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AN ACT concerning State government.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Agriculture Equity Commission Act.
Agriculture Equity Commission.
(a) There is hereby established the Agriculture Equity
Commission to ensure equity in the State's top job producing
industry by recognizing the loss to African American farmers
and growers and the difficulties other minorities have faced
in the agriculture industry and the effect those difficulties
have on the food system, health, and economy of vulnerable
(b) To the extent practicable, the Commission shall
reflect representation of socially disadvantaged communities,
businesses, and farmers, and include academics, policy
experts, and legislators who are experienced in agriculture
and related matters.
(c) The Commission shall consist of the following members:
(1) eight members appointed one each by the Governor,
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Minority Leader
of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate,
Minority Leader of the Senate, the House of
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Representatives Agriculture Chair, the Black Caucus Joint
Chair, and the Latino Caucus Chair;
(2) one member of the Latino Caucus;
(3) one member of the Black Caucus;
(4) the Director of Agriculture, or his or her
(5) the Director of Public Health, or his or her
(6) a representative of an agribusiness or small
farmer private enterprise, appointed by the Governor;
(7) two representatives of nonprofit community based
organizations located in a disproportionately impacted
area or food desert whose primary mission is helping
minorities in the agriculture field and increasing healthy
food access, appointed by the Governor;
(8) one representative of a nonprofit statewide
organization dedicated to policy to improve the conditions
for socially disadvantaged farmers, appointed by the
(9) one representative of a nonprofit organization
whose primary mission is environmental justice and
increasing healthy food access for minority populations,
appointed by the Governor;
(10) six socially disadvantaged farmers or
agribusiness owners from various areas of the State,
including minority-owned businesses, women-owned
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businesses, and businesses owned by persons with a
disability, appointed by the Governor;
(11) one person with a background and work experience
in journalism, public relations community outreach, and
agriculture, appointed by the Governor;
(12) one representative of a nonprofit organization
that trains new farmers through apprenticeship programs
and increases healthy food access, appointed by the
(13) one attorney or legal expert in property law,
appointed by the Governor;
(14) one representative of a Fortune 500 agribusiness
or a business with a significant presence in agriculture
that is headquartered or has offices in the State of
Illinois, appointed by the Governor;
(15) one representative of an organization dedicated
to economic and business development for minorities; and
(16) one agriculture teacher or instructor, or a
person from an organization dedicated to agricultural
education for minorities and underserved communities,
appointed by the Governor.
(d) Members of the Commission shall serve without
compensation for the duration of the Commission.
(e) In the event of a vacancy, the vacancy shall be filled
in the same manner as the original appointment or as otherwise
provided under this Section.
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(f) The Commission shall convene within 60 days after the
effective date of this Act. At the initial meeting of the
Commission, the Commission shall elect a chair from among its
members. The Commission shall meet on a quarterly basis, or
more often if necessary.
(g) The Department of Agriculture shall provide
administrative and other support to the Commission.
Duties of the Commission.
Equity Commission shall have the following duties:
(1) To study and provide recommendations concerning
equity for and participation of socially disadvantaged
farmers and growers in the agriculture sector in Illinois.
(2) To study and provide recommendations concerning
all forms of agriculture, including, but not limited to,
corn and soy, small farms, specialty crops, livestock,
urban farming, indoor farming, cannabis, and hemp.
(3) To provide recommendations for policies and
programs in several main areas in which the Commission can
address through workgroups, including, but not limited to,
the following: (i) access to secure land tenure; (ii)
access to capital and financial planning; (iii) access to
education and training; (iv) access to resources,
infrastructure, and business planning; and (v) market
access and diversification.
(4) To help guide plans and policies in Illinois
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agriculture industries, including, but not limited to, the
following: (i) increasing outreach to socially
disadvantaged farmers and growers; (ii) working with the
Department of Agriculture to analyze and propose
legislative policy solutions and on the ground projects;
and (iii) reviewing disparity studies and suggesting new
areas of study or data collection.
(5) To develop an annual plan of education events,
meetings, and trainings for all sectors of socially
disadvantaged farmers and growers.
The Agriculture Equity Commission
shall annually report to the Governor and the General Assembly
on its findings, recommendations, and other relevant matters
concerning and based upon its duties as prescribed under