CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named a new leader of the Farm Service Agency Illinois State Committee. Jill Appell of Altona, Illinois, farms in Knox County. She’s a past president of the National Pork Producers Council and the Illinois Pork Producers Association. Appell also has served as the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Illinois State Director for Rural Development. In a news release Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Appell has decades of experience in rural and agricultural issues. Durbin says he’s confident she’ll “shine” in her new position. The Farm Service Agency helps administer federal farm programs at the local level. They include programs to help farmers conserve land and water resources and to help them recover from disasters. Appell replaces Darrell Sarff, a grain and vegetable farmer from Chandlerville.