A bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers is appealing to President Donald Trump to keep the Peoria Ag Lab open.
Peoria's National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research opened in 1940, one of four USDA agricultural research labs in the U.S. The Peoria lab is most well-known for creating the technique to mass produce penicillin, an antibiotic. It also helped to create high fructose corn syrup, Xantham gum, and a new method to plant soybeans.
The letter was signed by area representatives Cheri Bustos (D-17), Darin LaHood (R-18) and Adam Kinzinger (R-16). U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth also signed the letter.
“For nearly eighty years, the National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research (NCAUR) has served a vital role in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) research efforts to create new industrial and food products from our agriculture commodities and develop new technologies to improve environmental quality,” the members wrote in a letter to President Trump. “The Administration’s proposal to close NCAUR would hurt the nation’s capacity to innovate, reduce our competitive edge in the global agricultural marketplace, cut jobs, and hurt farmers and rural America. We strongly urge you to reconsider your recommendation to close NCAUR.”
Other U.S. Representatives from Illinois signing the letter include Jan Schakowsky (D-9), Robin Kelly (D-2), Bobby Rush (D-1), Brad Schneider (D-10), Danny Davis (D-07), Dan Lipinski (D-03), Bill Foster (D-11), Peter Roskam (R-06), Randy Hultgren (R-14), and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-08).