HB2557 EngrossedLRB103 25608 RLC 51957 b

1    AN ACT concerning agriculture.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Farmer
5Equity and Innovation Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
7    "Limited resource farmer" means a farmer who has a total
8household income at or below the national poverty level for a
9family of 4, or less than 50% of the county median household
10income in each of the previous 2 years.
11    "Socially disadvantaged farmer" means a farmer who has
12been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their
13identity as a member of a group without regard to their
14individual qualities.
15    Section 10. Farmer Equity and Innovation Center.
16    (a) Subject to appropriation by the General Assembly and
17approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, the
18Farmer Equity and Innovation Center is created at the
19University of Illinois Extension.
20    (b) The Farmer Equity and Innovation Center shall:
21        (1) ensure the continued economic viability of
22    small-scale and moderate-scale diversified farms by



HB2557 Engrossed- 2 -LRB103 25608 RLC 51957 b

1    creating a coordinated, statewide program to support the
2    operators of those farms, prioritizing limited resource
3    farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers;
4        (2) establish a Farmer Equity and Innovation Program
5    administered by the Center;
6        (3) utilize the University of Illinois Small Farm
7    Advisors, and require the University to increase its Small
8    Farm Advisor positions to 6 in number;
9        (4) include applied research on specified subjects
10    concerning farming in Illinois, outreach regarding those
11    subjects, and informational services on assistance
12    provided by or through the Center or nonprofit
13    organizations designated by the Center;
14        (5) authorize the Program to include special training
15    for new and beginning farmers, with priority given to
16    socially disadvantaged farmers; and
17        (6) conduct a study to determine and issue an annual
18    report to the Governor and General Assembly containing a
19    demographic breakdown of farmers who participate in the
20    Program.