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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2001

Drummer Silty Clay Loam Designated Illinois State Soil

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed legislation naming Drummer Silty Clay Loam the official state soil of Illinois.

"Illinois has some of the best crop-producing land on earth thanks to our dark, rich soils," Gov. Ryan said. "This legislation pays homage to our agricultural heritage and to the land that has supported our farmers, our food processors and all of the nearly 25 percent of our workforce whose livelihood is tied to agriculture."

The effort to name an official state soil has been spearheaded by Illinois members of the Future Farmers of America, especially the FFA chapters in Monticello and at the Chicago High School for Agriculture Science who secured House and Senate sponsorship of the bill (HB 605). The bill is effective immediately.

"It is important that Illinois residents understand the importance of our soils to the economic health of this state," said Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Joe Hampton. "Designating a state soil will bring more public attention to the importance of conserving our rich, crop producing soils."

Drummer soils were first identified in Ford County in 1929. It is named for Drummer Creek in Drummer Township, where the soil was first identified. Drummer Silty Clay Loam is the most common of the rich, black soils that cover Illinois and provide some of the highest yielding corn and soybean acres in the country. Drummer soils cover more than 1.5 million acres in Illinois.

The legislation was sponsored by Representative Tom Dart, D-Chicago, and Senator Duane Noland, R-Blue Mound.


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