Durbin and Illinois Farm Service Agency Chair Jill Appell to Attend Joint Session of Congress

Prime Minister of Japan to address Congress for the first time in history

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) will welcome Jill Appell of Altona, Illinois as his guest for a Joint Session of Congress tomorrow morning. Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe is the first Japanese Prime Minister to address a Joint Session of Congress. Appell currently serves as Chair of the USDA Farm Service Agency Illinois State Committee. Illinois is the fourth largest pork producing state in the United States, which counts Japan as its primary export market for pork products.


“I am honored to have Jill Appell join me at tomorrow’s Joint Session of Congress,” said Durbin. “Jill has served in a variety of roles representing Illinois’ farming community, accumulating decades of experience in rural and agricultural issues. But before she was leading trade delegations overseas or serving on advisory councils for the White House, Jill was a pork producer in Western Illinois. As the co-owner and operator of Appell’s Pork Farms in Altona, Jill understands the importance of the United States’ relationship with Japan – the number one export market for U.S. pork products – from personal experience.”


Ms. Appell is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, a position she has held since 2010, and the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade of Animals and Animal Products. She is also a past President of the National Pork Producers Council and the Illinois Pork Producers Association. In addition, she previously served as Illinois State Director for Rural Development for the USDA. Ms. Appell farms in Knox County.