If you like to eat, you should like Illinois

More food passes through the Prairie State than any other state in the nation, according to a new study published by University of Illinois Professor Megan Konar. She contends that Illinois is the most critical hub in US domestic food transportation.

Nearly 20 percent of the food Americans eat moves through Illinois – more than 70 million tons per year. That’s enough to keep everyone who lives in the state eating for five and a half years.

As the Food and Agricultural Roadmap for Illinois partnership points out, Illinois has many unique competitive advantages that have turned it into one of the world’s major food hubs. Its fertile soil means it is one of the top states in corn and soybean production every year, and it is the world’s largest producer of several specialty crops.

The state also ranks first in food processing sales and is home to CME – the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace.

Another key factor in Illinois’ position as a global food hub is its access to extensive transportation networks, including more than 1,400 miles of navigable waterways, the world’s busiest airport, more than 2,000 miles of interstate highway and every Class 1 railroad that operates in the United States. The partnership is working on a plan to help make sure Illinois holds onto this important economic position in the 21st century.

Illinois-educated YouTube founder reinvests in home state

Steve Chen, one of the co-founders of YouTube is helping make sure that Illinois stays at the forefront of education and technology by investing $1 million in the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

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In a report largely overlooked when it was published on December 30, a Vox.com story analyzed the U.S. Labor Department’s year-to-year unemployment rate changes for metro areas. The total U.S. unemployment rate shrank 1.1 percentage points. The ten metro areas with the fastest-shrinking unemployment rates ranged from 2.8 to 4.3 point improvements.

Illinois claims four of the top five spots. Decatur leads with 4.3, along with Danville’s 4.1, Kankakee-Bradley’s and Rockford’s tie at 3.3 point drops.

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Illinois is home to many culinary traditions, from deep-dish pizza in Chicagoland, horseshoes in Central Illinois to barbecue in Southern Illinois.

Illinois is also home to many other diverse culinary traditions, thanks to the influx of residents from all over the world who have made Illinois home.

Sergio De Los Santos opened Sergio’s Cantina in Geneva eight years ago with his wife, Lindsey.

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