SPRINGFIELD, IL – A central Illinois lawmaker is doing his part to bolster Illinois’ number one industry – agriculture — and that’s why State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) led a delegation of colleagues to tour of Macon County.
“We have a lot to showcase here in central Illinois and the ‘Half Century of Progress and Farm Progress Shows’ feature all of the best of our region,” Rose said. “The economic impact of ADM, Tate & Lyle, FS, countless farms and local agricultural businesses are a bright spot in the Illinois economy has going for it. One-quarter of all jobs in our state are directly tied to agriculture.”
A group of 60 lawmakers, local government, education and business leaders toured the ADM “trading pit” on August 28. During the tour, ADM officials stressed the number one need for all business is governmental stability. Economic developers are concerned that Illinois’ fiscal instability and uncertain long-term taxation strategy could force jobs out of the state and dampen expectations for job growth.
Last month’s “Half Century of Progress” show drew 100,000 visitors to Rantoul and Champaign County for the weekend festivities for a celebration of Illinois’ strong agricultural past. The “Farm Progress Show,” which is held every other year on the Richland Community College Campus is the largest outdoor agricultural exposition in the nation.
The officials learned about the $9 billion intra-state economic footprint of ADM and the 21,000 different Illinois vendors which the company does business with. ADM directly employs 4,300 people at their headquarters and agricultural facilities in Macon County, alone.
Rose also emphasized the educational component as well, “we have the University of Illinois and Richland Community College and others which are regional, national and global leaders in moving the agricultural community forward and it’s imperative we keep our local institutions strong.”