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2015 Local Legislative Priorities

Row Crop and Hay Farming

We will work to ensure that hay farming opportunities on conducive Forest Preserve District of Cook County property remains available to area farmers interested in pursuing rental agreements with the forest preserve district.

Agricultural Protection

We will work to ensure that agriculture is protected should the county or state implement a plan to incorporate the 51 square miles of the county that are currently unincorporated. Unincorporated Cook County is home to most of the county’s production agriculture industry.

Urban Agriculture

We will work to ensure that urban agriculture, including but not limited to urban farms, community gardens and school gardens, remain permissible under municipal and county ordinances.

Cook County Farmland

We will work to ensure that farmland in Cook County is assessed in a fair and reasonable manner.  Additionally, we will work with the Cook County Assessor’s Office to further streamline the farmland affidavit process.  

We will work the Cook County Department of Building and Zoning regarding local farms, farm buildings, and the farm exemption process in unincorporated Cook County.

2016 State Legislative Priorities

Seek passage of a state budget that provides funding for core agricultural programs and include strategies for efficiently and effectively providing services. 

Maintain tax incentives for agriculture that protects the economic well-being of farmers.

Seek legislation that will maintain reduced property tax assessments on agriculture filter strips so these important tools for nutrient management and the reduction of soil erosion remain economically viable.

Seek legislation amending the expedited review procedures for new large, complex utility projects that will better protect landowners' property rights.

Seek legislation allowing the Governor to increase overweight tolerances for divisible loads of agricultural commodities during a declared harvest emergency.

Oppose an increase to Illinois' minimum wage that is believed to be inflationary and would negatively impact Illinois' business climate.

Seek legislation to reduce the current traffic and criminal conviction surcharge paid on truck overweight fines.

 

2016 National Legislative Priorities

Enact the Trans Pacific Partnership to boost Illinois agricultural exports.

Prevent the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule from being implemented and communicate voluntary efforts to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality on Illinois farm.

Support voluntary GMO food labeling.

Defend the Federal crop insurance program from budget cuts or harmful program changes.

Expand the use of renewable fuels.