(20 ILCS 690/2) (from Ch. 5, par. 2252)
    Sec. 2. Findings and declaration of policy. The General Assembly hereby finds, determines and declares:
    (a) That Illinois is a state of diversified economic strength and that an important economic strength in Illinois is derived from rural business production and the agribusiness industry;
    (b) That the Illinois rural economy is in a state of transition, which presents a unique opportunity for the State to act on its growth and development;
    (c) That full and continued growth and development of Illinois' rural economy, especially in the small towns and farm communities, is vital for Illinois;
    (d) That by encouraging the development of diversified rural business and agricultural production, nonproduction and processing activities in Illinois, the State creates a beneficial climate for new and improved job opportunities for its citizens and expands jobs and job training opportunities;
    (e) That in order to cultivate strong rural economic growth and development in Illinois, it is necessary to proceed with a plan which encourages Illinois rural businesses and agribusinesses to expand business employment opportunities through diversification of business and industries, offers managerial, technical and financial assistance to or on behalf of rural businesses and agribusiness, and works in a cooperative venture and spirit with Illinois' business, labor, local government, educational and scientific communities;
    (f) That dedication of State resources over a multi-year period targeted to promoting the growth and development of one or more classes of diversified rural products, particularly new agricultural products, is an effective use of State funds;
    (g) That the United States Congress, having identified similar needs and purposes has enacted legislation creating the United States Department of Agriculture/Farmers Home Administration Non-profit National Finance Corporations Loan and Grant Program and made funding available to the states consistent with the purposes of this Act.
    (h) That the Illinois General Assembly has enacted "Rural Revival" and a series of "Harvest the Heartland" initiatives which create within the Illinois Finance Authority a "Seed Capital Fund" to provide venture capital for emerging new agribusinesses, and to help coordinate cooperative research and development on new agriculture technologies in conjunction with the Agricultural Research and Development Consortium in Peoria, the United States Department of Agriculture Northern Regional Research Laboratory in Peoria, the institutions of higher learning in Illinois, and the agribusiness community of this State, identify the need for enhanced efforts by the State to promote the use of fuels utilizing ethanol made from Illinois grain, and promote forestry development in this State; and
    (i) That there is a need to coordinate the many programs offered by the State of Illinois Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Natural Resources, and the Illinois Finance Authority that are targeted to agriculture and the rural community with those offered by the federal government. Therefore it is desirable that the fullest measure of coordination and integration of the programs offered by the various state agencies and the federal government be achieved.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)