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State Dept. of Ag. to Honor Former Director

The Illinois Department of Agriculture plans to honor former agriculture director and former U.S. Agriculture Secretary John Block.

The agency said on Wednesday, April 17, that it plans to dedicate a plaque with Block's likeness on Monday morning at the Illinois Department of Agriculture building in Springfield. Block served as U.S. Agriculture Secretary under President Reagan from 1981 to 1986.

He was born in Gilson in west-central Illinois in 1935 and graduated from West Point. After serving in the Army he returned to his family farm, which had expanded from 300 to 3,000 acres.

He was appointed to lead the state agriculture department in 1977 under then-Illinois Governor Jim Thompson.