Keeping Ag Issues in the Forefront

DeAnne (McCulloh) Bloomberg, director of issue management for the Illinois Farm Bureau, develops and coordinates messaging for the organization, oversees media relations and social media and conducts media training for Farm Bureau leaders and staff.

“I enjoy sharing the incredible story of today’s farming successes and challenges,” Bloomberg says.

“If I can help bridge the knowledge gap with national media and they keep coming back to us for more story ideas — that’s extremely rewarding,” she says.

Bloomberg (’90 public service and administration in agriculture), a native of DeWitt, Iowa, joined the Illinois Farm Bureau as a county manager following her graduation from Iowa State. She served in a few different counties before landing in Rock Island where she led for nearly 20 years before taking on her current role in 2018.

She says her organization’s response to COVID-19 this March was quick and intense as they assembled and distributed resources to their members. In one interview with the Brownfield Network in March, Bloomberg described the
organization’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The biggest item was we wanted to keep our supply chain moving — ag is essential — and to support our farmers, including their mental health,” Bloomberg reported. “We knew farmers were stressed. We know farmers are resilient and have a strong faith, but we also want to make sure no one is afraid to ask for help.”

Bloomberg says top issues for the bureau remain building demand for Illinois crops and products, reducing the regulatory burden on family farms and a major perennial issue — taxes. As she looks back on her time at Iowa State, including serving as Student Alumni Association Senior Class Vice President, Bloomberg says her time on campus helped her develop the skills necessary to thrive.

“Iowa State helps you develop your strengths — inside and outside the classroom. For me it was living with 88 girls in the Delta Zeta house with lots of different backgrounds, serving on VEISHEA Central and building lifelong friendships and getting to meet so many phenomenal people with varied interest and talents,” she says.

Bloomberg enjoys cheering on the Cyclones and advocating for Iowa State and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences via social media.

“Twitter helps me promote my CALS pride which leads to building other Iowa State connections. As soon as I meet an Iowa Stater I offer help to build those connections. I want every student to be given the same level of service I received at Iowa State,” she says.

Bloomberg and her husband, Brent, live on his fourth generation family farm in Orion, Illinois, and boast a number of Cyclones among their family including her mom, five siblings and 11 nieces and nephews.