State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

   [ Search ]   [ PDF text ]   [ Legislation ]   
[ Home ]   [ Back ]   [ Bottom ]



 1        AN ACT concerning agriculture.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  5.   The  Food  and  Agriculture Research Act is
 5    amended by changing Section 5 as follows:

 6        (505 ILCS 82/5)
 7        Sec. 5.  Legislative Findings.  It is the intent of  this
 8    Act  to provide a solid base of State funding for public food
 9    and  agricultural  research  programs   in   Illinois   while
10    fostering  public  confidence in this research through public
11    participation.  Blessed with rich agricultural  soils  and  a
12    favorable  agricultural climate, Illinois traditionally ranks
13    fourth or fifth  among  the  States  in  the  nation's  gross
14    agricultural  production.   The food and agricultural sector,
15    employing nearly 20% of the State's workers, is committed  to
16    providing  safe,  nutritious,  high-quality,  affordable, and
17    convenient agricultural products  and  services  to  Illinois
18    citizens.   Compared with all other states, however, Illinois
19    faces a tremendous challenge to meet its  needs  for  ongoing
20    adequate research investments that improve human health while
21    protecting   and   enhancing   its   natural   resources  and
22    environment.  Without adequate State funding,  the  food  and
23    agricultural  sector faces the consequences of falling behind
24    in information, projects, and programs affecting human  lives
25    and  the  demand  for improved nutrition, food quality, human
26    health, and environment.
27        Currently, the State's agricultural universities  conduct
28    research  that provides basic information about the structure
29    and function of  food  and  agricultural  systems.   Although
30    these  agricultural  institutions have a remarkable record of
31    contributions to an improved food  and  agricultural  sector,
                            -2-                LRB9214560REpc
 1    their  research  is  significantly  underfunded.  The State's
 2    Agricultural Experiment Station, maintained as the  food  and
 3    agricultural   research   facilities   and   program  of  the
 4    University of Illinois, ranks  only  29th  in  state  funding
 5    among  the  state agricultural experiment stations.  Southern
 6    Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois State University,
 7    and  Western  Illinois  University  also  conduct  food   and
 8    agricultural  research but receive no State appropriated fund
 9    allocations.    This   underfunding   represents   a   missed
10    opportunity for Illinois and places it  in  poor  competitive
11    position  with  other  important  agricultural  states.   The
12    State's  consumers  and  producers  reap  high  returns  from
13    existing public investment in food and agricultural research,
14    with  a  pretax  return  of  40%,  the highest among publicly
15    supported research activities.
16        Illinois needs mechanisms that allow  publicly  supported
17    researchers  to  work  closely  with  farmers,  agribusiness,
18    consumers, conservationists, environmentalists, and other key
19    decision-makers.    Together,   these   groups  can  identify
20    challenges and  opportunities  for  researchers  before  they
21    conduct research and transfer the information and technology.
22    This  will  allow  Illinois  to  retain  its  prominence as a
23    leading agricultural state.
24        The Illinois Council on Food  and  Agricultural  Research
25    (C-FAR)   is  a  statewide  coalition  committed  to  funding
26    relevant  and  high-quality  research  and  related  outreach
27    programs  leading  to  profitable,  consumer-sensitive,   and
28    environmentally  sound  food  and  agricultural systems.  The
29    intent of this Act is to secure  funds  to  support  targeted
30    research  initiatives  so that Illinois will continue to meet
31    tomorrow's  food  and  agricultural  needs  while  using  our
32    natural resources responsibly.
33        The General Assembly of Illinois hereby:
34             (1)  Identifies food and agricultural research as  a
                            -3-                LRB9214560REpc
 1        critically important activity with great public benefits.
 2             (2)  Identifies     the     State's     agricultural
 3        universities  responsible  for  basic, developmental, and
 4        adaptive research related to the  food  and  agricultural
 5        sector; and
 6             (3)  Authorizes  the  expenditure  of State funds to
 7        enlarge, improve,  and  sustain  the  publicly  supported
 8        programs of food and agricultural research in Illinois.
 9    (Source: P.A. 89-182, eff. 7-19-95.)

[ Top ]