“Our veterans selflessly served our nation, protecting our country and defending our freedoms. This meeting is about giving the veteran community in my district a platform to voice their concerns, ask their questions and provide insight into the needs of our service members,” said Fowler. “My goal from this meeting is to be a stronger advocate for our military personnel and their families, and the way to achieve this is through reaching out and encouraging a discussion about the challenges facing veterans.”
Topics covered during the meeting include, the Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois program, the Southern Illinois Made Expo, legislation impacting Illinois’ veterans, PTSD prevention and suicide awareness, updates on the Veterans with a Smile program and the Vets for Vets program, and other topics impacting the veterans of Southern Illinois.
In other news, as many throughout Southern Illinois know, the recent rain fall has had a major impact on the region. Farmers have been especially impacted due to continued wet weather throughout the spring and into June.
Because of weather conditions, Illinois farmers have struggled to get their crops planted on time. According to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), only 73 percent of the Illinois corn crop has been planted. By comparison, the state corn crop was considered 100 percent planted by the same date in each of the three previous years. Soybeans progress hasn’t fared well either, with the state crop only at 49 percent planted, compared to 96 percent at the same time last year.
According to Bill Graff, Executive Director of the Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA), which is part of the USDA, for the majority of Illinois farmers, corn must been planted by June 5 and soybeans by June 20 to receive full federal crop insurance coverage. After those dates, coverage drops to lower levels.
Graff also noted that the county USDA emergency boards are currently working to send information and statistics to the Illinois USDA Farm Service Agency, so that the state USDA emergency board can meet and develop a recommendation for a potential disaster declaration.
With the spring legislative session wrapped up, Senators are back in the district meeting with constituents, working on local issues, and hosting events in their district.
Senator Fowler has a number of events scheduled for the summer including:
Senator Fowler’s first-ever Kids Fishing Derby on July 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the John A. Logan College Pond
Senator Fowler’s Carbondale Senior Fair on July 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center
Senator Fowler’s annual Southern Illinois Made Expo on July 27 and July 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pavilion in Marion