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Resolution Celebrating the Importance of Agriculture in Cook County

At the March meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Britton passed a resolution recognizing and celebrating the importance of agriculture in Cook County, in tandem with the Cook County Farm Bureau. With more than 12,000 acres of farmland located in Cook County, agriculture is important now more than ever. The full text of the resolution can be found below.



WHEREAS, Illinois is home to more than 71,000 farms, 96 percent of which are family-owned; and

WHEREAS, Illinois agriculture and related industries support nearly 482,000 jobs and generates nearly $51 billion; and

WHEREAS, Agriculture includes the growing, raising, and harvesting of crops for both human and animal consumption as well as the raising of livestock; and

WHEREAS, Cook County is home to more than 12,000 acres of farmland; and

WHEREAS, Agriculture contributes nearly $20 million to Cook County economy; and

WHEREAS, Over four percent of Cook County’s total workforce is employed in an agricultural-related job including food handling and processing; and

WHEREAS, Cook County agriculture includes vegetable, floriculture, grain, nursery, and row crop production as well as livestock; and

WHEREAS, Cook County’s agricultural landscape includes horses, ponies, mules, burros, and donkeys; and

WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of Agriculture 2017 Census of Agriculture, Cook County is ranked second in the state for equine production with a sales volume of over $1.5 million; and

WHEREAS, Cook County ranks twelfth in the state for nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, and sod production; and

WHEREAS, Cook County is home to numerous examples of urban agriculture including the raising, cultivation, processing, marketing, and distribution of food in urban and suburban settings; and

WHEREAS, Urban agriculture generally involves outdoor and indoor vertical production, indoor warehouse farms, greenhouses, rooftop farms, hydroponic and aquaponic facilities; and

WHEREAS, Over two percent of Cook County farms are certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture; and

WHEREAS, Over 15 percent of Cook County farmers sell directly to consumers at farmstands, roadside markets, farmers markets and through community support agriculture; and

WHEREAS, Cook and Illinois farmers grow healthy and nutritious food; and

WHEREAS, Cook County farmers recognize that too many individuals suffer from food insecurity and encourage farmers to partner with food banks, food recovery organizations, and other food distribution organizations; and

WHEREAS, Cook County Farm Bureau developed a program to purchase and deliver food and member donations to partner food pantries; to encourage online engagement to raise awareness of area food pantries, their needs, and service areas; and a grant program for local food pantries to expand their food offerings or facility in light of the unprecedented need due to the pandemic; and

WHEREAS, Farm Bureau volunteers partnered with over 70 community partners to assist over 7,400 individuals with their food needs; and

WHEREAS, Cook and Illinois farmers have made meaningful contributions toward water quality improvements; and

WHEREAS, Through the science-based framework provided by the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, Cook County and Illinois farmers are using research, technology and industry experience to assess and reduce nutrient loss to Illinois waters and to the Gulf of Mexico; and

WHEREAS, Using tools and technology to better manage soil nutrients, field time and air quality, farmers are using fewer natural resources and reducing their carbon footprint while producing food; and

WHEREAS, Farmland is a finite resource that is vital to agriculture, food production, and the economic well-being of Cook County; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Cook County Board of Commissioners recognize the value agriculture contributes to the local economy and support agriculture within the county; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this resolution be tendered to the Cook County Farm Bureau®.

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