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SPRINGFIELD – In honor of National Farmers Day on October 12, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) and Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) are celebrating the hard work and dedication of local farmers and agricultural workers.

“While we appreciate and support farmers each and every day, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a new appreciation for the agriculture sector,” said Joyce, a fourth-generation farmer and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Today, we thank our farmers for their contributions to a healthier society and economy.”

On this day, Bennett and Joyce are encouraging people to show gratitude to farmers by supporting local farmers’ markets or making charitable donations to area farms.

“Farmers are passionate about the work they do, and this day is an opportunity to acknowledge the work of the men and women devoted to feeding our community,” said Bennett, who spends the harvest season helping out on his family's farm in Gibson City. “This is the perfect time to thank farmers young and old, past and present."

The lawmakers are also recognizing the dedicated animals that work alongside farmers every day and help them with daily tasks, such as plowing the field, transporting food and cultivating the soil, especially during the busy harvest season.

As harvest season progresses across the state and farmers face additional stressors, Bennett encourages farmers to sign up for a webinar to learn ways to manage stress. The webinar will be led by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development on Oct. 14 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. To register, visit tinyurl.com/harveststress.

Category: Press Releases

tapwater 030719SOUTH WILMINGTON – The Village of South Wilmington will receive $162,000 in funding to improve the community’s drinking water quality as part of this year’s state budget for capital infrastructure improvements, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced Thursday.

“Maintaining a clean, reliable supply of drinking water is crucial for our rural communities,” said Joyce. “This funding comes at a critical time as we continue to mitigate the public health and financial impacts of COVID-19. This investment puts our community on track toward a modernized water infrastructure.”

To make sure every resident has reliable access to safe, high quality water, the Village plans to use the funding to replace water valves, meters and ion exchange equipment. 

“The Village of South Wilmington is receiving $162,000 towards the rebuild of its water treatment plant to ensure safe drinking water for its residents for many years to come,” said South Wilmington Mayor Richard Alderson. “The Village is very appreciative of this funding as the unexpected cost was a severe hardship on the residents of South Wilmington.”

Category: Press Releases

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PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) encourages livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants suffering interruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for $5 million in business recovery funding through the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  

“There is no doubt that Illinois farmers have suffered as a result of this public health crisis,” said Joyce, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Our agriculture economy is a driving force for our state, and it’s vital that we help these folks get back on track. These programs are a huge win for livestock farmers and small meat plants in Illinois.”

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically slowed livestock processing throughout the state, which forced farmers to hold animals for longer periods of time, resulting in higher input costs and cancelled, delayed or reduced sales.

Financial assistance is available through three programs administered by the Department of Agriculture. Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area (DIA) will receive a 10% increase in funding. A list of DIA’s can be found here.

Online applications are available at agr.state.il.us. Applications will close on Oct. 31, 2020. Questions about this funding can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: News

Flu shot with maskPARK FOREST – As flu season nears, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging all Illinoisans, but especially older adults, to get a flu vaccine.

“Getting a flu shot this fall will be more important than ever as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Joyce said. “With flu season fast approaching, I am asking all residents to get a flu shot to help keep our community safe and healthy this winter.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, older adults and people with chronic health issues are more likely to develop serious complications resulting from an influenza infection. While flu seasons are variable in their severity, people 65 years and older tend to be the most vulnerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in adults 65 years and older.

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover one flu shot per flu season. It is always advisable to consult a health care provider before seeking medical treatment. Find a vaccine provider near you with Vaccine Finder.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217.782.7419

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270 Main St.
Park Forest, IL 60466
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