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September 2, 1999

Ryan Helps Southern Illinois Farming Industry With $10 Million Boost For Aquaculture

DUQUOIN - Governor George H. Ryan today announced the state is bolstering its efforts to help the fish farming industry with $10 million in grants through the Illinois Aquaculture Development Fund.

"During the next 10 years, the fund will help the fish farming and processing industry to compete with other established, out-of-state fish farming operations," Ryan said.

"I believe aquaculture is a viable and sustainable industry that will provide a livelihood for Southern Illinois farmers."

Ryan announced the funding while visiting the Illinois Fish Farmers Cooperative tent at the DuQuoin State Fair. The governor signed legislation last month authorizing the funding for fish farming because of its benefits and profitable use of unused strip mine ponds, river bottoms, and clay soil prevalent in Southern Illinois. Several area legislators attended the announcement, along with State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, a long-time supporter of aquaculture development, and Tom Denton, President of the Illinois Fish Farmers Co-op.

The Co-op predicts 150 jobs will be created when the plant is fully operational. Jobs will also be created in support industries such as trucking and feed production.

The Department of Agriculture, University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service and Southern Illinois University are also providing information and assistance to the Co-op.


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