Illinois’ junior US Senator toured the USDA Ag Lab in Peoria Wed.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth is the latest political figure to tour the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, which is at risk of closing under President Trump's budget proposal.
Peoria's Agricultural Research Center is the largest such facility outside of the Washington D.C. area.
Duckworth says closing the Ag Lab would not only cost the jobs of the 200 to 300 scientists and support staff it employs, but it would also set back the agriculture-based scientific breakthroughs that happen there.
The Peoria lab developed the method to mass produce penicillin in 1941. Today the facility invents uses for agricultural commodities in industrial and food products. The Ag Lab also develops technology to improve environmental quality and provides technical support to federal regulatory agencies.
Peoria’s Democratic and Republican members of Congress toured the facility May 30. They are also urging the President and the Appropriations Committee to maintain funding for the Ag Lab.