Durbin Meets with Illinois Farm Bureau to Discuss Agricultural Priorities

WASHINGTON, DC] –   U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today hosted a meeting with Illinois Farm Bureau President Phillip Nelson to discuss several issues regarding the upcoming Farm Bill, pending trade agreements, and the agricultural impact of the deficit negotiations. 


“It is important that the current deficit negations still focus on a Farm Bill that will keep American farm land among the most productive in the world,” said Durbin. “Bringing groups like the Illinois Farm Bureau to the table and including their concerns in this debate will help ensure the development of an effective and responsible bipartisan solution.”


The Illinois Farm Bureau members also raised concerns about the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) decision to reclassify crop-share farmers as “for-hire” carriers. This classification will enforce stricter licensing and insurance requirements on some Illinois farmers. Following several meetings between the FMCSA and the Illinois Farm Bureau, the FMCSA opened up a comment period on new guidance. At the opening of the comment period, Senator Durbin encouraged the Illinois Farm Bureau to urge all farmers to participate.


In March after a meeting with members of the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Corn Growers and the Illinois Soybean Association, Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, pledged his support for improving our nation’s waterways system in a letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  Specifically, Durbin asked for improvements to the infrastructure along the Mississippi River which is the backbone of Illinois’ waterway transportation system – transporting $12 billion worth of products each year, including over 1 billion bushels of grain to ports around the world.