Agriculture and Rural Development

Issue Page: AgricultureAs one of the top agriculture states in the nation, Illinois and its farmers have an important role to play in many elements of American life from the economy to the environment. To help maintain the agricultural strength of our state and our nation, I have supported tax fairness for farmers, improvements in crop insurance, expanded use of clean-burning and environmentally safe ethanol, and increased trade opportunities for agricultural commodities. I have advanced initiatives to strengthen this crucial sector of our economy because boosting the vitality of our nation's rural regions boosts the vitality of our nation as a whole.



  • Helped lead the successful fights over more than 20 years that helped build a viable renewable fuels industry in America to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, by securing an extension of the federal tax incentives for ethanol use, expanding ethanol's role in clean air programs, and establishing a nationwide standard for minimum ethanol use.
  • Funded the design and construction of the National Corn-To-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville to help reduce the cost of ethanol through research to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of ethanol production.


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The Farm Bill
February 4, 2014

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] Today on the Senate Floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) shared stories of two Illinoisans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that is protected in the Farm Bill which will be voted on by the Senate this afternoon. While commending the Conference Committee for preventing the most drastic cuts to the SNAP program, Durbin discussed his disappointment that the final bill did not include a Durbin-authored provision to reduce crop insurance subsidies for the wealthiest producers.

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