PART 760 ILLINOIS RIVERS-FRIENDLY FARMER PROGRAM : Sections Listing

TITLE 8: AGRICULTURE AND ANIMALS
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
SUBCHAPTER q: SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION
PART 760 ILLINOIS RIVERS-FRIENDLY FARMER PROGRAM


AUTHORITY: Authorized by Section 25 of the Illinois Rivers-Friendly Farmer Program Act [505 ILCS 106/25].

SOURCE: Adopted at 26 Ill. Reg. 8820, effective June 7, 2002.

 

Section 760.110 Purpose

 

The purpose of the Illinois Rivers-Friendly Farmer Program is to promote farming practices that benefit rivers while maintaining farm profitability and to inform the public about farmers' contributions to cleaning up the rivers of Illinois. [505 ILCS 106/10]

 

Section 760.120 Applicability

 

This Part shall apply to all applicants seeking to be designated and recognized by the State of Illinois as a "Rivers-Friendly Farmer".

 

Section 760.130 Severability

 

If any Section, subsection, sentence or clause of this Part is judged invalid, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of this Part as a whole or any Section, subsection, sentence or clause of this Part not judged invalid.

 

Section 760.140 Definitions

 

Except as stated in this Section, or unless a different meaning of a word or term is clear from the context, the definition of the words or terms in this Part shall be the same as that applied to the same words or terms in the Act.

 

"Act" means the Illlinois Rivers-Friendly Farmer Program Act [505 ILCS 106].

 

"Agricultural Area" means an area of land approved by a county board as an agricultural area as authorized under the Agricultural Areas Conservation and Protection Act [505 ILCS 5].

 

"Agricultural Land" means land in farms regularly used for agricultural production; all land devoted to crop or livestock enterprises, for example, farmstead lands, drainage and irrigation ditches, water supply, cropland, grazing land, and government set-aside land.

 

"Applicant" means a farmer who has submitted a written application to obtain the "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" designation.

 

"Department" means the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

 

"CPP" means the Conservation 2000-Conservation Practices Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

 

"CREP" means the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, jointly administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the State of Illinois.

 

"CRP" means the Conservation Reserve Program, jointly administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency.

 

"EQIP" means the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

"Farm Conservation Plan" means the properly recorded decisions of a cooperating landowner or tenant on how he or she plans to use land according to the land's needs for maintenance or improvement of the soil, water and related natural resources.

 

"Illinois Rivers" means all rivers, streams, creeks, tributaries, and drainage areas in the State of Illinois.

 

"NRCS" means the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture.

 

"SWCD" means a Soil and Water Conservation District, functioning under the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts Act [70 ILCS 405].

 

"T values" means the tolerable soil loss levels as specified by the State Erosion and Sediment Control Guidelines (8 Ill. Adm. Code 650.20).

 

"Vegetative Filter Strip" means a strip or area of permanent herbaceous vegetation situated between cropland, grazing land, or disturbed land and environmentally sensitive areas.

 

Section 760.150 Submittal of Written Application "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" Designation

 

a) In accordance with Section 15 of the Illinois Rivers-Friendly Farmer Program Act [505 ILCS 106/15], a farmer seeking the "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" designation may submit a written application to the Department. The application shall be made on forms prescribed by the Department. Application forms shall be made available at each local SWCD office or at the Department.

 

b) Completed application forms shall be signed by the applicant and provide the following information:

 

1) Applicant name and address;

 

2) Applicant telephone number;

 

3) Legal description of all the land areas included in the present farm upon which the application is based;

 

4) Certification statement from the applicant that all the soil loss on all cropland areas included in the present farm is at or below the tolerable soil loss levels (T values);

 

5) Certification statement from the applicant that an approved farm conservation plan is on file at the local SWCD;

 

6) Certification statement from the applicant that, if the farm has a vegetative filter adjacent to a body of water, the strip was constructed in accordance with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Guide; and

 

7) Evidence of participation in various conservation-related programs, including, but not limited to, the CRP, CREP, EQIP, or Conservation 2000 CPP, or the farm's cropland is located either wholly or partially within an established Agricultural Area.

 

c) All farmland in Illinois is eligible for the Illinois Rivers- Friendly Farmer Program.

