Senator Durbin discusses Illinois ag groups' concerns

By Ashley Rice

Illinois agricultural organizations, including Illinois Farm Bureau, met with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, via phone Wednesday to discuss the impacts of COVID-19.

“I promised stakeholders on today’s call that I would continue to push the administration to do everything it can to provide immediate financial relief for family operations and protect the health and safety of workers that support our food system,” Durbin said.

Durbin shared his efforts to urge the Small Business Administration (SBA) to allow farms and agricultural businesses to be eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. In addition, Durbin believes the SBA needs to prioritize Paycheck Protection Program loan processing and disbursing for farms and small businesses in underserved and rural areas.

“We’re very appreciative Senator Durbin arranged the call with Illinois agricultural organization leadership,” Mark Gebhards, IFB executive director of governmental affairs and commodities, told the RFD Radio Network. “We had an opportunity to discuss with him … the packing plants, the ethanol facilities, and the situation our farmers find themselves in with market prices.”

Other organizations on the call included Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Grain and Feed Association of Illinois and Illinois Renewable Fuels Association.

This story was provided by