Southwestern Illinois is the “horseradish capital of the world,” but we also produce significant amounts of corn, soy, and countless other crops on farms both big and small. We have to do more to support the families and small businesses that provide the food that we all depend on, as farmers struggle more and more every year to literally put food on the table and make a living. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed cracks in our food system, and just how precarious business is for many family farmers. Farm consolidation, extreme weather, and climate change also continue to pose significant challenges that need to be addressed.
We also need to provide more, not less, funding for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), school meal programs, and urban farming initiatives, all of which provide food security for countless low- and middle-income families across Illinois. We also need to support local food systems by providing support to small and family-owned farms.
Protecting Our Small Farmers
- Help farmers big and small improve soil health while protecting the environment and preparing for extreme weather and a warming climate
- Provide more funding for a variety of food security programs
- Address the issue of farm consolidation that is pushing more and more small farmers out of business
In Congress, I will put small farmers first. We will continue to fight to protect the interests of Illinois farmers and ensure they have the support they need, while investing in food security and health for all Illinoisians.