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Illinois honors former state, US Secretary of Agriculture | KTIC Radio

Illinois honors former state, US Secretary of Agriculture

Illinois honors former state, US Secretary of Agriculture
Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole of Kansas, left and Agriculture Secretary John Block, center meet with Sen. David Boren, D-Okla., Thursday, Feb. 21, 1985 on Capitol Hill in Washington, attempting to reach agreement on an enhanced agricultural credit relief program. A filibuster by Boren and other farm state senators is blocking a vote on the nomination of Attorney General designate Edwin Meese III. Senate Democrats later rejected a Reagan administration proposal, vowing to continue their filibuster. (AP Photo/Scott Stewart)

Illinois is honoring a former state agriculture department director who also led the U.S. Department of Agriculture under President Ronald Reagan.

State officials on Monday unveiled a new plaque honoring John Block. It’s located inside the Agriculture Department building in Springfield, which has been designated the “John R. Block Building.”

Block grew up on a farm in Knox County, where he participated in 4-H and FFA and showed hogs at the Illinois State Fair.

He led the Illinois Department of Agriculture from 1977 to 1981, and was the only Illinois director to lead the federal department. He played a key role in the 1985 Farm Bill.

Block said he’s humbled by the recognition. He says his accomplishments have been a “labor of love for agriculture,” beginning with his Illinois roots.

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