 

Section 760.160 Application Fees "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" Designation

 

The Department shall collect an administrative filing fee of $15 for each written application submitted, in accordance with Section 30 of the Act. In addition, the Department shall collect a processing fee of $35 for each written application submitted that shall be forwarded by the Department to the local SWCD upon completion of an application review conducted by the local SWCD at the request of the Department. The fees shall accompany the written application and shall be deposited into a promotional trust account as provided in Section 40.7 of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Funds collected shall be used for the purposes of the program authorized by the Act. If the local SWCD chooses not to review the application, the Department shall return the $35 processing fee to the applicant and shall consult with another local conservation entity regarding the application. [505 ILCS 106/30]

 

Section 760.170 Evaluation of Written Application

 

a) The Department shall review each written application submitted in accordance with the program criteria set forth in Section 20 of the Act. Farmers who satisfy all of the following criteria applicable to their operations and submit the required fees may be designated by the Department as a "Rivers-Friendly Farmer":

 

1) Soil loss on cropland is at or below the tolerable soil loss levels (T values) as certified by a local Soil and Water Conservation District [505 ILCS 106/20(1)];

 

2) An approved farm conservation plan is on file at the local Soil and Water Conservation District [505 ILCS 106/20(2)]; and

 

3) If the farm has a vegetative filter strip adjacent to a body of water, the strip is currently present, is being maintained, and was originally constructed in accordance with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Guide [505 ILCS 106/20(3)].

 

b) In addition to the criteria contained in subsection (a) of this Section, the Department may consider the applicant's participation in the CRP, CREP, EQIP, CPP or Agricultural Areas Programs in determining the applicant's eligibility for the Rivers-Friendly Farmer designation.

 

c) Within 60 calendar days after receipt of a completed application form and required fees, the Department, in consultation with a local conservation entity, shall evaluate the written application and determine whether the applicant is eligible to receive the "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" designation.

 

d) The Department's consultation with the local entity shall include a review by the local conservation entity of the various items listed in subsections (a) and (b) of this Section. The local entity shall issue to the Department a certification regarding whether the applicant's farm meets or does not meet the requirements of the aforementioned subsections.

 

e) The Department shall, upon receipt of a certification issued by a local SWCD, forward the $35 processing fee to the local SWCD.

 

Section 760.180 Notice of Determination of Eligibility to Farmers

 

Within 65 calendar days after receipt of a completed application form and required fees, the Department shall notify in writing the applicant that sufficient qualifications do or do not exist for the Department to issue the "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" designation. The Department shall send a copy of the aforementioned notice to the local SWCD. In those cases where there has been confirmation of eligibility to receive the designation, the Department shall send a certificate to the applicant declaring that the designation has been attained and granted by the Department.

 

Section 760.190 Sign "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" Designation

 

a) In addition to providing notification and issuing a certificate to an applicant that meets requirements to receive the "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" designation, the Department shall advise the applicant that a sign depicting the designation may be purchased through the Department and shall provide the applicant with a "Rivers-Friendly Farm" designation sign order form.

 

b) "Rivers-Friendly Farmer" designation sign order form shall be submitted directly to the Department. The Department shall establish a cost for the aforementioned sign that shall not be greater than the cost of sign manufacture plus the least expensive means of mailing the completed sign to the applicant. The cost of the sign shall be shown on the sign order form.

 

c) Upon receipt of a sign order form and payment in an amount as prescribed in subsection (b) of this Section, the Department shall cause the requested sign to be manufactured and, upon receipt from the manufacturer, shall forward the sign to the applicant. Such payments for signs shall be deposited into a promotional trust account as provided in Section 40.7 of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Funds collected shall be used for the purposes of the program authorized by the Act. [505 ILCS 106/30]

 

Section 760.200 Trust Account

 

The Department, in accordance with Section 40.7 of the Civil Administrative Code, shall establish a promotional trust account. All monies collected by the Department for the Illinois Rivers-Friendly Farmer Program shall be deposited into the account. Monies collected shall be used solely for the purposes of the program.

 

Section 760.210 Promotional Activities

 

a) The Department, along with local entities such as SWCDs, may develop and implement a marketing program that informs the agricultural community and the general public of the Illinois Rivers-Friendly Farmer Program.

 

b) In order to increase public awareness of the environmentally beneficial farming practices being used by "Rivers-Friendly Farmers" that protect and enhance the quality of Illinois' waters, the Department and local SWCDs may undertake promotional/outreach activities. Those activities will not result in the release of information specific to individual farming operations without the written permission of the respective farmer or landowner.