Durbin: Congress Approves More Than $9 Million for Illinois Agriculture Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that Congress has approved $9,034,000 for Illinois projects with the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature.


The Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations bill for Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA includes funding for the following Illinois projects and programs:


• Biotechnology Research Development Center (BRDC), Peoria. $3,500,000 in funding to facilitate the development of technologies in the areas of livestock productivity, crop yields, and veterinary medicine. BRDC is a unique biotechnology consortium that allows private companies to enter into research and development agreements with federal labs in areas such as agriculture, biotechnology and healthcare. BRDC does not conduct research or employ its own scientific staff - instead they seek out and fund research programs of commercial/scientific interest.


• Center for One Medicine, Champaign-Urbana. $500,000 in funding to the University of Illinois for research, education and outreach efforts to improve our nation’s preparedness to respond to natural and intentional exposure to biological, chemical, and physical threats to public health.


• DuPage County Watershed Initiative. $1,000,000 in funding to address watershed management issues in the Kress Creek and Salt Creek Watersheds. Funding will address problems associated with the increased incidence of flooding in DuPage County and communities will benefit from reduced water levels.


• Illinois Conservation Initiative, Statewide. $576,000 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for statewide conservation efforts, including wildlife management, wetlands and wildlife habitat restoration, and invasive species control. Funding will also support conservation education efforts.


• National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Summit-Argo. $2,077,000 in funding to continue FDA food safety and security research, including advanced detection technologies and preventive control research, at the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST). NCFST is housed at the Illinois Institute of Technology.


• Soybean Research, Champaign-Urbana. $745,000 in funding to the University of Illinois for continuing soybean research, using genomics and genetic engineering to improve drought resistance, disease tolerance, and resistance to soybean cyst nematode and soybean rust.


• Urban Horticulture and Marketing, Chicago. $175,000 in funding for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest program that teaches individuals with few job opportunities valuable job skills and provides access to new employment opportunities.


• World Food and Health Initiative, Champaign-Urbana. $461,000 in funding to the University of Illinois to establish, operate, and institutionalize a World Food and Health Center which will support research and education focused on nutrition, food and health.