Former Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., joined the American Association of Crop Insurers Monday as an adviser to its board of directors. She will work with former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who currently serves as a board adviser, to guide AACI’s 2023 farm bill strategy.

“The last farm bill was a success because it was bipartisan, and Cheri Bustos and Mike Conaway together will play a critical role in crafting a bipartisan approach to strengthening the crop insurance program,” AACI Chairman Grant Adams said in a release.

Bustos was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and served for five terms representing Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, choosing not to run for re-election in 2022. While in the House, Bustos served on the House Agriculture Committee and was the chair of the subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. 

In 2020, Bustos and current House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa., launched the Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus.

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Bustos also held powerful roles in Democratic leadership, serving as co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee during her last term in Congress and co-chairing the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee for two years. She co-authored a report in 2021 advising her fellow Democrats how to win elections in rural areas that backed former President Donald Trump.

In a statement, Bustos said it “became clear to me early in my congressional career how important the federal crop insurance program is to producers across the country” and that she looked forward to working with Conaway and AACI “to help new and returning members of Congress understand the importance of crop insurance.”

In January, Mercury, a global, bipartisan public strategy firm, announced that Bustos had joined the firm as co-chair of its D.C. office and head of the firm’s team in her home state. In a release, Mercury said she would divide her time between operations in Chicago, Springfield and Washington, D.C. 

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