IL Ag Director: “We remain committed to conservation”

The Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture says the administration remains committed to conservation despite funding cuts in the next state budget.

Jerry Costello says the funding to soil & water conservation districts decreased due to a lack of specific action in the General Assembly.

“There’s always been what’s called a ‘member initiative’ that’s given the extra monies.”  He says “There wasn’t a ‘member initiative’ that brought those extra monies this year and that’s something that whether a member of the House, a member of the Senate, they would choose to come together and work on it.”

He tells Brownfield the administration continues to invest in conservation.

“Like our conservation planners that we have here in the state of Illinois.”  He says, “We took $3.5 million of state funds and accessed about $9.4 million of federal funds to put towards boots on the ground conservation planners.”

Costello also says an increase in the FY25 budget for the “Fall Covers for Springs Savings” program is another example of the administration’s commitment to agriculture.

AUDIO: Illinois Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello

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