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Letter to Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Emergency USDA Assistance

U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and members of the Illinois Congressional today wrote to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in support of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's request for a disaster declaration for every county in Illinois. Thirty-seven counties in Illinois already have the designation which makes residents and businesses in those counties eligible for emergency USDA assistance.

"We write in support of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's request for a Secretarial Disaster Declaration to help Illinois farmers, families, and communities affected by the current drought," wrote the Illinois Congressional Delegation members. "We thank you in advance for your prompt review and support of the State of Illinois' request for all eligible counties. We stand ready to support you and the Governor in efforts to minimize the impact of these current, damaging conditions on Illinois farm families."

In addition to Durbin and Kirk, members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation signing on to today's letter include: Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Robert Dold (R-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Don Manzullo (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Bobby Schilling (R-IL) Aaron Schock (R-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Walsh (R-IL).

Last month was the eighth driest June on record for Illinois, with the statewide average precipitation more than 2 inches below normal. With the corn crop currently in the midst of its most critical growth stage, the USDA reported that 56% of the corn crop in Illinois was determined to be in poor or very poor condition.

The following counties have already received USDA primary disaster designation: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Richland, Saline, Union, Wabash, White and Williamson. And the following counties have received USDA contiguous county designation: Adams, Calhoun, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Hancock, Henderson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Madison, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Randolph, St. Claire and Wayne.

Text of the letter is below and attached:

July 24, 2012


The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
14th and Independence Avenues, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250


Dear Secretary Vilsack:

We write in support of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's request for a Secretarial Disaster Declaration to help Illinois farmers, families, and communities affected by the current drought.

Agricultural producers in Illinois are experiencing significant losses due to a persistent, unprecedented, statewide heat and drought. The Illinois Department of Agriculture and representatives of the Farm Service Agency in Illinois are working to expedite assistance to Illinois farmers affected by these weather events.

We thank you in advance for your prompt review and support of the State of Illinois' request for all eligible counties. We stand ready to support you and the Governor in efforts to minimize the impact of these current, damaging conditions on Illinois farm families.

Sincerely,


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