Farm Briefs

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By The Staff

Shimkus opposes
dust regulations

Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19) supported legislation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating farm dust.  The bill, Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act (HR 1633), passed the House last Thursday with bipartisan support.
“While EPA has said that it does not plan on regulating farm dust, I just don’t trust its leaders not to change their minds somewhere down the road,” Shimkus stated. “I believe we need to put it in law, so they can’t ever do it.  A law would also prevent a court challenge where EPA is forced to regulate farm dust by a judge.”
The bill would remove farm dust from federal “nuisance dust” regulations where it is already regulated under state or local law.
“There are many gravel and dirt roads in my district. There are many farms in my district.  It is ridiculous to think that dust can be regulated or stopped from happening,” Shimkus said.
Organizations supporting HR 1633 include the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Federation of Independent Business, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Association of Wheat Growers, Dairy Farmers of America, and American Motorcyclist Association.

12 Days of Christmas
contest is under way

In an effort to increase awareness about Illinois food products and businesses this holiday season, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will hold its first-ever 12 Days of Christmas Contest from Dec. 14-25. A winner will be selected randomly each day from the Department of Agriculture’s Facebook and Twitter fans.  Winners will receive an Illinois product and an assortment of cooking supplies donated by the American Egg Board.
“Our hope is that this contest will increase awareness of the many great Illinois food products available to the public,” Acting Agriculture Director Jim Larkin said. “I want to encourage consumers, whenever possible, to buy locally and support Illinois businesses this holiday season.”
To be eligible, individuals must join the department’s Facebook page or follow the agency on Twitter.  One fan will be selected daily. Individuals must be 21 years old to win gifts donated by Illinois wine companies.
Prizes for the contest are being provided by the following Illinois companies and associations:
Illinois Beef Association - $75 gift certificate to Thruswood Farms.
Illinois Pork Producers - $80 gift package from Raber Packing Company, includes:  6 butterfly chops, 8 America’s cut chops, 10 pork burgers and 1 custom bottle of BBQ spice.
Zillion’s Chili, Springfield - “Deluxe Chili Pack” includes Zillion’s Medium Hot Wing Sauce, Zillion’s award winning chili seasoning and all the fixings
E. Formella & Sons, Inc., Countryside – 1 case of Muffuletta Salad.
Ropp Jersey Cheese, Normal - $15 holiday gift certificate Ropp Jersey Cheese  
Jones Boys Market, Ashland – 2 packages of homemade specialty brats
Oakland Noodle Company, Oakland – Bags of made-from-scratch noodles
Lavender Crest Winery, Colona – A bottle of Ritt’s Reserve, a full bodied red wine
Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington – A bottle of Cracklin’ Cranberry wine
C & C Fudge, Lincoln – Five boxes of fudge
Pasta Alley Company, Decatur – Specializing in a variety of noodles, sauces, breads, oils, and soups
Riley’s Seasoning, Pittsfield – Sportsman Pack of four of Riley’s Award Winning Seasonings
To sign up for the 12 Days of Christmas Contest, please visit and “like” the Department of Agriculture’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IllinoisDepartmentofAgriculture or sign up to follow the department’s Twitter account at https://twitter.com/#!/ILAgMarkets.
For more information about the contest, please contact Jennifer Tirey, Bureau Chief of Marketing, Promotion and Grants at (217) 782-8146.