Peoria, IL—Today, Rep. Darin LaHood, Rep. Cheri Bustos, and Mayor Jim Ardis visited the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria.  This visit comes after the President’s budget blueprint proposed ending federal funding for the facility, which would result in its closure. 

Following the tour, Rep. LaHood, Rep. Bustos, and Mayor Ardis gave brief remarks across the street at the Peoria County Farm Bureau highlighting the work being done to keep funding for the facility. Other supporters and attendees included Adam Nielsen of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Peoria County Board Chair Andrew Rand, Peoria City Councilmen Sid Ruckriegel, Dennis Cyr, Chuck Grayeb, and Zach Oyler.

“The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research has a long history here in Peoria of doing terrific work. Agriculture is the number one industry in the state of Illinois, and the work done at this facility helps not only our farmers, but farmers across the entire country,” said Congressman LaHood. “That is why I am happy to be the author of a letter with Congresswoman Bustos calling for continued funding of the facility. As we move forward with the true budget and appropriations processes, I will continue to work as hard as I can in the House to ensure that we keep this facility open and provide it with the funding it needs.”

“Protecting good paying jobs and ensuring a better future for hardworking families in Peoria shouldn’t be a partisan issue, so I’m pleased to join with Congressman LaHood as we pressure the Trump Administration to drop its proposal to eliminate Peoria’s Agriculture Research Lab,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “For decades, this lab has kept Peoria at the center of our agricultural economy – developing technology that has benefitted our troops, our farmers and touches the lives of Americans every single day.”

Reps. Darin LaHood and Cheri Bustos will send a letter to the House Appropriations Committee calling for maintained funding of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Buildings and Facilities account, which funds the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria.