(505 ILCS 5/2) (from Ch. 5, par. 1002)
    Sec. 2. Legislative findings and intent. It is the policy of the State to conserve, protect and to encourage the development and improvement of its agricultural lands for the production of food and other agricultural products. It is also the policy of this State to conserve and protect agricultural lands as valued natural and ecological resources which provide needed open spaces for clean air sheds as well as for aesthetic purposes. Agriculture in many parts of the State is under urban pressure from expanding metropolitan areas. This urban pressure takes the form of scattered development in wide belts around urban areas, brings conflicting land uses into juxtaposition, creates high costs for public services, and stimulates land speculation. When this scattered development extends into productive farm areas, ordinances inhibiting farming tend to follow, farm taxes rise, and hopes for speculative gains discourage investments in farm improvements. Much agricultural land in Illinois is in jeopardy of being lost for any agricultural purpose. Certain of these lands constitute unique and irreplaceable land resources of Statewide importance. It is the purpose of this Act to provide a means by which agricultural land may be protected and enhanced as a viable segment of the State's economy and as an economic and environmental resource of major importance.
(Source: P.A. 81-1173.)