Thursday, April 29, 2004

April 28, 2004

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Trent Loos
Faces of Agriculture
(970) 481-1389
trent@loostales.com


Illinois budget cuts putting local farm families in jeopardy

Springfield, Ill. – Drivers in the Springfield area can now see a mobile, visual reminder that their state’s largest industry -- and the people responsible for feeding this country -- faces serious jeopardy at the hands of their government leaders.

Faces of Agriculture, a national non-profit organization, has purchased one of 12 rotating billboards on the innovative Gotcha Mobile Media Truck, which travels Springfield’s streets reminding residents of the importance of food production in Illinois.

Agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry in Illinois that employs one out of four workers statewide, and Faces of Agriculture’s mural displays a farm scene, the group’s Web site (www.facesofag.com) and slogan, “Securing our future in food production.”

“My family has farmed in Illinois since 1852, but that may be coming to an end,” said Trent Loos, Faces of Ag founder. “Consumers need to realize the value of having their food grown right here in Illinois. If we have to rely on imported food someday, the quality and safety of our food supply could be compromised.”

Loos noted that Illinois farmers have traditionally passed their land and their lifestyle to the next generation. However, the ability of future generations to feed the world from Illinois farmland is in danger, thanks to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s proposed budget cuts, which include dissolving the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research and eliminating tax breaks for farm machinery fuel.

The impact of such cuts could end up eliminating entire farms in Illinois, Loos said, forcing consumers to rely more on imported foods, which are not produced under the quality control standards required by the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Springfield area residents are urged to contact their legislators and Gov. Blagojevich to protect an industry that is a mainstay in the state and essential for U.S. national security.

For more information, visit www.FacesofAg.com or call (970) 481-1389. For more information about Gotcha Mobile Media, contact Rob Tedrow at (217) 753-2000.

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Faces of Agriculture is a non-profit organization with the mission of returning the human element to food production in America.

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