- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 19, 2019

MATTOON, Ill. (AP) - Illinois’ new agriculture director says rural economic development and increasing broadband access are among his top priorities.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan spoke Monday to Rotary Club members in Mattoon. The farmer and former Democratic state senator from Rushville has had the position for about two months. He was appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Mattoon Journal-Gazette reports that Sullivan said he will advocate for the new state budget to include money to help improve rural broadband service, which he calls “spotty at best.” He says money also is needed for “river, road and rail” improvements to help farmers move their crops to processors.

Sullivan also focused on creating jobs. He says he believes “agriculture is where the future is in regard to job creation.”

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Information from: Mattoon Journal-Gazette, http://www.jg-tc.com

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