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Quigley Goes “Undercover” as a Corn Farmer

Oct 5, 2015
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) went “undercover” as a corn farmer on Steve Ruh’s farm in Sugar Grove, Illinois. Mr. Ruh is a member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, which advocates on behalf of corn producers at the local, state and national level.

“Illinois is blessed to have some of the most productive soil for growing corn and soy beans in the world, helping produce many common products like cooking oil, livestock feed, bakery products and more,” said Rep. Quigley. “I greatly appreciate Steve for inviting me out to his farm today to learn firsthand all of the hard work that goes into harvesting one of Illinois’ greatest assets.”

Rep. Quigley’s visit included a tour of Mr. Ruh’s farm, facilities, and equipment used for modern corn production, including combine preparations and harvesting corn. Rep. Quigley and Mr. Ruh discussed the newly penned Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will help grow the agriculture industry in the United States. Currently, agriculture exports support over one million jobs throughout the country, and in Illinois more than 40 percent of the state’s farm agriculture products are sold overseas. They also discussed Rep. Quigley’s work on the appropriations committee and the need to fund lock and dam upgrades on the Illinois and Mississippi River in order to move goods across the country. 

"We really appreciate Congressman Quigley for taking time out of his busy schedule to gain a better understanding of the corn industry,” said Jim Tarmann, Field Services Director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “It's difficult to articulate how complex and technical harvest equipment is, not to mention the investment producers have in the equipment required to do the job, so giving the congressman this hands on experience was our pleasure."


Rep. Quigley (center) talked with Steve Ruh (L), farm owner, and Jim Tarmann (R), Illinois Corn Growers Association Field Services Director, about corn production in Illinois

Rep. Quigley (L) discussed field equipment with farmer Steve Ruh (R).

Steve Ruh grew up on the farm in Sugar Grove, Illinois, which his father bought in 1968. Around 75 percent of the farm is dedicated to corn production and harvesting, but the farm also grows soy beans, wheat and alfalfa. Most of the crops end up in food products like corn syrup and corn starch.

Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a grassroots membership organization with 5,000 members. ICGA works to constantly improve the business climate along with the regulatory and policy environment for corn production at the local, state and national level. Examples of ICGA efforts include: distribution of educational materials such as the Captain Cornelius comic books, grocery store and service station promotions, educational exhibits at state and county fairs, and working with statewide media on issues like ethanol.

Rep. Quigley’s “Undercover Congressman” series connects him with constituents at their place of employment to better understand the daily challenges they face in their industry and community. Since taking office in 2009, Rep. Quigley has performed a wide range of jobs as an Undercover Congressman, including cleaning animal pens as a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo, packaging beer and cleaning tanks at Half Acre Brewery, pouring metal at a local metal refinery and delivering mail with the United States Post Office.