Agriculture is vital to economy in Southern Illinois. The 12th district is the most diverse district in terms of agriculture in the State of Illinois, and I am proud to represent the more than 10,000 producers in our district with my position on the House Committee on Agriculture.
Our district is more than corn and soybeans, agricultural diversity can be seen throughout the district. The 12th district produces more than half of the horse radish in the United States. Rice, specialty crops, orchards, vineyards, livestock, and dairy can be found almost everywhere you look giving residents in Southern Illinois access to some of the best tasting wines along with fresh fruits, vegetables, pork, and beef right in their own back yard.
Protecting our agricultural economy is vital to the sustainability of our rural areas. For that reason, I am actively working on increasing rural broadband access for residents and businesses and increasing the accessibility of credit to our new and beginning farmers and ranchers so they can continue the agricultural heritage Illinois is famous for. I will continue to work to make sure the 2014 Farm Bill is being implemented within the scope of the law and work with my colleagues and grass root agriculture organizations to find new ways to reduce regulatory burdens that dampen the sustainability production agriculture.
For those involved in agriculture, it is a very expensive endeavor to see a crop through from planting to harvest. That is why I am committed to maintaining the safety net for producers that the 2014 Farm Bill established. Furthermore, I know the bounty that Southern Illinois can produce and I support efforts the United States Department of Agriculture has made in making sure food security is available to those who need it the most.
While there are still several years to go until a new Farm Bill will be discussed, Congress is not wasting any time doing full-scale reviews of every program to find out what is working and what isn’t in order to be better stewards of tax payer dollars.
If you have any questions regarding agriculture policy, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-5661
More on Agriculture
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly's diverse district boasts some of the world's richest farmland, as well as Chicago neighborhoods and south suburbs where access to foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables is limited.
Washington, DC –(ENEWSPF)–July 27, 2017. U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Mike Bost (IL-12) introduced bipartisan legislation that empowers farmers to help combat food deserts. The Feeding America through Farm Flexibility Act would enable farmers to grow fruits and vegetables on an additional five percent of their acreage without a crop insurance penalty, if the food is sold or donated to food deserts.
When the national media talks about entrepreneurship, the same industries seem to come up again and again. The tech startup, the consulting firm, the real-estate company, the new restaurant chain — and the list goes on.
But one group of entrepreneurs is rarely talked about, despite their vital importance to the American economy. We can’t forget about our farmers.
I believe the best way to represent our district is by keeping in touch with its people. That’s why I launched a 12-county tour of the 12th District during the April district work period. Stops on my tour included meetings with groups of constituents in my district offices, laying a wreath to honor our heroes at the VA cemetery in Mound City, volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Alton, reading to elementary school students in Carbondale, hearing from job creators throughout Southern Illinois, and receiving feedback from military spouses in O’Fallon.