Tricia Braid

Aug 04, 2017  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Locks and Dams |  Exports |  Legislation & Regulation

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) studied the condition of Locks and Dam #15 at Rock Island on the Mississippi River while aboard an educational barge tour sponsored by the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association.  


Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined other governmental officials today on an educational barge tour to experience firsthand the deteriorating condition of our nation’s inland waterways transportation systems. Moving bulk commodities on our river is the most economical, most efficient, and most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. In fact, each barge tow removes over 1,000 trucks from the roadways, freeing up that system for other uses. Senator Duckworth attended the 2-hour tour at the invitation of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. The educational barge tour was co-sponsored with the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

Senator Duckworth told the crowd that it was her first time to go through a lock, describing the experience as “amazing.”

“I really look forward to applying what I’ve learned today in my job in Washington,” Senator Duckworth said. Duckworth serves on about every relevant transportation committee, she explained.

“My goal is always to support economic development in everything going from Rock Island down to Cairo, Illinois, to make sure we have the adequate infrastructure,” the Senator affirmed.

Later, the Senator, in discussing the needed improvements to the locks and dams, recollected a conversation with the then unconfirmed Secretary Perdue, when she told the Secretary, “…back home our silos are full, our prices dropped, we’re trying to get this stuff to market, we just can’t get it down the Mississippi fast enough.”

“We’re really pleased that Senator Duckworth could make it to the educational barge tour,” said Bill Leigh, ICGA board member from Minonk. “We want to send a big thank you to the Senator and her staff for prioritizing this barge tour in their schedule.” Leigh, along with Tom Mueller and Mark Wilson of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, had some time to speak with the Senator at the conclusion of the tour to understand her takeaways and to follow-up on any questions.

Illinois Corn Growers Association’s ask of Congress and the Administration is to have the NESP (National Ecosystem Sustainability Program) funded so that the necessary upgrades and restoration of our locks and dams can move ahead.

Tell the members of the Illinois Congressional delegation to “lock it through” to get the money for locks and dams.