Extension Educator, Community Development
Brenda E. Derrick
Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
November 6, 2007
Producers of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Tri State area are encouraged to participate in a program designed to help you in your marketing plan. The Tri State Locally Grown Conference is a day long series of workshops to help you fine tune your marketing strategies and is designed to provide you with helpful advice, ideas and real life examples for you to capture more opportunities for the goods you produce.
Producers know that growing the crop is the easiest part. It's the marketing that takes effort. The Farmers Market is probably the most common market for many growers, but expanding beyond that scope can be an easily attainable goal for any producer. Reaching local consumers thru alternative marketing techniques, such as direct sales, restaurant and grocery store sales, email and catalogue sales, paid subscriptions, and cooperative marketing with other growers are all possibilities.
The Tri State Locally Grown Conference will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29th, at John Wood Community College, from 9am-4pm. The conference is designed for farmers, consumers, educators and others interested in building and supporting a sustainable local food system. Featured speakers include: Rich Pirog, Associate Director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. And, Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon, who are the co-authors of Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally and founders of the 100 Mile Diet.
Twelve breakout sessions will be available throughout the day on a variety of topics targeted toward farmers, consumers and professionals who work in the food system. Speakers from all three States and Universities will present these informative sessions. A lunch consisting of local food will be served and displays highlighting marketing tools, food system work and other interesting topics will be available. Registration is $25 per person in advance. Click here for more information or to register online or call Carrie Edgar at 217-223-8380 or email@example.com.
November 5, 2007
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a growing trend around the world that facilitates a direct connection between consumers and the people growing their food. CSA members are community members that pay in advance for a full season of fresh produce from a local grower. This helps growers pay up-front costs at the beginning of the season, while members enjoy the satisfaction of knowing how their food is grown and savor fresh food weekly. This direct agriculture connection could potentially improve on-farm incomes while promoting local economic development in rural communities.
A new workshop called Community Supported Agriculture: Introducing Models and Production Methods will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2008. This program is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension and Western Illinois University, and will be held in the McDonough County 4-H Auditorium at the University of Illinois McDonough County Extension Office located at 3022 West Jackson in Macomb. The cost for the program is $15 and includes resources, refreshments, and a lunch. Participants will learn about CSAs and multi-producer CSAs and what makes them successful. Three area growers will share their experiences as owners and operators of a CSA.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, thereby obtaining more specific details about CSAs than one can obtain from published information. In addition, New Generation Cooperatives will be discussed to illustrate how they can help producers and rural communities reach up the value-chain. To assist growers considering these unique production systems, production issues such as scheduling and rotating crops, managing pests with multiple control tactics, and protecting people and the environment will be addressed.
Pre-registration is required for this program by Thursday, January 3, 2008. Please call the University of Illinois Extension Office in McDonough County at (309) 837-3939 for more information and to register.