Hello. My name is Mike Roegge, and my position within the U of I Extension organization is as an educator in the area of Local Foods/Small Farms. I have been employed by U of I Extension for over 30 years, until recently as an agronomist. But I am no stranger to local foods and small farms. I've been conducting educational programs and providing growing information on this topic for a number of years. Our family also grows and sells fruit and vegetables into the local market.
My job is to provide what help I can to enable you to produce and market your crops most efficiently and profitably. I can do this through a variety of methods- meetings, field visits, phone conversations, whatever might work. I can't promise I can help in all situations, but I'll certainly try. The phone number to our office is 217-223-8380. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd like to ask if you could provide me your email address so that I can develop an email listing of local producers. I've used an email contact list for years in providing timely pest management information to corn/soybean growers. It is a great way to communicate urgent information for no cost. And as you're aware, we just don't have the dollars to be able to send out regular mailings. All emails are sent to the list as a blind carbon copy, so no one has access to the names/addresses on the list. Please email me at the above address.
Following are the programs we'll be offering during the winter months in preparation for the 2012 growing season. I hope you can find some useful and relevant information.
A series of 4 telenet sessions will be offered to provide information to individuals considering the options of commercial production for the first time or expanding a current operation with an additional product. The programs will be from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the U of I Extension office in Quincy. There is no fee for the programs. Dates and topics: November 28- Berry Production; December 5- High Tunnels; December 12- Pumpkins; December 19- Vegetables.
There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. Call 217-223-8380 or online at: web.extension.illinois.edu/abhps
This meeting (Dec. 7-8 in Decatur) will provide a forum for farmers to exchange information, discuss opportunities for collaboration, and learn about new and successful practices related to cover crops. Specific tracks will be held for no-till, tillage, and organic applications. Speakers will include farmers, crop consultants, and university researchers who have extensive experience in cover crop management. The goal of the conference is to get farmers together to learn how to effectively manage cover crops in a way that enhances soil quality, keeps nutrients in the fields, and increases the bottom line. For more information and to register, http://www.swcs.org/index.cfm?nodeID=34470&audienceID=1
The premier event for fruit and vegetable growers in IL will be held in Springfield on Jan. 12-13. Also offered will be four pre conference workshops on Jan. 11- Getting Started: Guidelines and Resources for New Growers; Scaling Up Local Food Systems; Expanding Farmers' Market Opportunities; Legal Issues for Specialty Crop Producers.
The 2 day conference is split into 6 tracks--fruits, vegetables, herbs, organic, agritourism/ marketing and irrigation/business mgt. A huge trade show is also available for viewing. For more info: www.specialtygrowers.org
This year's program will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, John Wood Community College, 1301 S. 48th Street, Quincy. Designed for those who have a few acres they'd like to find an enterprise which could supply some income or provide for family enjoyment. We'll begin at 8:30am and finish at 1pm. Topics you can select from include: Agrotourism/ Recreational land use opportunities; Getting the most from pasture/hay acres; Beginning beekeeping; Pond/lake management; Cut flower production; Asparagus/rhubarb. Three sessions per hour are offered, and some are repeated, but you may want to bring along an extra person. A general session will discuss- Business planning, marketing and goal setting. Local producers will provide the training in each of these hour long sessions.
Cost for the program is $30 per person ($40 for couples) which includes lunch and proceedings. Students can attend for $10. Register on line or call our office. web.extension.uiuc.edu/abhps
We'll be offering a number of webinars during the next few months on topics of interest to producers of local foods. These sessions are designed to provide information to help you manage your acreage, on a wide variety of topics- increasing profit, exploring options, learning about. There is no cost, but you must register for these programs, which will be held at the U of I Extension Office in Quincy and in Rushville . All programs will be offered on Thursdays at 1pm. Listed below is the topic and date:
Pastured poultry- Jan 26; GAPS training- Feb. 2; Soil fertility- Feb. 9; Raising sheep and goats- Feb. 16; Extending the growing season- Feb. 23; Are you Farm to School ready?- March 1; Managing you woodland- March 8; Common garden pests- March 15; Companion planting- March 22; Pasture management- March 29.
You must pre register for each event web.extension.uiuc.edu/abhps or call 217-223-8380. All the programs will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.
Monday, Feb. 13, at the U of I Extension Office in Quincy, beginning at 8:30am. Chemical company reps will provide updates for their products . University of Illinois Extension Specialists Mosbah Kushad and Rick Weinzierl will present: Effects of 2011 weather on 2012 apple crop; Disease resistant apple trees, an attractive alternative; Top 10 insect pests of apples and vegetables; Keeping vegetable quality at its best using minimal storage strategies. Cost for the program is $10 which includes lunch and handout materials. Register on line or contact our office for accurate lunch count.
