CLICK HERE for a video of Congresswoman Bustos questioning Secretary Perdue
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, stressed the importance of keeping the doors open at the Peoria Ag Lab to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue after the current administration has threatened to close it twice.
The Peoria Ag Lab is one of the largest agricultural research labs within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), employing 250 individuals, and has demonstrated its significance by consistently driving innovation and discovery. Specifically, they have made substantial breakthroughs – such as creating a mass distribution method for penicillin, which saved thousands of American soldiers’ lives in World War II. They also recently discovered a highly effective mosquito repellant. Additionally, Congresswoman Bustos asked Secretary Perdue about potential trade partnerships with Cuba to expand markets for growers and producers in Illinois.
“The Peoria Ag Lab should be able to conduct their research without having to wonder whether or not their progress will be stopped by this administration,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “They have routinely made tremendous contributions to agricultural research and are at the heart of our region’s agricultural economy. As a member of both the Appropriations and Agriculture Committees, I’ll always do my part in solidifying funding for the Ag Lab, protecting hardworking Illinoisans’ jobs and providing our farmers with every opportunity to succeed.”
Congresswoman Bustos has been an advocate for the Peoria Ag Lab throughout her tenure in Congress. Earlier this month, Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman LaHood sent a joint letter to USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Administrator inviting her to visit the Ag Lab. In addition, after proposals by the administration to eliminate its funding, Congresswoman Bustos worked with Congressman LaHood in 2018 to fund the Peoria Ag Lab and end the hiring freeze. Congresswoman Bustos has also advocated for better trade relations with Cuba after visiting the country twice.