CHICAGO – A new state law introduced by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, will create an Agriculture Equity Commission tasked with providing an annual report with policy solutions, recommendations and other relevant matters related to the issues that minority farmers face in Illinois.

“This commission will review the current adversities that minority farmers face in the industry,” Harper said. “This is a bedrock industry in Illinois that should better reflect our state’s diversity. From corn growing to hemp, this commission will review all types of farming and how socially disadvantaged growers are impacted and can be better supported.”

Supported administratively by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Agriculture Equity Commission will be comprised of farmers, lawmakers, state agency representation, non-profit advocates, policy experts and other relevant stakeholders. The commission will review policies and programs in several areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Access to secure land tenure,
  • Access to capital and financial planning,
  • Access to education and training,
  • Access to resources, infrastructure and business planning, and
  • Market access and diversification.

Harper’s House Bill 5201 creating the commission was recently signed into law by the governor.

“Minority farm ownership has decreased significantly over the past century,” Harper said. “I look forward to seeing the recommendations forthcoming from this commission and how we can make Illinois a more welcoming state for disadvantaged farmers.”

Rep. Sonya HarperRep. Sonya Harper

6th District

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Springfield Office:
274-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5971

District Office:
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Chicago, IL  60609
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