The Importance of Kane County's Support of Agriculture
Kane County Connects Staff 3/22/2023 11:00AM
Kane County has a long history of public policy efforts focused on its unique agricultural and rural landscape.
The County was the first to approve a Farmland Protection Ordinance, permanently protecting over 40 farms and 6,000 acres from development. It has also provided assistance to new farms and farmers in their entry into agricultural production.
The Kane County Board recently approved a proclamation underscoring the importance of agriculture, the jobs it creates, taxes it generates, and the environmental practices implemented by farmers that make agriculture a valuable industry within the county.
Currently there are over 600 family farms in Kane County and more than 1000 family farmers supporting 14,000 local jobs and an estimated $1.4 billion in total sales.
Agriculture occupies nearly one-half of the land base of Kane County, leading Illinois in the number of nurseries, greenhouses, floriculture and sod production.
New livestock development also accounts for additional jobs creating additional economic growth within the county. The full proclamation on agriculture is posted below.
RESOLUTION NO. TMP-23-273 PROCLAIMING KANE COUNTY’S SUPPORT FOR AGRICULTURE
WHEREAS, Kane County was Illinois’ first county to protect farms by Ordinance from nuisance lawsuits in 1991, to develop a Stormwater Ordinance to protect and keep farmland productive in 2000, to establish and fund an Agricultural Conservation Easement & Farmland Protection Ordinance in 2001, to assist farmers in maintaining productive soils with a Farmland Drainage Assistance Program in 2003, and, to encourage and prioritize the production of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy through the Growing for Kane Ordinance in 2013; and
WHEREAS, these efforts have protected the rights of Kane County farmers in their efforts to grow food for increasing local and global populations, permanently protected over 40 farms and 6,000 acres from development, revitalized the Drainage Districts necessary to keep agricultural lands productive, and assisted new farms and farmers in their entry into agricultural production; and
WHEREAS, Kane County has a long history of public policy efforts as well as established land use and planning goals designed to keep agricultural lands productive, prevent scattered and pre-mature encroachment of development on farmland, and to maintain the rural character of western Kane County; and
WHEREAS, Illinois is home to more than 71,000 farms, 96% of which are family-owned and a third of which include livestock, and Kane County accounts for 605 of those family farms and 1,008 family farmers, and agriculture supports 14,177 Kane County jobs with 7,181 added from livestock; and WHEREAS, agriculture and related industries in Kane County generate total sales estimated at $1.450 billion, with $643.5 million coming from the livestock sector, adding $402.9 million to household income*; and
WHEREAS, agriculture occupies nearly one-half of the land base of Kane County, which leads Illinois in Nursery, Greenhouse, Floriculture and Sod production and ranks among Illinois’ top 5 counties for Christmas Trees, Woody Crops, Other Crops and Hay**; and
WHEREAS, Illinois and Kane County farmers support the food security of our citizens. The international pandemic displayed the importance of American food systems, processing and supply chain weaknesses; and
WHEREAS, new livestock development accounts for additional jobs creating additional economic growth within the county; and
WHEREAS, farmers are dedicated to caring for their animals in ways that also benefit the land. Using tools and technology to better manage soil nutrients, water runoff and air quality on the farm, farmers are using fewer natural resources and reducing their carbon footprint while producing more food; and
WHEREAS, farmland is a finite resource that is vital to agriculture, food production, and the economic well-being of our county; and
WHEREAS, farmers in Illinois and in Kane County face multiple layers of regulation involving state and federal agencies providing a comprehensive, robust regulatory program for all farms including those raising livestock; and
WHEREAS, data and information from state regulatory agencies demonstrates environmental issues from agriculture are an extremely rare occurrence; and
WHEREAS, the County of Kane recognizes the value agriculture contributes to our county, seeks land use policies and economic development opportunities to sustain a rural way of life, and supports efforts to accommodate future success of the rural community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Kane County Board acknowledges and supports agriculture within our county. The jobs created, taxes generated, technologies embraced and environmental practices implemented by farmers make agriculture a valuable industry within our county.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Kane County Board and county staff will continue its tradition of work to support and promote the development of agriculture for the benefit of our county and all its residents.
*2019 Illinois Agriculture Economic Contribution Study, Decision Innovations Group
** USDA National Ag Statistics Service, 2017 Census of Agriculture
Passed by the Kane County Board on March 14, 2023
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