The tractor is the Friend of Agriculture award, given to Shimkus by the Illinois Farm Bureau’s political affiliate, ACTIVATOR.
The farm group is praising the Collinsville Republican for his work on crop insurance in the recent farm bill, and for his support of a bill passed in the House earlier this month to block the federal EPA from implementing proposed rules revising the definition of waterways covered by the Clean Air Act.
At the Farm Bureau office in Champaign, Shimkus said the EPA’s proposal goes beyond the intentions of the Clean Air Act, and expands the agency’s reach into farmers’ personal property.
“The federal government has the right to be involved in our waterways where there is navigation. And it does not have the right to be in our ditches and our streams and our ponds.”
Shimkus is running for re-election in Illinois’ 15th Congressional District against Democrat, Eric Thorsland, who says he also would have supported the bill blocking the EPA’s proposed waterways rules although he says Senate passage is unlikely.
Thorsland says the EPA should be a partner, not an enemy of agriculture and commerce and that he supports refining the waterway rules in a way that protects water quality without hurting farmers.