Harvest is getting going in the 104th with an immense rush to the finish line. In between my State Rep duties, I have been trying my best to get out on the combine a little bit and help on the farm. Despite the tough weather this summer, the corn yields have been decent to this point.
This season has been tough, but the season has shown the true testament to the great job Illinois Farmers do producing our crops and the excellent genetic technology that our Agriculture companies continue to produce. The free enterprise system continues to push technological advancement that helps improve the bottom line on the farm while doing so in a way that is conscious of the environment and future challenges that we will face.
The soybean yields we have seen have taken a hit this season. A combination of a very late spring and an extremely hot and dry July and August took its toll on Soybean yields. It has been a challenging year on the farm, but harvest is off to a good start and hopefully it will be productive for our Illinois Farmers.
It was an honor to be invited as the guest speaker for the Illinois Association of Graduate Schools event in Champaign this week. It was an interesting dialogue about what the opportunities and challenges were for Graduate Schools in the State for the future. Despite challenges and competition with surrounding states, I do believe we are making the right investments in our Colleges and Universities that if utilized correctly can help the State for years to come. Last week I mentioned, and I want to reiterate how proud I am of the cutting-edge technological advancements that are happening in research right here in the 104th District.
On Wednesday, we held my first sponsored Women and Minority Owned Business Expo at Danville Area Community College. We had 19 entrepreneurs attend our inaugural and successful event! The idea of the event was to get some publicity for our hard working, risk taking neighbors here in the 104th district! All of them have put their skills, time and effort into their businesses in our area, and I wanted to link them up with information and resources from State and local agencies that can help them be successful.
The stories of the dreams and aspirations of these business owners are truly inspiring. The stories included a local barber, Terry G, who brought a national barber contest to Danville. Then there was William who brings his catering expertise all around town and is determined to bring a sit down BBQ restaurant to Danville, and Briana who plans to open a commercial kitchen for her baking business. These individuals are all determined to be successful and I am sure you will be hearing more about them in the future! Thank you to all those who attended and helped plan this wonderful event!
This week was a microcosm of what all we offer in the 104th and it reminds me how lucky I am to be your Representative. The 104th is home to some of the best farmers in the world, we have institutions that can provide a world class education, and we have young, ambitious businesspeople determined to be successful no matter what challenges they face. I am very proud to represent this constituency.