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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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Agriculture

The Second Congressional District is one of the most diverse regions in our nation.  It is a microcosm of our country – home to not only urban and suburban, but rural areas as well.  And it is our strong rural sector, with over 1,200 farms, that serves as the economic backbone of our district.  Farmers in the Second Congressional District produce $367 million worth of corn, soybeans, and wheat every year that feed our families, fuel our cars, and raise our livestock.  

Ensuring we have a strong agricultural sector is vital to the overall strength of our economy.  We rely on farmers for everything that we do.  I stand for strong federal policies that support family farmers, and ensure they are able to make the investments they need to increase their productivity and meet the nutrition and energy needs of our ever-growing population.

My agricultural priorities are: 

  • Advancing sound environmental regulations that protect our nation’s air and water without unduly burdening farms; 
  • Ensuring USDA crop insurance and price support strategies work for farmers, and protect their investments; 
  • Investing in corn and cellulosic  ethanol as a source of clean and renewable energy; 
  • Promoting comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform that allows for a strong agriculture labor sector;
  • Developing an international trade agenda that expands foreign markets for Illinois commodities, while protecting labor, health and safety regulations; and 
  • Creating federal policies that promote investments in precision agriculture technologies, while protecting our national security and privacy. 

 

More on Agriculture

Jul 1, 2019 In The News

New legislation to address student debt was recently introduced as the Young Farmers Success Act.  The bill, HR 3232, was introduced in the House and referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.  Introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney and cosponsored by Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, Antonio Delgado, Josh Harder, Lee Zeldin, Peter Welch, Robin Kelly, and Chellie Pingree, the bill aims to relieve some of the financial burdens on students pursuing an agricultural career.

May 16, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (IL-02) joined U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today in reintroduced the bipartisan Beginning Agriculturist Lifetime Employment (BALE) Act, legislation he introduced during the last Congress to ensure agricultural producers—especially those just getting started—have access to credit to expand or diversify their operations.

Mar 6, 2019 Press Release

Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement following the release of data from the U.S. Department of Commerce showing the U.S. trade deficit had reached a 10-year high, largely because of President Trump’s failed trade war:

“Despite his repeated claims to address the U.S. trade deficit, President Trump exploded it.

Jan 14, 2019 Press Release

Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement concerning the negative impact of the Trump Shutdown on Illinois farmers and farming families, who are already suffering under other bad Trump Administration policies and trade wars:

“This Trump Shutdown adds insult to injury for Illinois farmers and families.

Because of the Trump Shutdown, the USDA is closed. This means that local farmers are unable to obtain farm loans, plan for the upcoming spring planting season or receive crop insurance payments.

Sep 4, 2018 In The News

With most of this year’s crop sold and input costs covered, Steve Warrick said next year will be critical for his Will County farm.

“Nobody has a handle on next year – from bankers to fertilizer companies,” he said.

If tariffs remain in place, he said: “It may be easier to farm it out to someone else and raise a steer for myself and raise a pig for myself and leave it at that.”

May 21, 2018 In The News

The recent article entitled “We’re ‘bullseye’ in trade wars” details the real threat that Kankakee farmers are under from President Trump’s misguided and ill-conceived trade war.

If the president continues to pursue his current course of dangerous action, the underpinning of Kankakee’s and Illinois’ economy will fall away.

Apr 5, 2018 Press Release

Congresswoman Robin Kelly released this statement regarding newly announced Chinese tariffs against U.S. agricultural products and President Trump’s escalating trade war:

“President Trump’s misguided and ill-conceived trade war with China and other nations will have a massive and negative impact on Illinois farmers and rural communities.

Feb 27, 2018 Editorial

Farmers now can join the long list of Americans President Donald Trump and his policies have attacked.

Just more than a year ago, rural voters helped propel candidate Trump to the presidency, but since then, his budgets and policies have failed farmers and rural communities. The Trump administration's new budget proposal mindlessly guts $265 billion from agriculture and other programs that are crucial to the survival of rural communities.

Feb 13, 2018 In The News

An Illinois Democrat says she’s found a way to please everyone in her diverse district with legislation that would alleviate Chicago-area “food deserts” by lifting a barrier to fruit and vegetable production in rural areas.

Rep. Robin Kelly’s “Feeding America through Farm Flexibility Act” would modify a rule that disincentivizes farmers of major commodities, such as corn and wheat, from switching production to fruits and vegetables.

Nov 1, 2017 In The News

If passed, a new bill would allow grain crop farmers to grow fruits and vegetables on more of their farm program base acres. With the goal of attaching the legislation to the next farm bill, Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., and Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., cosponsored legislation called “Feeding America through Farm Flexibility Act of 2017.” The proposed law would allow grain farmers to plant an additional 5% of their commodity crop base acres to vegetables if the extra harvest is sold or donated into a food desert with a poverty rate of at least 20%, according to the text of the bill.

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