Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
700 S. Airport Drive
Springfield, IL 62707
Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant is the Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator serving Logan, Menard and Sangamon counties. She provides educational programs and materials in sustainable local food production, marketing and delivery; organic and Integrated Pest Management plant protection systems, and small farms.
With more than 25 years of experience working in sustainable local food systems, Cavanaugh-Grant brings a wealth of experience at the local, state, regional and national levels. She is currently involved in several local food and small farm organizations, including the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network, Illinois Farmers Market Association, Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council, Illinois Organic Growers Association, Menard County Tourism Council, Slow Food Springfield, Spence Farm Foundation, Springfield Area Local Food Task Force and the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.
Previously, she served as the University of Illinois Extension Specialist for Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture providing statewide leadership for educational programming (2006-2011). She was the co-founder and co-facilitator for the Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Program (2004-2011). And she also served as the Illinois Coordinator for the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR SARE) program (1994-2010).
From 1994-2006, Cavanaugh-Grant was the Co-Coordinator of the University of Illinois Agroecology Sustainable Agriculture Program. Deborah served as the Executive Director for the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Network (1992-1994) and as a Resource Planner and Coordinator of the Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program, Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) (1987-1992).
She holds a master's degree in environmental studies, as well as undergraduate degrees in horticulture, crop and soil science, and secondary education.
Cavanaugh-Grant is a member of Illinois Extension Agricultural Association (IEAA), Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP), Illinois Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (IL-ACDEP), Epsilon Sigma Phi-Alpha Nu Chapter,Gamma Sigma Delta and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA). She is the past president of the both the Illinois Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) and the national SWCS (2003-2004). In addition, she is a past president of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts (1998-2000) and past chair of the Lower Sangamon River RC&D (2001-2003). She has served as a member of the NCR SARE Technical Committee (1994-1997) and NCR SARE Administrative Council (1999-2002).