|Public Act 095-0145
||LRB095 08986 CMK 29177 b
AN ACT concerning agriculture.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Food, Farms, and Jobs Act.
Illinois should be the Midwest leader in local and organic
food and fiber production.
One thousand five hundred miles is the average travel
distance for food items now consumed in this State, and
agricultural products sold directly for human consumption
comprise less than 0.2% of Illinois farm sales.
Ninety-five percent of organic food sold in this State is
grown and processed outside of the State, resulting in food
dollars being exported.
Illinois ranks fifth in the nation in loss of farmland.
The market for locally grown foods and for organic food is
Consumers would benefit from additional local food outlets
that make fresh and affordable Illinois grown foods more
accessible in both rural and urban communities.
Communities are experiencing significant problems of
obesity and nutrition, including lack of daily access to fresh
fruits and vegetables.
Low-income communities that are currently "food deserts"
lacking sufficient markets selling fresh fruits and vegetables
would benefit from local food distribution systems.
The State's urban communities are showing renewed interest
in growing food in urban areas.
Rural communities would be revitalized by increasing the
number of families in the State that live on small properties
and by providing fresh high-value local food.
Farmers who wish to transition from conventional
agriculture to local and organic food would benefit from
training and support to diversify their farming operations.
Food consumers, farmers, and entrepreneurs would benefit
from an expanded infrastructure for processing, storing, and
distributing locally grown foods.
The capture of existing food dollars within the State would
help to revitalize the State's treasury by creating a broad
range of new in-state jobs and business opportunities within
both rural and urban communities.
For the purposes of this Act and for the retention of the
greatest benefit from every food dollar spent in this State,
support for local food means capturing in Illinois the greatest
portion of food production, processing, storing, and
Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task
The Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force
("the Task Force") shall be appointed by the Governor within 60
days after the effective date of this Act. The Task Force shall
be convened by the Department of Agriculture and shall include
the following Illinois-based members:
(a) one representative each from the Departments of
Agriculture, Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Human
(b) four organic farmers, representing different dairy,
meat, vegetable, and grains sectors;
(c) four specialty crop producers, representing different
flower, fruit, viticulture, aquaculture, fiber, vegetable, and
(d) two organic processors;
(e) one organic distributor and one non-organic
(f) three representatives of not-for-profit educational
(g) one organic certifier;
(h) one consumer representative;
(i) two representatives of farm organizations;
(j) one university agricultural specialist;
(k) one philanthropic organization representative;
(l) one food retailer representative;
(m) two municipal representatives from different
communities in the State;
(n) four representatives from community-based
organizations focusing on food access,
to include at least 3
minority members; and
(o) one chef specializing in the preparation of locally
grown organic foods.
All members of the Task Force shall be appointed for a
Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Plan.
The Task Force shall develop a plan containing policy and
funding recommendations for expanding and supporting a State
local and organic food system and for assessing and overcoming
obstacles to an increase in locally grown food and local
organic food production. The Task Force shall prepare and
submit its plan in a report to the General Assembly by
September 30, 2008, for consideration of its recommendations in
the 96th General Assembly. The Plan, among other matters,
(a) identify land preservation and acquisition
opportunities for local and organic
agriculture in rural,
suburban, and urban areas;
(b) identify farmer training and development, as
necessary, by expanding training programs
such as Farm
Beginnings, incubator projects such as Prairie Crossing Farm,
urban agriculture training programs, farmer-to-farmer learning
opportunities, or other programs;
(c) identify financial incentives, technical support, and
training necessary to help Illinois
farmers to transition to
local, organic, and specialty crop production by minimizing
their financial losses during the 3-year transition period
required under USDA standards and to help with recordkeeping
(d) identify strategies and funding needs to make fresh and
affordable Illinois-grown foods
more accessible, both in rural
and urban communities, with an emphasis on creating new food
outlets in communities that need them;
(e) identify the financial and technical support necessary
to build connections between
landowners, farmers, buyers, and
(f) identify the financial and technical support necessary
to build a local food infrastructure
of processing, storage,
(g) identify the financial and technical support necessary
to develop new food and
agriculture-related businesses for
local food and organic food production and distribution, such
as on-farm processing, micro-markets, incubator kitchens, and
marketing and communications businesses;
(h) identify the financial and technical support necessary
to expand the development of
farmers markets, roadside markets,
and local grocery stores in unserved and underserved areas, as
well as the creation of year-round public markets in Chicago
and other large communities;
(i) research, identify, and coordinate best practices and
opportunities for the development
of local food and organic
(j) identify opportunities to educate the public and
producers about the benefits of local
foods systems and about
the development opportunities provided through this Act; and
(k) identify legal impediments to local food and organic
food production, and develop
recommendations for a remedy.
This Act takes effect upon