As a former member of the House Committee on Agriculture, I understand the importance of agriculture to farmers and farm families throughout Illinois and across the nation. Agriculture is Illinois # 1 industry, sustaining tens of thousands of quality jobs in both farming and ag-related industries and covering over 80 percent of the state’s total land area.
According to the IL Department of Agriculture, Illinois' agricultural commodities generate more than $9 billion annually. Billions more flow into the state's economy from ag-related industries, such as farm machinery manufacturing, agricultural real estate, and production and sale of value-added food products.
These benefits are not limited to rural areas through production. Agricultural processing and manufacturing support more urban economies, like Rockville and Sycamore.
It is one of my top priorities to pass a comprehensive, long-term farm bill, one that reflects the needs and priorities Illinois’ farming families. This includes crop insurance and reducing the federal government’s impact though bureaucracy and outdated programs.
I also want to make sure that that we pass meaningful tax reform that keeps rates low and gives farmers the flexibility they need to invest in their farms to help them continue to produce the high-quality food that feeds the world.
I am also committed to making sure that federal mandates and regulations don’t put undue burden on small farmers. For example, I support relief for small farmers from the EPA’s fuel storage requirements. This heavy-handed rule will cost thousands in compliance and subject many small farmers to regular EPA review, draining resources from the work farmers want to do and we need them to do.