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Agriculture Director Poe OK after falling during state fair ribbon cutting

State Journal Register

Friday, August 11, 2017  |  Article  |  Staff and wire reports

Agriculture (2) , State Fair, Fairs

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe said he is OK after taking a tumble during Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Illinois State Fair.

Poe was standing in a line with Gov. Bruce Rauner, Mayor Jim Langfelder and several other officials holding the blue ribbon in front of the Main Gate as Rauner clipped the ribbon.

As the crowd applauded, Poe turned around and apparently lost his balance and fell backward.

He was conscious, sitting up and appeared alert as medical personnel examined him. Rauner stayed with Poe until a golf cart arrived to drive Poe away. As he was departing, he told a State Journal-Register reporter he was OK.

Later in the day, Poe was at Lincoln Park for the start of the Twilight Parade. He rode in a golf cart during the 1.5-mile procession. He said he didn’t hit his head when he fell, but he was a little sore.

“It was that electric cord. I just hooked my heel on it,” Poe said.

Poe, 73, a lifelong farmer, was tapped by Rauner to be Ag director in 2015. Prior to that, he served as a state representative for the Springfield area since 1995. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, was appointed to take Poe’s seat in the House.