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EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Illinois Farm Bureau

Contact Information: 
Denise Fortin (

For Immediate Release: No. No. 20-OPA-31

DECATUR (Oct. 27, 2020) – During a farm visit in Decatur today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert, Jr. that commits to continuing collaborative efforts that recognize agricultural environmental stewardship through improved communications and outreach.

Rep. Rodney Davis joined Regional Administrator Thiede to tour Brown and Brown Farms in Decatur to get a firsthand look at its operations and conservation practices and talk to farmers about initiatives they are implementing to protect water quality and soil health.

“The agriculture industry plays a vital role to the health of the region’s economy and environment. This MOU strengthens this Administration’s commitment to partnering with the agricultural community,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. "We look forward to continuing our work together to further support our farmers while protecting the environment, providing a win-win for the State of Illinois.”

“Illinois Farm Bureau members appreciated the opportunity to host U.S. EPA Region 5 staff and Congressman Davis for a roundtable discussion regarding conservation efforts within the agricultural community at the field, county and watershed scales,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert, Jr. “Our farmers hold these farm visits in high regard as each one proves to be a valuable conversation demonstrating both parties’ commitment to improving the environment. Additionally, we are excited to formally enhance our ongoing collaboration with U.S. EPA Region 5 through today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. We look forward to expanding our collaborative activities toward our shared goal through this voluntary partnership.”

"Central Illinois has some of the best farmland in the entire world," said U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis. "Good conservation practices are vital to maintaining the high level of productivity of that farmland while also protecting against soil erosion and nutrient loss. That's why conservation is good for both the environment and any farmer's bottom line. I'm proud to support conservation programs in Congress and appreciate the collaborative efforts of the EPA and Farm Bureau on this important issue."

The MOU between EPA and the Illinois Farm Bureau commits to improved communication, education, outreach, and training of agricultural practices that are economically viable while also benefitting the environment over the next 5 years. Agriculture is a top priority at EPA; agreements such as the MOU signed today are critical for keeping lines of communication with agricultural producers open and engaging more effectively with the agricultural community.

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