Sauk Valley: Farmers get more of voice, thanks to ag advisory committee
"When Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s Agriculture Advisory Committee was formed, the lack of a farm bill created a sense of urgency for members. Two years later, the current farm bill has removed many of those uncertainties, but the committee continues to gain momentum."
When the 16th District U.S. representative decided to start the committee, he gave an honest assessment of his agriculture acumen, saying that “it’s important for legislators to know what they don’t know.”
The now 27-member committee has representatives of all 14 counties in Kinzinger’s district, and had its semiannual meeting Dec. 14 in Ottawa.
Emily Pratt, a Lee County representative, said the congressman and the committee have come a long way since that first meeting on Dec. 19, 2013.
“He was very honest in the beginning about wanting to learn more, and I think he’s learned a lot since we started meeting,” Pratt said. “He’s much more comfortable with the group, and it’s become an informal sharing of experiences.”
Kinzinger said he enjoys the committee meetings, and they help him make more informed decisions on ag policy while in Washington. He has learned that sometimes the best thing government can do for producers is get out of their way.
“Agriculture is a major economic driver for the Illinois 16th Congressional District, and Washington needs to empower our agriculture community, and allow them to do what they do best – produce food not only for the U.S., but also globally,” the Channahon Republican said.
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