(505 ILCS 135/2) (from Ch. 5, par. 2652)
    Sec. 2. Findings. It is the intent of this Act to provide for funding of the developmental research program that serves production agriculture in Illinois. Illinois is blessed with some of the richest agricultural soils and the most favorable agricultural climate of any land area in the world of similar size. An economically competitive production agriculture in Illinois is essential to sustaining Illinois farmers plus a vast infrastructure of the State's input, processing, distribution and marketing industries and financial institutions and provides the economic base for many rural communities and municipalities.
    Production agriculture in Illinois faces rapidly growing competition for international markets, for which the basis of competition is cost of production. In order to compete effectively, agricultural producers in Illinois must be the early and most effective adapters of new productivity-enhancing, cost-cutting and quality-improving technology.
    In addition, in order to sustain a high level of agricultural production into the twenty-first century and beyond, it is critical to determine the optimum methods for production agriculture which result in the best return for the farm and best preserves the environment and the farmland of Illinois.
    The Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station's Office of Research and farm system are essential to conducting research that tests and compares promising new agricultural practices and products, selecting those that are most appropriate for Illinois, tailoring them to the specific agricultural conditions of Illinois and generating information that helps Illinois farmers assemble them into effective farming systems, thus achieving competitive advantages for Illinois.
    Tremendous numbers of new practices and products are becoming available because of increased public and private research around the world, and this rate of development will increase in the future, requiring a much stronger and more sophisticated adaptive research program. Research conducted in the research farm system permits Illinois to capture the economic benefits of worldwide agricultural research and product development.
    The State's investment in utilization and marketing research will have little benefit for the present and future of Illinois unless Illinois farmers are the low-cost producers of the raw materials for new food and non-food uses, use production methods which preserve the farmland and guarantee future productivity, and employ some of the utilization and marketing technologies which can be implemented on Illinois farms as efficient production practices.
(Source: P.A. 92-110, eff. 7-20-01.)