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It is always a great experience welcoming foreign diplomats to Northwest Illinois. This afternoon I had the pleasure of hosting a group from ZIMBABWE who were here under the auspices of the US State Dept International Visitor Leadership Program. They were Mr. Obey Shava, Legal Practitioner; Mr. Kenneth Mtata, Zimbabwe Council of Churches; Loreen Sani, Combined Harare Residents Association; Claris Madhuku, Director Platform for Youth Development; Kurai Makumbe, Chief - Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission; Patience Zirima, Director Media Monitors; Gerald Matiba, Director, Christian Legal Society; and Wilson Nharingo, Director Zimbabwe Liberators Platform. After a great discussion on managing elections, and a visit to the Lincoln Douglas Debate Site, lunch of course at Union Dairy.

This afternoon I had the distinct honor and humbling privilege to present along with Senator Tim Bivins, Representative Tom Demmer and Congressman Adam Kinzinger - Illinois Senate Joint Resolution 34 honoring the life of Marine Lance Corporal Alec Catherwood, who at 19 years of age sacrificed his life in service to our freedom and was killed in combat in Afghanistan. To his parents, Kirk & Gretchen Catherwood and his entire family we are grateful for his honorable and faithful service to our nation.

Dixon… State Representatives Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), Tony McCombie (R-Savanna), and Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) urged prayers and community awareness following a brutal attack on a DCFS Child Protective Investigator at a child welfare check on Friday, September 29th in Carroll County.

The three legislators offered the following statement today:

“This tragic attack highlights the dangers faced by our child welfare officers every day and the profound need to continue to educate communities on eliminating violence, especially domestic violence.  Along with our fellow legislators, we offer our prayers to the family of the DCFS Investigator, as well as to her co-workers and fellow employees who are saving lives in Illinois’ child welfare system every day.  This is terribly frightening and traumatizing for all of our hardworking Child Protective Investigators, but this incident shows how important their work is in protecting children from violence and harm.”

Freeport…. State Representative Brian Stewart released the following statement in reaction to Governor Rauner signing HB 40: 
“Today Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 40, which provides taxpayer funding for abortions.  Using taxpayer money for abortions means that people who hold a sincere moral opposition to abortion will now be forced to pay for them, which essentially takes away choice for all my pro-life constituents,” said Rep. Stewart.  “In a time when Illinois has $15 billion in unpaid bills this is neither the time nor the place to start a new government program estimated to cost tens of millions of dollars.  Our state is facing unprecedented challenges, and this bill only adds to those challenges. ”  
Honored this afternoon to welcome to the Lamoreux Farms in Northwest Illinois a delegation from China to promote public private cooperation for Agriculture with Illinois farmers. 

The delegation was led by Mr. Lubiao ZHANG the Deputy Director General of the China Ministry of Agriculture. The team from China consisted of Mr. Weibing GU, Division Director of International Cooperation; Ms. Dian JIAO, Deputy Division Director; Mr. Chao LI, Deputy Division Director Ministry of Finance; Mr. Guomin ZHOU, Deputy Director General Agricultural Information Institute; and Ms. Yiwei YIN, Interpreter. 

The Illinois Beef Association was represented by Joni Bucher, President of the IBA Board of Governors and Reid Blossom, Executive Vice President. Lou,Sue & Nathan Lamoreux and John, Marilyn & Dan Lamoreux and their families and staff did an outstanding job and are just one of the many excellent representatives of Illinois Farming !!