Extension Educator, Community Development
Brenda E. Derrick
Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
December 31, 2008
December 9, 2008
Consumers are demanding fresh, local produce at an increasing rate and regional farmers are stepping up production, including shelf-stable products processed directly at local farms to meet that demand. To support farmers as they assess and address the legal and financial risks of marketing and selling their products in their communities, The Land Connection and the University of Illinois Extension are collaborating to host Food Rules workshops throughout the state.
"Farmers are sometimes unaware of the many rules and regulations that apply to producing, transporting, and selling meats, eggs, cheese, jam, pickles, or baked goods," says Terra Brockman, founder of The Land Connection, "but this workshop will provide information, and allow participants to ask specific questions to the regulators and experts on the panel."
Food Rules will cover federal, state, and local rules and regulations with short presentations from a panel featuring State and County Health Department personnel, representatives from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, legal experts and successful, experienced farmers. Food Rules will be co-hosted at U of I extension offices and Farm Bureau offices throughout the state starting in December in Rockford, IL on Dec 11, Champaign, IL on Jan 13, Quincy, IL on Feb 3, Peoria, IL on Feb 12, and Marion, IL on Mar 3.
These workshops are specifically oriented to local farmers who are marketing their products, including "value-added" products, directly to consumers. Other farmers, educators, policy makers, and community leaders are invited to attend, especially educators and community members who assist farmers in production, processing, and marketing of local foods.
Participants are encouraged to register for workshops online at www.thelandconnection.org/farmers.
Registration for each two hour workshop is $10 and can be paid by Paypal or credit card online, or by contacting the Land Connection office at email@example.com or 847.570.0701. All workshops run from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm..
The Food Rules workshops were developed and will be facilitated by Terra Brockman of The Land Connection and Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant of the U of I Extension, and are made possible by a grant from the USDA Risk Management Education Program.
Through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work, U of I Extension's programs are aimed at making life better, healthier, safer and more profitable for individuals and their communities. For more information, please visit, http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/state/
The Land Connection is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization that works to ensure successful farmers, healthy farmland, and an abundance of delicious local and organic food by training beginning farmers and facilitating sustainable farmland successions. For more information please visit www.thelandconnection.org
December 4, 2008
University of Illinois Extension – Adams/Brown Unit was recently honored for their Locally Grown program at Extension's annual conference with a Team Award of Excellence and by the Illinois Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Association with a Model of Collaboration Award.
Members of the Adams/Brown Locally Grown team are: Brenda Derrick, Nutrition & Wellness Educator; Mike Roegge, Crop Systems Educator; Carrie Edgar, County Director; Shelby Crow, Community & Economic Development Educator; Laura Hyde, Community & Economic Development Assistant; Deborah Lee, Horticulture Coordinator; Sharon Knorr, Adams County Ag Awareness Coordinator; Nicky Geisler, Brown County Ag Awareness Coordinator; Christine Morey, 4-H Program Coordinator; Jenny Arnold, Community & Economic Development Program Coordinator; Darlene Spurrier, Office Support Assistant; and Carol Rust, Office Support Assistant.
Locally Grown is a University of Illinois Extension program targeting all levels of the local food system network. Most food available in local grocery stores travels in excess of 1500 miles from the point of harvest to consumption. The need and desire for locally grown and/or produced foods is increasing dramatically as consumers demand fresh products.
The Locally Grown program was developed to provide a coordinated and comprehensive effort to assist producers in west central Illinois to market locally grown products by providing information to consumers on the availability, nutritional aspects, economic and environmental impacts of buying local. This outreach and education project educates the general public about sustainable agriculture and local food systems, increases consumer awareness of local farmers and products, and assists producers in using alternative and cooperative marketing strategies. The project creates awareness and understanding between producers and consumers resulting in a more sustainable food system.