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University of Illinois Extension

Farmers Market Task Force

HB2486 - Public Act 099-0191 established the Farmers Market Task Force (FMTF) in 2015. The FMTF is the rule making body for Cottage Food Operations in Illinois. By law, the Task Force consists of 24 members: (read more about appointments)


  • (1) One person appointed by the President of the Senate
  • (1) One person appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate
  • (1) One person appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • (1) One person appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives
  • (1) One person appointed by the Director of Public Health or his or her designee
  • (1) One person appointed by the Director of Agriculture or his or her designee
  • (1) A representative of a general agricultural production association appointed by the Department of Agriculture
  • (3) Three representatives of local county public health departments appointed by the Director and selected from 3 different counties representing each of the northern, central, and southern portions of this State
  • (4) Four members of the general public who are engaged in local farmers' markets appointed by the Director of Agriculture
  • (1) A representative of an association representing a representative of an association representing public health administrators appointed by the Director
  • (1) A representative of an organization of public health departments that serve the City of Chicago and the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will, and Winnebago appointed by the Director
  • (1) A representative of a general public health association appointed by the Director of the Department of Public Health
  • (1) One person appointed by the Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity or his or her designee
  • (1) One person appointed by the Lieutenant Governor or his or her designee
  • (5) Five farmers who sell their farm products at farmers' markets appointed by the Lieutenant Governor or his or her designee

Task Force members' serve a 2-year term, with ongoing appointments made according to the provisions of this Section.

Members of the Task Force serve without compensation; they are volunteers.

The Task Force conducts a complete and thorough review of the current statutes and administrative rules pertaining to the Farmers Market (including Cottage Food Operations).

The Task Force reviews all rules that define which products and practices are permitted and which products and practices are not permitted at farmers' markets.

The Task Force assists the State Department of Public Health (the Department) in developing statewide administrative regulations for farmers' markets.

The Task Force advises the Department regarding the content of any administrative rules adopted under this Section and Sections 3.4, 3.5, and 4 of this Act prior to adoption of the rules.

Any administrative rules adopted without obtaining the advice of the Task Force are null and void. (Except emergency rules adopted pursuant to Section 5-45 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act).

If the Department fails to follow the advice of the Task Force, the Department shall, prior to adopting the rules, transmit a written explanation to the Task Force. If the Task Force, having been asked for its advice, fails to advise the Department within 90 days after receiving the rules for review, the rules shall be considered to have been approved by the Task Force.

The following provisions apply concerning statewide farmers' market food safety guidelines:


  • (1) The Director of the Department, in accordance with this Section, shall adopt administrative rules (as provided by the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act) for foods found at farmers' markets, which includes all Cottage Food Operations.
  • (2) Local Health Department (LHD) authorities throughout the State must enforce the rules and regulations described in this Act.
  • (2.5) The LHDs and all other units of local government are prohibited from creating sanitation guidelines, rules, or regulations for farmers' markets that are more stringent than the rules adopted by the Department for the purposes of implementing this Section.

This Act does not intend to limit the power of the Local Health Departments (LHD) and other government units from requiring licensing and permits for the sale of commercial food products, processed food products, prepared foods, and potentially hazardous foods at farmers' markets.

This Act does not limit the LHD from conducting related inspections and enforcement activities, so long as those permits and licenses do not include unreasonable fees or sanitation provisions.

In the case of alleged non-compliance with the provisions described in this Act, the LHD must issue written notices to vendors and market managers of any noncompliance issues.

Reference add:
HB2486 - Public Act 099-0191

Update prepared by: Drusilla Banks, Jenna Smith, and Mary Liz Wright, University of Illinois Extension: Educators, Nutrition and Wellness - Last updated: March 2016