Illinois Voices on Congressional Agriculture Committees

Senator Dick Durbin meeting with farmer members of the Alliance in summer 2020

Good news for Illinois farmers and eaters!

New House Ag Committee Chair Rep. Davis Scott (D-GA) just announced the members who will serve on the House Ag Committee.

We’re happy to say Illinois will be represented again by Rep. Cheri Bustos and Rep. Rodney Davis, as well as new committee members, Chicago Rep. Bobby Rush and downstate Rep. Mary Miller. Rep. Bustos will also serve as chair the subcommittee on Commodities and Risk Management.

Rep. Scott is also the first Black Chairman of the House Ag Committee. At the top of his agenda: Racial Justice, Food Security, and Climate Change!

On the Senate side, Senator Dick Durbin will again serve on the Ag Committee after he was elected for his sixth term in Congress. He shared his priorities in response to the Alliance’s Food and Farm Voter Guide before the 2020 election and met with a roundtable of Alliance members during the Congressional August recess. In the last Farm Bill, Senator Durbin supported new Farm Bill programs to expand local and regional systems that strengthen diversity both economically and socially of the farm sector, like dedicated funding for the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) and a new Office of Urban Agriculture.

For the first time in history, we are going to have two Black Senators serving on Senate Ag Committee: Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Ralphael Warnock (D-GA). Both introduced legislation this week to address discrimination faced by farmers of color.

Sen. Booker re-introduced the Justice for Black Farmers Act and Sen. Warnock proposed a bill to provide $4 billion in USDA farm loan debt relief and $1 billion to root out systemic racism at USDA and provide technical assistance for agricultural communities of color. You can read more about their bold proposals here: Sen. Booker, Sen. Warnock bring social justice goals to Agriculture panel.

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