Illinois has more than 74,000 farms covering some 27 million acres, or about 75% of the state’s total land area.
Agricultural commodities in Illinois generate more than $19 billion annually, and billions more from agriculture-related industries.
Food Production in Illinois
Current Food Production Laws
In addition to growing local food, processing and selling food locally is important to encourage the sales of local food and develop local economies. The cottage food operations act gives regulatory guidelines on how “non-hazardous” foods made in a home kitchen such as baked goods and canned goods can be sold and distributed. These products are labeled as homemade and the seller cannot gross more than $25,000 annually in sales. This legislation was passed in 2011 and changes were made in 2014.
A bill, HB3063, passed in 2017 now allows food, such as baked goods, but excluding most meats, that hasn’t been inspected to still be sold at farmers markets.