Illinois Farm Bureau was organized to help farmers learn better production methods, and to represent farmers in the state legislature. However, shortly after organizing, members began to identify other services a general farm organization such as Illinois Farm Bureau should provide.
County Farm Bureaus indicated a need for accounting services, so in 1924 the first of several affiliated companies was organized: the Illinois Agricultural Auditing Association. Following closely was the creation of the Illinois Farm Bureau Serum Association, organized to help farmers in the 60-year battle to eradicate hog cholera in Illinois. Starting in 1925, IFB formed affiliates to provide insurance services to members, creating what is known today as COUNTRY Financial. To help farmers save money on seed, fertilizer, fuel and other production inputs, IFB also organized a buyer's co-op, known today as GROWMARK (with affiliated FS companies).
Through the decades, as needs were identified, IFB would answer those needs. Today, IFB's primary goals are virtually unchanged from what they were in 1916: to speak out for farmers and protect their interests.