long-running Machinery Pete TV show.
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What is Machinery Pete Podcast?
Welcome to the Machinery Pete Podcast hosted by Greg Peterson, known to the industry as Machinery Pete. For over 30 years, Greg has been a trusted source of knowledge in the farming equipment industry. Starting with a gut feeling, Greg set off to bring more and better data to the agriculture space. He’s been a voice you can trust, no matter where you’re listening or reading.
In this podcast, Greg will be sharing stories and conversations from around the industry. The kinds of conversations that are longer and more meaningful than just a few soundbites. He’ll be adding context and color to stories from good people that make up the agriculture space. He’ll also be sharing the types of insights, trends, farming news and used farm equipment values from around the country that you’ve come to expect from him.
Founded in 1989 by Greg Peterson, Machinery Pete has come a long way since its beginnings in Greg Peterson’s home office in Rochester, Minnesota where he passionately researched, tracked and reported on auction prices. In 2014 Farm Journal and Machinery Pete partnered to provide a more efficient marketplace for buying and selling used ag equipment.
In July of 2015, MachineryPete.com launched its marketplace with leading-edge marketing solutions for dealers, informed and built with the online equipment shopper in mind and creates meaningful connections between buyers and sellers. The company is headquartered in Chicago, IL.
You can find out more at https://www.machinerypete.com