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Welcome to the new website for the University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms team. This is our one-stop-shop for production resources, events calendars, and program registrations. Please look around and take advantage of all the resources available here. Contact your local Educator with any questions, concerns, or suggestions that can help us better reach out to the local food and small farm communities!

Today's Features

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Webinar Series. The training is designed to provide information to growers on how to keep produce safe from production to the market. The webinar series will be held Tuesdays - September 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You may attend the webinars from your home. You will need to have a computer with high-speed Internet access and a way to listen to the presentation via your computer (headsets are best, but speakers will work). Each registered participant will be sent webinar instructions, handouts, and a GAPs manual prior to the first webinar. The registration fee is $15 per participant. Pre-registration along with pre-payment is required by August 26, 2014.

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Farmers Markets: Rules, Regulations and Reforms - WEBINAR ON CURRENT AND FUTURE FARMERS MARKET REGULATIONS: Two webinars, Monday, August 25: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. and Thursday, August 28: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., will provide an opportunity for farmers market vendors and farmers market managers to learn about new regulations and reforms that impact farmers markets and provide input to the Governor-appointed Illinois Farmers Market Task Force about future farmers market regulations. This year the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor Quinn signed into law HB5657, Smarter Rules for Farmers Markets, that made a number of reforms to farmers market regulations in Illinois to support consistency, transparency and economic opportunity. This webinar will provide an overview of the reforms that HB5657 made and what farmers and market managers need to know about the new law. Both webinars will have the same content and will be held twice to accommodate a larger audience.

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GUIDE TO ILLINOIS LAWS GOVERNING DIRECT FARM MARKETING The guide is intended to be an introduction to the legal framework surrounding agriculture for beginning and current farmers who are interested in being part of the fastest growing sector of their industry – direct farm marketing of vegetables, fruits, meats and other products. Specific to Illinois, the guide is a handy reference on topics like taxing, zoning, liability insurance, cottage food laws, and regulations that pertain to specific foods. Read more about the guide and how to get a copy at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance website at http://www.ilstewards.org/news-events/news/

Information and Resources for You

Job Opportunities Local Foods Beekeeping Farm to School Farmers' Market Food Safety Fruit Production Grants and Loans High Tunnels Livestock Marketing and Economics Organics U of I Research Centers Putting Small Acres to Work Vegetable Production Webinars En Español