Durbin: Senate Appropriates Committee Approves Nearly $6.3 Million for Illinois Agriculture Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved $6,268,000 for Illinois projects with the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Durbin is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill for Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA includes funding for the following Illinois projects and programs:

• Biotechnology Research Development Center, Peoria, IL. $3,500,000 to facilitate the development of technologies in the areas of livestock productivity, crop yields, and veterinary medicine. The research and development funding activities of BRDC have been responsible for technologies that have contributed to dozens of commercial products ranging from microbial manufacturing systems to vaccines for livestock.

• Center for One Medicine, Champaign-Urbana, IL. $500,000 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. This effort will increase the number of public health personnel co-trained in the integration of animal production systems, ecosystems and human public health interventions, while informing public health policy.

• Illinois Conservation Initiative, Statewide. $1,126,000 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 across the state.

• Illinois Plant Breeding Center, Campaign-Urbana, IL. $617,000 to the University of Illinois for a focused research and doctoral training program in plant breeding for economically important crops. The program’s research focus will help ensure that advancements in plant breeding to grow new biofuel feedstocks, improve the nutritional quality of food and fee, or develop drought-resistant crops continue to occur in the public sector. In addition, the program will prepare students to work in the private industry’s most sophisticated plant breeding programs.

• Lake County Watershed Initiative, IL. $350,000 to address watershed management issues in the Fox and Upper Des Plaines Watersheds. Funding will be used to implement high priority environmental restoration, ecological enhancement, water quality improvement and stormwater infrastructure projects. Lake County must address these watershed issues that exist as a result of the urbanization of Lake County including increased incidence of flooding, water pollution and degraded natural resources.

• Urban Horticulture and Marketing, Chicago, IL. $175,000 for technical and financial assistance for an urban horticultural marketing initiative in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago in conjunction with the Chicago Botanic Garden. This program teaches sustainable vegetable production and essential business skills, including planning, pricing, sales and marketing.