Peoria's congressional representatives say a bipartisan effort has approved funding for Peoria's USDA Research Lab, which was slated for closure in the president's budget proposal.
Funding for the Peoria Agricultural Research Lab is now included in the agricultural appropriations bill after Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) joined forces with other members of the Illinois congressional delegation to secure funding for the lab, one of 17 such agricultural research facilities in the U.S.
“Our community’s advocacy has truly paid off today, with the agriculture appropriations bill containing full funding for the Peoria Ag lab. The USDA Research Lab in Peoria has accomplished incredible work over the years, which is why it was so critical that it receive the federal funding it needs to continue its work. I applaud the work of my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee for including full funding for the Peoria Ag lab and will continue to work alongside my colleague Rep. Bustos to ensure that this funding is maintained as Congress continues the appropriations process,” said LaHood in a press release.
“Fighting to grow our agricultural economy is one of my top priorities in Congress, and I’m proud to work across the aisle with Congressman LaHood and with local advocates to save federal funding for Peoria’s Agriculture Research Lab,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “For decades, this lab has kept Peoria at the center of innovation in our agricultural economy – they’ve developed technology that has benefitted our troops, our farmers and American consumers every single day. While our work is far from over, I’ll continue fighting to protect this lab from closure under President Trump’s budget.”
The facility in Peoria is perhaps best well known as the site where the mass production of penicillin was invented. The facility employs about 200 people.