Lawmaker tries to carve out higher profile for Illinois pumpkin industry

Hoping to highlight his district's role as the top pumpkin producing region in the nation, a state lawmaker from Tazewell County wants to make pumpkin pie the official state pie.

State Rep. Keith Sommer, R-Morton, introduced the legislation in anticipation of his hometown's annual pumpkin festival, which was held last weekend.

"I recognize we have much more serious business to do as a state. But in celebration of the festival, I thought it was appropriate," Sommer said Wednesday.

If approved, the official designation for pumpkin pie will join other state symbols, such as the official state snack food of popcorn.

Sommer said he enjoys a slice of pumpkin pie, primarily because he knows much of the canned pumpkin distributed in the U.S. is processed at the Nestle USA Libby's plant in Morton.

Read the entire story in the Pantagraph.