Ill. legislator Raymond Poe is new agriculture director

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Springfield farmer who’s served in the Illinois House of Representatives for 20 years is Governor Bruce Rauner (ROW’-nur)’s choice for director of the Department of Agriculture.

Rauner announced Friday that Republican Raymond Poe will direct farm policy in a state that is a leading producer of corn, soybeans and swine.

The 71-year-old Poe replaces Philip Nelson, who with Illinois State Fair Director Patrick Buchen (BYOO’-shin) resigned abruptly in September, shortly after the August fair.

Poe, elected to the House in 1994, is the ranking Republican on the Occupational Licenses Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture and Conservation other committees.

The lifelong farmer runs Poe’s Catering with his son, Lance, and serves fried chicken to legislators and staff one day each spring.