James R Grebe

James R Grebe

Peoria, Illinois

James R. Grebe is one of the preeminent agricultural law attorneys in the State of Illinois. He serves as General Counsel to the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois and has represented a multitude of grain elevators, agri-business entities and farmers for over 35 years.  Jim is also a prominent estate planning lawyer who has extensive experience in estate and trust administration, working with individuals as well as corporate executors and trustees.  In addition, Jim handles complex transactions involving corporations, partnerships, LLCs and other business entities.  He also has extensive experience in personal and fiduciary income tax matters, as well as preparation of Federal and Illinois Estate Tax Returns.
Jim is a frequent speaker on estate planning, tax matters and agricultural law topics, and is active in professional and charitable organizations.  He serves on the Board of Regents of Concordia University of Chicago, currently as an officer.  He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Agricultural Law Section, where he has twice served as Chairman of the ISBA Agricultural Law Section Council.

Areas of Practice

  • Administrative Law
  • Agricultural Law
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy Law
  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Construction Law
  • Elder Law
  • Employment Law-Employer
  • Environmental Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Government Agencies & Programs
  • Labor Law
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Real Estate Law
  • State, Local & Municipal Law
  • Taxation Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Government Contracts
  • Trust Administration

Litigation Percentage

  • 5% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1989
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1996


  • University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois
    • J.D. - 1980
  • Concordia University, River Forest, IL
    • B.A. - 1977

Published Works

  • TODI Act Applications in Agricultural Law, ISBA - Agricultural Law Section, June, 2012
  • Bankruptcy Ruling Impacts Agriculture, ISBA - Agricultural Law Section, February, 2009
  • Landlord's Lien Upon Crops: Back To The Future – UCC1 Filing Requirement Abandoned Effective August 21, 2002, ISBA Agricultural Law Section, January, 2003
  • Landlord's Lien Issues: A Trap For The Uninformed And Unmotivated, ISBA Commercial Banking, Collections, & Bankruptcy Section, May, 2002
  • Landlord's Lien Issues: A Trap For The Uninformed And Unmotivated, ISBA Agricultural Law Section, January , 2002

Representative Clients

  • Grain and Feed Association of Illinois
  • Heritage Bank of Central Illinois
  • Rumbold & Kuhn, Inc.
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland
  • GROWMARK, Inc.
  • The Commerce Trust Co.
  • Don’s Music Land, Inc.
  • Ludlow Cooperative Elevator Co
  • Graymont Cooperative Assn.
  • Arthritis Foundation, Heartland Region


  • Jeff Adkisson, Executive Vice President (GFA)
  • M. Scott Hedden, CEO (HBCI
  • Mike Rumbold, President-Rumbold & Kuhn, Inc
  • Cynthia Ervin, Assistant General Counsel, ADM
  • Joe Kapraun, GROWMARK, Inc.
  • Bruce Bastert, Secretary, GFA
  • Don Middleton, President, Don’s Music Land, Inc.
  • Steve Dennis, Grain Manager, Evergreen FS, Inc.
  • Matt Jacobs, General Manager, Graymont Cooperative Assn.
  • Terry Bline, Manager-Roanoke Farmers Assn.


  • Tax, Estate and Estate Planning, Peoria County Bar Association, 2006
  • Probate, Elder Law & Estate Planning , Peoria County Bar Association, 2011
  • Understanding Contracts – Creation and Enforcement , Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association of Illinois, 2009 - 2015
  • Estate Planning , Christ Lutheran Church, 2004
  • Planned Giving , Christ Lutheran Church, 2007

Honors and Awards

  • Leading Lawyer in the State of Illinois, 2009 - 2016
  • Illinois Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Peoria County Bar Association, Member
  • Peoria County Bar Association, Real Property Committee, Chairman, 2001 - 2002
  • Peoria County Bar Association, Board of Directors, Member, 2001 - 2002
  • Peoria County Bar Association, Courts and Procedures Committee, Probate Division, Vice Chairman, 2005 - 2006
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Member
  • Estate Planning Council of Central Illinois, Member
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Member
  • American Agricultural Law Association, Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Agricultural Law Section Council, Chairman, 2004 - 2005
  • Illinois Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Concordia University Chicago, Board of Regents, 2007 - Present
  • Christian Legal Society , 1977 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • University of Illinois , Lighting Crew and Stage Hand, 1977 - 1980

Pro Bono Activities

  • Christian Legal Society, Member
  • Arthritis Foundation of Greater Illinois Division, Board of Directors and Past Vice Chairman
  • Arthritis Foundation of Greater Illinois Division, Executive Committee, Member
  • Lutheran Home of Greater Peoria, Past Member, Board of Directors and Past Vice President
  • American Cancer Society, Peoria Chapter, Past Member, Board of Directors
  • CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH (past President and Board Member- multiple times), 1980 - 2016

Ancillary Businesses

  • Registered Lobbyist in State of Illinois


  • Phi Alpha Theta