Bennett promotes new grants to support dairy farmers

dairy 063020CHAMPAIGN - To support dairy farmers and dairy-related businesses with financial and technical support, Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is promoting the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA). 

DBIA, a joint effort coordinated by the Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, was designed to support and promote the diversification and addition of value-added products to the Midwest dairy industry.

Goals of the program include increasing on-farm diversification, creating value-added dairy products, such as specialty cheeses, and focusing on export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products.

“These grants are designed to foster innovation,” Senator Bennett said. “It’s my hope this program can be used to improve the future for dairy farmers and processors.”

The grant application period is now open. Funds totaling $220,000 will be disbursed and awarded with individual projects receiving up to $20,000. The deadline to complete and return applications is Aug. 14. Selected producers and business owners will be notified on Sept. 4.

For questions or additional information, call DBIA at 608-265-1491 or visit

Bennett encourages residents to go paperless with vehicle renewal notice

online license renew 062920CHAMPAIGN – In an effort to be more eco-friendly, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging residents to sign up for the secretary of state’s Email Renewal Notice program.  

During the pandemic, facilities expanded their online driver’s services to continue to provide essential services to vehicle owners. Through the Email Renewal Notice program, vehicle owners will receive email notices highlighting the upcoming vehicle expiration date of their vehicle and have a more mobile customer experience. 

“This program is an easy and convenient alternative to paper statements,” Bennett said. “One of the great benefits of this program is to help reduce paper and conserve resources. It’s also one less item with personal information sitting in your mailbox.”

To register for the program, vehicle owners will need their assigned registration ID and PIN, which can be found on their current vehicle registration card. For those who do not have a renewal notice, they are encouraged to call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980 to obtain their Registration ID and PIN.

For additional information, please visit the secretary of state’s website at


Bennett to host virtual Phase 4 town hall

bennett 031020CHAMPAIGN – A virtual town hall to share information about Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, hosted by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and a panel of experts, will take place Thursday, June 25.

Bennett and the panel of experts want to hear people’s concerns related to the reopening plan. The panelists will provide information and answer constituent questions on Bennett’s Facebook page at 6 p.m.

“A lot has been learned since the pandemic first started” Bennett said. “All four regions of the state are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on June 26. This town hall is a great opportunity to learn what’s new in this stage of our state’s recovery and get your questions answered.”

Community members can submit their questions during the live broadcast in the comments of the livestream or prior to the event at

Panelists include, Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Dr. Janet Jokola of University of Illinois College of Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Robert Healy of Carle Adult Medicine and University of Illinois Clinical Associate Professor, and Mike DeLorenzo, the  University of Illinois’ Senior Associate Chancellor for Administration and Operations. 

For questions or additional information, Bennett urges residents to contact his office at 217-355-5252 or visit

Nominations sought for Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

fishing 062320CHAMPAIGN – To celebrate Illinoisans that demonstrate exemplary service to conservation in Illinois, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging area residents to submit a nomination for the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s (ICF) 2020 Outdoor Hall of Fame.

Since 2002, the ICF has recognized people who have records of commendable service and commitments to improving conservation efforts and outdoor recreation opportunities in Illinois.

“Outdoor enthusiasts play a key role in protecting our public lands and the outdoor experiences they provide,” Bennett said. “I encourage residents to nominate a person who has devoted their time, energy and passion for the outdoors in a way that preserves and enhances these spaces for generations to come.” 

Past inductees have led efforts to preserve and enhance fish and wildlife habitat, to protect and restore Illinois’ lakes and rivers, participated on the national and international stages in conservation advocacy, and provided resources for thousands of youth and adults to enjoy fishing, hunting, conservation and safety education.

Nominations must be submitted by July 8, 2020 on the official Hall of Fame Nomination form, which is available at a link on the ICF website:

For more information, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation at 217-785-2003 or visit

Sen. Scott Bennett

Senator Scott Bennett

52nd Senate District

Years served: 2015 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Chairperson); Appropriations II; Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Higher Education; Labor; State Government; Subcommittee on Capital (AP).

Biography: Bennett grew up in Gibson City, where four generations of his family worked on their family farm. He moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend law school at the University of Illinois after graduating from Illinois State University.

Associated Representatives:
Carol Ammons
Michael T. Marron