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IL Corn Celebrates Groundbreaking for Lock 25 Upgrades
Illinois Ag Connection - 05/23/2023

The Illinois corn community is celebrating a significant milestone as they gather to commemorate the groundbreaking ceremony for Lock 25 upgrades. This achievement marks a pivotal moment in fortifying the state's agricultural infrastructure and ensuring the competitiveness of Illinois corn farmers in the global market.

Through collaborative efforts with the Waterways Council, Inc. and various coalition members, corn farmers have garnered crucial support for the improvement of river infrastructure. The MidAmerica Carpenters Regional Council has played a vital role in advocating for the job opportunities that this project will generate. Conservation groups have also joined forces to emphasize the importance of environmental restoration in tandem with infrastructure enhancements.

Matt Rush, President of the IL Corn Growers Association and a Fairfield farmer, expressed his elation on behalf of corn farmers across the state. Their unwavering commitment, from participating in barge tours to engaging with elected officials and lobbying Congress, has finally resulted in tangible progress.

Illinois, being the nation's largest corn exporting state, heavily relies on its river system for efficient transportation. The groundbreaking ceremony for Lock 25 upgrades signifies a crucial step towards rectifying the issues plaguing locks and dams. This modernization endeavor will not only enhance the corn farmers' global competitiveness but also promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

The IL Corn Managing Director, Jim Tarmann, highlighted the projected benefits of upgrading all seven locks, including increased efficiency and improved profitability for farmers. The collaboration between farmers and the Carpenter's Union, as emphasized by former IL Corn and National Corn Growers Association leader Garry Niemeyer, underscores the shared goals of facilitating grain movement and generating employment opportunities.

This groundbreaking ceremony signifies the Illinois corn industry's dedication to bolstering river transportation and fostering long-term prosperity for corn farmers. With a resilient spirit and continued advancements, Illinois is poised to strengthen its agricultural foundation and secure a sustainable future.

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