Congress must not lose sight of our core values

When you’re in Congress, you learn quickly to keep your head down, do your job, and not get distracted by the political games of Washington. It’s the members who lose touch with their constituents who are the first to go in the next election. That’s why I have worked to advance a pro-growth agenda. Core to […]

It’s our 200th birthday and we are #ILLINOISPROUD

The Land of Lincoln has a big birthday coming up: Illinois turns 200 in 2018. The bicentennial is a yearlong opportunity for Illinoisans to ­celebrate why we are #IllinoisProud. Many celebrations of Illinois’ 200th birthday are planned throughout the state between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018. We will be highlighting the many people, […]

Healthy People, Healthy Rural Communities

Growing your own is the ­philosophy of the Rural Medical Education (RMED) and Rural Health Professions (RHP) Programs of the National Center for Rural Health Professions (NCRHP), located on the Health Sciences campus of the University of Illinois – Rockford. The RMED Program recently celebrated 25 years of ­recruiting and preparing students and graduates for […]

Economic Development concept on the gearwheels

Rural economic development

At the Farm Progress Show in August, I had the pleasure of ­moderating a Listening Session (see for members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, including Chairman Mike Conaway, Texas, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Minn., Glenn Thompson, Pa., Cheri Bustos, Mike Bost, Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood, all from our great state. In total, […]

NRECA CEO Jim Mattheson

Co-ops commit to you

Every day, you count on your local electric cooperative to deliver the safe, reliable and affordable power you need to live your life and get things done. As a co-op member, you already know the benefits of doing business with a not-for-profit, locally controlled ­company that shares your values and gives back to your community. […]

Backed by big service

Member-owned electric ­cooperatives and public power ­districts belong to a nationwide ­network that touches millions of families each day. Besides ­providing electricity to keep homes, farms, businesses and schools well lighted, comfortable and running ­efficiently, those co-ops and districts help make ­communities ­better while finding ways to meet their members needs. It’s not just the […]

Agriculture – Illinois’ number one industry

Greetings! As the warm summer months are now ahead of us, the Department of Agriculture would like to take a moment to update you of some important agricultural messages. Farm Progress Show In what many in the agriculture industry refer to as the World’s Fair of Agriculture, the Farm Progress Show is the nation’s largest […]

Concluding thoughts as I ride off into the sunset

Do you remember the movie “Cool Hand Luke?” It’s that great Paul Newman prison movie with the famous line from Strother Martin, the prison warden, who says, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” You could take just about any ­problem involving humans and stick that into the conversation somewhere. It is a […]

Celebrating Our Month (and Milk!)

It’s been going on for 75 years. June Dairy Month, that is. And as a dairy farmer, I kind of like the idea that we celebrate what my ­family and 600 more like it across Illinois do, and what we provide to people. It’s milk, of course, and all the ­wonderful things it can become – […]

Illinois Made Highlights State’s Faces of Travel

Travel and tourism plays a huge role in every economy—from hotels to dining, tours to attractions—­tourism helps drive tax dollars down and ­provides numerous jobs for ­people across the state. In 2015, Illinois welcomed more than 111.1 million visitors, which generated more than $37.2 billion in travel expenditures for the state. This in turn helped […]