NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – State Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, was one of a group of legislators from five states to gather at Farm Aid 2023, an annual music and food festival which was held last weekend. Also in attendance were more than 200 farmers, fishermen and advocates with whom Harper and the other legislators engaged in tours and discussions centered on farm issues and policy in the Midwest and throughout the U.S.

“Agriculture is and has always been the foundation of societies and economies across the globe and policies that govern it are vital,” Harper said. “In Illinois, around 75% of our total land area is under cultivation making agriculture by far our largest industry. That’s why opportunities like this, to learn more about advancements in the science and practice of agriculture, are so valuable.”

Harper is widely known in Springfield as a tireless advocate whose focus on food quality, nutrition, healthy food access and agricultural issues makes her one of the most influential voices on these topics in the state of Illinois. She chairs the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee in the Illinois General Assembly.

The legislative delegation to Farm Aid was organized by State Innovation Exchange (SiX), a nonpartisan advocacy group that supports state legislators who pursue novel and inventive policies. Harper spoke on a panel alongside musician Nathaniel Rateliff and farmer Greg Gunthorp about ways state legislatures and Congress can better support family farmers and food insecure residents.

“Farm country is the beating heart of Illinois as well as other states in the Midwest and farming forms the foundation of so many of our communities and a large part of our economy,” Harper said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to add what I’ve learned this year to our ongoing efforts to make sure hard working farm families can share in our increasing prosperity as we continue to move Illinois forward.”

Rep. Sonya HarperRep. Sonya Harper

6th District

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