If you purchase or use restricted use pesticides you must be licensed. All training and testing will be coordinated by campus, so there will be fewer opportunities locally. There will be one training/testing in our region and that date is Thursday, December 1, at the Quincy City Center Hotel, 201 S. 3rd, Times are from 9am-noon for training, and testing starts at 1pm. The cost is $30 per person for the training. Pre registration is required. Call 877-626-1650 or www.pesticidesafety.uiuc.edu As long as room is available, you may elect to take the test only and avoid the $30 fee. Just show up at 1pm. You may also take training on line http://m.extension.illinois.edu/privatepsep/ You must still pass the test to receive a license. Cost for the license is $30 and is valid for 3 years.
There will be a two test only sessions: Tuesday, Jan. 17th, 10am-noon at the Hancock County Extension office (register at 217-357-2150) and Monday, March 12th, 1-3pm at the Pike County Extension office (register at 217-285-5543). There is no cost for the test only session.
MarketReady is a program designed to help small and mid-sized producers understand the evolving commercial market opportunities of locally produced foods. The curriculum was developed as a result of an extensive survey of commercial buyers across Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio and introduces a variety of important issues that producers should be aware of as they evaluate the potential opportunities. Informative checklists and suggested Best Marketing Practices are included in the training to help producers be better prepared to meet the needs of potential commercial buyers/customers.
Topics include: communication/relationship building; packaging/labeling; pricing/invoicing; supply/delivery; insurance; certifications and audits; quality assurance; marketing. The program will be presented on Dec. 13th, 9am- 3:30pm at the Knox County Extension office in Galesburg. There is no cost, but only 50 spots are available. Call Mary Hosier at 217-333-7512 to register.
The past several years we've been printing and distributing a pamphlet listing producers of local products. The pamphlet is designed to promote an awareness of locally available products and to encourage the consumption of local products. The list highlights producers who market their products direct from the farm. We also list all the area Farmers Markets with times and dates of operation. Please look over the document and let us know if you know someone who should be listed. http://web.extension.illinois.edu/abhps/localgrown/1052.html
John Wood Community College received a grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center to provide workshops and training for local food producers and entrepreneurs throughout West-Central Illinois. Workshops are designed to help prospective, beginning, or established producers and entrepreneurs develop business plans, develop marketing strategies, and to understand regulations and legal risks affecting their new or established farms and businesses. Workshops will be facilitated by entrepreneurs and professionals familiar with specific, real world issues affecting farmers and businesspeople. Workshops will be conducted from November to April, with the first workshop to be held in Canton, IL on November 29. For more information on workshop topics or to register, please contact David Camphouse, Coordinator of Local Food Programs at JWCC at 217-641-4340 or email@example.com
This series of four webinars will provide a comprehensive look at methods of evaluating, managing and reducing risk on small farms. The first webinar will help farmers evaluate their capacity for taking risks, and present an overview of various types of insurance available to manage particular risks. The second webinar will examine managing risk using production and marketing practices. The third webinar will look at business and financial risk management practices, such as choosing the correct business entity and effective business planning. The final webinar will address human risk, focusing on contingency and estate planning and other personnel risks. In-person follow-up workshops will be offered in the spring to follow up on the materials presented in the webinar series and address farmers' specific issues in compiling a comprehensive risk management plan. Dates are January 23rd and 30th, February 6th and 13th, from 6:30-8:00pm. Reservations are required web.extension.illinois.edu/abhps or call 217-223-8380.
The Western Illinois Sustainable Ag Society (WISAS) has been around since the 1980's. The group is composed of (mostly) small farm producers who sell into the local market. Many members grow fruit and/or vegetables, but others produce meat, honey, eggs, bird seed, etc. It is a group of local producers working to improve the markets for their products. The goal is to promote buying local products and improving the connection between consumers and producers.
Membership is open to growers in the area. Yearly dues are $20 per person. The group has several outreach efforts, including: Gardeners Palette, Quincy Mall, Bridge the Gap, and more. Additional members are more than welcome, after all we're all attempting to improve our marketing aspects. Producers are encouraged to learn more by attending one of the next meetings, which will be the Christmas potluck, to be held on Tuesday, Dec. 6th . Or Jan. 10th. Meetings start at 6:30pm at the U of I Extension office in Quincy. Bring a covered dish and utensils for the Dec. meeting. Learn more at www.wisas.org