Macomb, IL – The United States Department of Agriculture is touting the amount of money it invests in western Illinois. The agency presented a ceremonial check for $36.5 million at Western Illinois University on Wednesday. The check is payable to the people of the 17th Congressional District. The USDA says the figure represents the amount it invested in the district last year. USDA Illinois Director Doug Wilson says the agency helped 350 families buy or improve their homes in the district last year. The money was also used for business development, healthcare, and other needs. Congressman Lane Evans (D-IL), Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs Director Chris Merrett, and WIU President Al Goldfarb were among those who attended the presentation.