Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Representing the 17th District of Illinois
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Agriculture & Rural Development

Fighting For Agriculture and Rural Development

Some of the world’s richest farmland is in the 17th District, and as our number one industry, agriculture supports our economy in a variety of ways.

Our region is the home to thousands of farmers and millions of acres of farmland.  It is a world leader in agricultural products, including grain and oilseed production, as well as hogs and cattle. 

It is also home to the headquarters of large manufacturing employers Caterpillar and Deere & Co., which employ thousands of workers.

Additionally, the USDA research center in Peoria is at the forefront of finding new uses for crops and creating new technology that improves environmental quality and food safety.

We need to sustain and enhance our agricultural economy and take advantage of our natural resources, using them as tools of economic competitiveness and growth.  We have an abundant supply of soil, wind, sunshine and water in our region that we can make into the foundation for new ethanol, biodiesel, hydroelectric power, solar and wind energy.

As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, and the Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee and the Livestock and Rural Development Subcommittee, I will fight each and every day for our region’s agricultural community. 

My vision for strengthening our agricultural economy, both in rural areas and small towns, is anchored in growth and sustainability:

  • Support alternative energy projects via low interest revolving loan funds.
  • Promote LEEDS certification in new buildings and retrofitting existing buildings to meet higher sustainability standards.
  • Improve broadband access to underserved and rural communities.
  • Focus eco-energy industrial parks on assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  • Eliminate trade barriers that hinder U.S. agricultural product exportation.

More on Agriculture & Rural Development

Nov 17, 2015

Washington, D.C. - Today U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D, IL-17) and Rodney Davis (R, IL-13) announced that they have signed on to support the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 3687), making it a bipartisan bill.


Oct 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a two year bill to fund the federal government. While Bustos largely agreed with many positive aspects of the compromise, she strongly pushed back on a provision that would have harmed Illinois farmers.


Oct 28, 2015

Washington, DC – Today Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced Illinois will be receiving nearly $12 million in United States Department of Agriculture funding from the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program. Nationally, these funds will be used to nearly double the number of fueling pumps that supply renewable fuels to American motorists.


This announcement comes after months of behind the scenes work by Rep. Bustos to secure these funds to strengthen Illinois’ agricultural economy.


Oct 21, 2015

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) continued her advocacy on behalf of rural economic development and energy independence by joining with the other members of the bipartisan Biofuels Caucus in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. They urged her to make significant changes to the agency’s proposed rule on renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). They also called on the agency to use criteria found in statue to determine domestic biofuel volumes and follow Congressional intent when it passed the RFS.

Oct 15, 2015

Last night, U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D, IL-17) and Rodney Davis (R, IL-13) returned to the United States from the Illinois Cuba Working Group’s Bipartisan Agricultural Trade Mission to Havana. To establish new economic opportunities for Illinois farmers, Bustos, Davis and Illinois agricultural and business leaders met with Cuban officials to discuss opportunities to increase our exports to the island nation and strengthen bilateral trade relations.

Oct 7, 2015

Today, U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D, IL-17) and Rodney Davis (R, IL-13) announced they will be traveling to Cuba as part of a bipartisan agricultural trade mission to establish new economic development and export opportunities for Illinois farmers. The Oct. 11-14 trip, which is being sponsored by the Illinois Cuba Working Group, will include meetings and discussions with officials from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alimport (which coordinates all overseas purchases in Cuba), a tour of the Cuban marketplace and several additional diplomatic meetings.

Sep 10, 2015

Washington, D.C. - Today Rep. Cheri Bustos applauded the announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that Illinois will be receiving funding through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) program. The funds will be used to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers.  In June, Rep. Bustos wrote a letter to Governor Rauner urging him to apply for these funds. Then, in July, Rep.

Sep 9, 2015

Washington, D.C. - Today Congresswoman Cheri Bustos thanked working families from across the 17th Congressional District for being a part of her most productive district work period to date. In all, Rep. Bustos held over 40 official events, meetings and job fairs during the August Congressional recess which ran from July 31 - September 7th.

Jul 24, 2015

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and the other members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation sent a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a Secretarial Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Illinois counties impacted by heavy rainfall. This would allow farmers in the region severely impacted by flooding to receive low interest emergency USDA loans.

Jul 14, 2015

Watch Bustos’ Speech On The Floor Of The U.S. House of Representatives HERE