Agriculture took center stage in Illinois recently as part of the recognition of National Agriculture Day. Senator Weaver and members of his local ag advisory committee toured a national ag research facility.
Recognizing the importance of Illinois’ agriculture industry to the economy of this state, Governor Bruce Rauner declared March 20 National Agriculture Day. The day celebrated the 72,200 farms that call Illinois home and the hardworking people throughout in the ag community who continue to make agriculture the number one industry in the state.
According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois farmlands span across approximately 75 percent of the state’s total land area, generating more than $19 billion for Illinois’ economy and holding the role as a leading producer of soybeans, corn and swine. Last year, a state-record corn yield was harvested by Illinois farmers, averaging 201 bushels per acre, and farmers produced 10.5 million acres of soybeans.
With farmers gearing up for the start of another planting season, National Agriculture Day is a great reminder for everyone to celebrate Illinois’ rich agriculture industry, recognize the hardworking individuals involved in the agricultural community and remember the critical role the industry plays in Illinois’ economy.
Senator Weaver's Ag Advisory Committee tours ag lab
Illinois houses a national center for agricultural study in Peoria, the USDA's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. On Thursday, Senator Weaver toured the important facility along with the members of his Agriculture Advisory Committee.
The Peoria lab is the largest of the USDA Agriculture Research Service centers. The facility has made major contributions to agriculture and the sciences since it was set up in 1938, including developing one of the first industrialized production techniques for penicillin. Weaver's committee was able to learn about ongoing research programs housed at the lab, including crop bio-protection, mycotoxin prevention, and bio-oils.
Weaver's advisory committee is made up of ag professionals and leaders from within the 37th Senate District. They meet regularly to discuss issues related to government and agriculture, as well as to advise Senator Weaver on government policy and legislation.
“Agriculture is one of our biggest economic drivers. When farms and ag businesses are doing well, Illinois is doing well,” said Senator Weaver. “I rely on my advisory committee to help me as a Senator to protect and encourage growth in this vital industry.”
Weaver also works with other similar panels that he has assembled, including comittees made up of veterans, education professionals, and students.