Lt. Gov. Simon to talk drought, rural issues in the Quad Cities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:58

MOLINE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will visit the Quad Cities on Wednesday and Thursday to chair meetings of the Mississippi River Coordinating Council and the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council.


Before the river council meeting Wednesday afternoon, Simon will discuss the state’s response to recent drought conditions, the status of Governor Quinn’s request for a nearly statewide disaster declaration that includes Rock Island County, and the impact the drought is having on navigation along the Mississippi River. To date, 26 counties have been declared federal disaster areas due to drought and Quinn has requested 76 more be added to the list.


At the rural affairs council meeting Thursday morning, Simon will release the findings of her rural listening posts, which collected quality of life data from Illinois residents in six rural communities earlier this year (Carbondale, Freeport, Gibson City, Mattoon, Peoria and Quincy).


More than half of participants in the rural listening posts predicted their quality of life will improve in the next five years and cited job creation, education funding and affordable healthcare as top priorities.


EVENT: Mississippi River Coordinating Council meeting

DATE: Wednesday, July 25

TIME: 1:15 p.m. media availability, 1:30 meeting start

LOCATION: WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus, Rock Island County Board of Supervisors Room, 3300 River Drive, Moline


EVENT: Governor’s Rural Affairs Council meeting

DATE: Thursday, July 26

TIME: 9:45 a.m. media availability, 10 a.m. meeting start

LOCATION: WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus, Rock Island County Board of Supervisors Room, 3300 River Drive, Moline



Tour of Drought-Impacted Farm Shows Importance of Farm Bill Passage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:55

Tour of Drought-Impacted Farm Shows Importance of Farm Bill Passage

By: U.S. Representative Bruce Braley

Last Friday, I met with two farmers from Palo, Gary and Vicki Owens, to see their farm and discuss the drought conditions that are affecting crops across Iowa. I saw the dry ground and struggling corn and soybeans that the Owens are hoping will survive in the heat and dry weather. Gary and Vicki told me how concerned they are that sporadic rain during the month of July will doom their crops, but they continue to hope that wetter and cooler weather will grace their crops sooner rather than later. They are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.

The lack of rain along with the blistering heat are making farmers take a look at their insurance policies and what the federal government is doing to assist them if the weather causes a massive loss in crops.

Today, just as we saw in the 1920s, the federal government needs to take responsibility when farmers suffer from events outside of their control.  That’s the reason why, last week, I joined Iowa’s entire House delegation, Republicans and Democrats, to demand that Congressional leaders hold an immediate vote on the bipartisan Farm Bill.  Some disaster relief programs from the 2008 Farm Bill have already expired, and if Congress does not pass the farm bill by September, laws will revert back to the outdated 1949 Farm Bill.  We can’t afford to go back to laws that are that outdated – let alone when we are suffering from such a difficult summer.

I will continue to work with the US Department of Agriculture to get farmers the help they need, and keep working to bring members of both parties together to ensure that the Farm Bill is passed as quickly as possible.  Iowa farmers and their families need some degree of certainty during such uncertain times.  The Farm Bill ensures a safety net and allows farmers a degree of financial security for the future.

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Loebsack, Iowa Delegation Introduce Legislation to Ensure Access to Ag Disaster Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 23 July 2012 13:49

Crop and Livestock disaster relief programs expired in Fall of 2011 !!!

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today led the entire Iowa delegation in introducing legislation to extend agriculture disaster programs that were created in the last farm bill through 2012.  The Loebsack authored Agriculture Disaster Assistance Act will help farmers and livestock producers with drought losses beyond insurance until a new farm bill is signed into law.  Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) has introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

“I have seen firsthand the damage this drought has already caused to crops and livestock.  With no end in sight to the current conditions, we must move quickly to ensure farmers and producers in Iowa and across the country who are struggling have access to a safety net.

“I am pleased the rest of the Iowa delegation joined me in introducing this legislation and hope they join me in calling on House leadership to quickly bring up and pass it.  Until a new farm bill is passed and signed into law our farmers and producers need to know that they are not in this alone and that 2012 won’t be the year that sinks their farm.”

Specifically, the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act will extend the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Livestock Disaster Forage Program (LFP), Tree Assistance Program (TAP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) temporarily through 2012.


Lt. Gov. Simon to announce recipients of farmers’ market grant PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Monday, 23 July 2012 13:48

CARBONDALE – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will host a media call-in Tuesday afternoon with Audrey Rowe, Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, to announce that up to 50 farmers’ markets across Illinois will receive free wireless machines that accept Link, debit and credit cards as part of the Illinois Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project. With these markets coming aboard, one in three farmers’ markets statewide will accept food stamp benefits for the first time.

Simon and Rowe will be joined on the call by Connie Spreen, the executive director of the Chicago non-profit Experimental Station, and vegetable farmers Cheryl and Josh Dotson of Dotson Farms in Beecher, a mother-son team that sells produce at several farmers’ markets in Chicago. Simon and Rowe will explain the wireless grant program and discuss USDA efforts to boost access to local foods and the impact that can have on the health of citizens and the economy.

DATE: Tuesday, July 24

TIME: 1 – 2 p.m.

All callers using the above pass code will be placed in listen only mode. To join the Q&A portion of the meeting, these callers are instructed to press *1 on their touch tone phone.


Braley Reaction to USDA Announcing Assistance for Drought-Affected Farmers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 23 July 2012 13:41

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement after the US Department of Agriculture temporary changes to their major conservation programs to help livestock producers as this summer’s drought intensifies.

“The efforts announced today by the USDA are good first steps to start helping Iowa farmers affected by this summer’s drought.  If this drought continues, farmers will need more help.


“That’s why I’ll keep working with the USDA to ensure we’re doing everything possible to stand behind farmers during this challenging time.  The drought not only threatens the livelihood of countless Iowa farmers, it will have incredible effects on Iowa's economy.  That’s why it’s so important we do everything we can to keep Iowa farmers on their feet.


“And with many of the disaster recovery programs from the 2008 Farm Bill already expired, it’s more important than ever we quickly get a new Farm Bill passed into law.”

The assistance announced today takes advantage of the Secretary of Agriculture's existing authority to help create and encourage flexibility within four USDA programs: the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and the Federal Crop Insurance Program.

More details on the USDA steps announced today can be found at the following link:

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