Foster visits Cambridge to receive ACTIVATOR endorsement from Farm Bureau

Sandy Hull
Representative Bill Foster, left, was named a friend of agriculture and endorsed by ACTIVATOR, the political involvement fund of the Illinois Agricultural Association. Congratulating him is Wayne Anderson of Geneseo, District 3 director for the Illinois Farm Bureau and ACTIVATOR trustee for Henry County. The announcement was made Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Henry County Farm Bureau office.

    ACTIVATOR, the political involvement fund of Illinois Agricultural Association, has named Representative Bill Foster, as a friend of agriculture, and is endorsing him for re-election.

    The announcement was made Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Henry County Farm Bureau by Wayne Anderson of Geneseo, District 3 director for the Illinois Farm Bureau and Activator trustee for Henry County.

    The Democrat from Batavia has been serving the 14th District of Illinois since March 2008.  The Illinois 14th is made up of parts of eight Northern Illinois counties and has a population of more than 650,000.

    ACTIVATOR committee chair Steve Pitstick says Rep. Foster has done an outstanding job since his election.

    “Congressman Foster has represented the agricultural interests in his district very well over the past 18 months,” Pitstick said.  “Being a businessman and a scientist, he understands agriculture and its inner workings,” said Pitstick.

    Pitstick also said Foster, a Harvard PhD., impressed the ACTIVATOR committee when he reached out to the agricultural community this summer.

    “During the August recess, he was on the farm, listening to our concerns.  He was very open and accessible,” said Pitstick.

    Illinois Agricultural Association, also known as Illinois Farm Bureau, is the state’s largest general farm organization with more than 426,000 members.

    Foster addressed those attending the meeting.

    “Good afternoon – it’s a pleasure to be with you today on this beautiful October day,” he said. “I can think of no better way to celebrate my 55th birthday and am delighted to spend it with farmers across the 14th District. I want to thank Wayne, the Illinois Farm Bureau District Director and ACTIVATOR Trustee for Henry County, for presenting me with this endorsement today. 

    “I am honored and privileged to accept the endorsement of the Illinois Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm organization.  In my short time in Congress, I’ve held Agricultural Roundtables across the district because I firmly believe that you can’t truly represent someone unless you listen to them.  And whether it is at a Roundtable event, in a one-on-one meeting in one of my offices or when I visit farmers in the 14th District, I am eager to listen to the concerns of the agricultural community and learn how I can best represent them in Congress.

    “These conversations help inform my decisions on important pieces of legislation – like the Farm Bill, which significantly impacts many of my constituents. 

    “I must say that I am proud of the work we have done and the things we have achieved together.  For example, when I learned of China’s unfounded and economically harmful decision to ban American pork products in the midst of the H1N1 scare, I used my background in science to inform others of this ill-advised move, and publicly criticized China’s ill-advised decision.  And I’m proud to say that this bad policy was eventually overturned.  And I voted against the Cap and Trade legislation because after analyzing the bill and hearing from area farmers, I was convinced that a more measured and thoughtful solution could have been presented, as the legislation I voted against would place a significant economic burden on our farmers.

    “One of the ongoing battles we’ve waged together is our fight to raise the ethanol blend wall.  As I’ve said before, I was deeply disappointed in the EPA for delaying the decision to increase the blend wall, as I do not believe there is a scientifically valid reason to postpone an ethanol blend increase.  And I will continue to work with the Illinois Farm Bureau until we succeed in getting the blend wall raised – even if it means leading a group to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and yelling, Madame Administrator – tear down that wall.

    “But seriously, I am deeply proud of this endorsement.  As a scientist and businessman turned Congressman, I value facts over ideology, and place the needs and concerns of my constituents above all else. Thank you for this recognition, and I look forward to continuing our work together.”

    Editor’s Note: After the meeting, Cambridge mayor James Crouch stopped by the Chronicle office and wondered if we knew Foster had an aerial picture of Cambridge hanging in his office in Washington, D.C.