Tazewell County has the second-most organic farms in Illinois, according to Chris Setti, chief executive officer of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council.

“Ironically, number one is Woodford County,” Setti added. “So, we have the top two counties in Illinois for the number of certified organic farmers. That’s important because it’s a new trend that’s coming and a lot of farmers were really struggling with corn and soybean prices. They’re starting to look at certified organics because of a higher price margin they can get for that.”

Setti gave a presentation to the Tazewell County Board during Wednesday’s meeting and spoke about Tazewell County job growth and a county unemployment rate that matches state and national numbers. He also addressed recent initiatives like organic farming and opportunities for county farmers to produce industrial hemp, as well as projects completed this year and upcoming projects.

“(Hemp) is a completely new industry,” said Setti. “It’s basically a new industry for America, as hemp hasn’t been legal to grow since the (1930s or 1940s).”

In new business, the board approved a resolution to award a bid for copiers to NCI Business Systems for a five-year contract with a fixed monthly cost of $5,083.74. The board also approved replacement hires in Court Services and the Supervisor of Assessment Geographic Information System department, as well as the Tazewell County Delinquent Tax Resolution. A proposal to support the Pekin City Council’s resolution, passed last month, to self-designate the area around Pekin Municipal Airport as an Environmental Justice Community was voted down during the board’s in-place Executive Committee meeting.