WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Ag Director Happy with Budget

Good Hope, IL – Illinois Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke believes his department fared well in this year's state budget. The agency will get more than $100 million. Hartke says the budget includes more money for a program to teach children across the state about agriculture. He says most children live in urban areas and thus don't gain much exposure to the agriculture industry, which is directly or indirectly related to one out of every four jobs in the state. Hartke says one concern about the budget is the amount of money set aside for the Council on Food and Agricultural Research, or C-FAR. He says the state once allocated $15 million to C-FAR. Now the funding is down to $3.5 million. Hartke made his comments at the Conservation Expo in Good Hope.