SPRINGFIELD – February 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today named Bob Flider director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Today’s action is the latest in a series of appointments Governor Quinn has made as he continues to fulfill his commitment to creating jobs, fostering economic development, and increasing efficiency and accountability in all areas of state government.
“It is important that our Agriculture agency is led by someone who understands the key role of agri-business in our economy,” Governor Quinn said. "Throughout his career, Bob Flider was a tireless, effective leader for rural farming communities and global agri-business leaders. He served his district with distinction, and I am pleased he will continue to serve all the people of our state.”
Bob Flider served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2003 through 2011. As a legislator, Flider worked on a number of agriculture issues, serving on the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee, the Energy & Environment Committee and the Ethanol Production Oversight Committee. Flider also served as chairman of the House Electric Generation & Commerce Committee and vice chairman of the House Renewable Energy Committee. He was named an “Agriculture Certified Legislator” by the Illinois Farm Bureau in 2004, and he was named a “Friend of Agriculture” by the Illinois Farm Bureau in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
“Bob has a thorough understanding of the issues facing agriculture and agri-business, and he will be a strong advocate for all the state’s agricultural sectors as Director,” said Chris Olsen, Vice President of Community and Government Affairs at Tate & Lyle.
“After spending the last several years advocating for people in our farming communities and agribusiness, I look forward to continuing that work on a statewide level,” Flider said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this important position and I look forward to working closely with our state's agriculture and agribusiness leaders to help Governor Quinn double Illinois' exports by 2014.”
Flider brings a variety of management, agriculture and economic development experiences to the Department of Agriculture. Since March of 2011, he has been Director of Broadband Impact -- promoting technology access in rural Illinois communities -- at the not-for-profit Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He also serves on the board of directors for United Way of Illinois and is an associate member of the Macon County Farm Bureau. He is a past board Director of the Decatur-Macon County Economic Development Corporation and member of the Mt. Zion Chamber of Commerce. He served as mayor of Mt. Zion from 1995 until 2003, and started his career as a news reporter with the Mattoon Journal Gazette and Charleston Times-Courier.
Flider received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 1979. He resides in Mt. Zion with his wife, Jean. They have three adult children and one grandchild.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) regulates Illinois agribusiness to protect both producers and consumers of raw and processed agricultural products from mislabeled, contaminated or diseased commodities. Agency programs help to protect our state’s natural resources through regulatory oversight and financial incentives. The department also promotes Illinois agriculture by conducting state fairs, providing grant assistance to 4-H clubs, funding county fairs, marketing Illinois agricultural products and providing assistance to develop new, value-added agricultural ventures.