Our Staff

Andrew Larson

Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms

University of Illinois Extension
421 W Pines Rd, Ste 10
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 815-732-2191
FAX: 815-732-4007

Andy has bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from Iowa State University.  The pursuit of sustainability in agriculture has been the focus throughout his training.

Andy offers programs in the areas of small farm business and marketing planning, backyard and small commercial poultry production, farmers market strategy and sales, and alternative crop and livestock production for small farms and acreages.

Prior to returning to University of Illinois to be an Extension Educator in Local Food Systems and Small Farms, Andy worked for six years as the Small Farms Specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  He also worked jointly with ISU’s Beginning Farmer Center and coordinated the Iowa SARE Professional Development Program. 

Andy has returned to his roots and lives on an acreage in northernmost Illinois near the family cattle and crop farm on which he was born and raised.  He is helping his wife and kids add to the family business with a poultry enterprise.

Program Offerings

  • Putting Small Acres to Work - agricultural enterprise options for small parcels
  • Annie's Project - planning and decision-making skills for farm women
  • Beginning Farmer programs - business and marketing plans, business entities, record-keeping
  • Farm Succession Facilitation - helping farm family businesses transition to the next generation
  • Small Farms Winter Webinars - practical online learning for small farms and acreages
  • Farm Strolls - county-based open houses on local food farms
  • Farmers market education for vendors, managers, and volunteers
  • Local, Organic, GMO - helping conscientious consumers understand the science behind the labels
  • Grantsmanship for Growers - helping farmers and others apply for SARE grants
  • Managed Rotational Grazing - optimizing yield of your animals and your pastures
  • Growing Your Hobby Farm into a Business - how, when, and why
  • Is Entrepreneurial Farming for You? - a visioning workshop for aspiring local food farmers
  • MarketReady - preparing local food farmers to sell to resturants and retailers
  • Poultry Production - from backyard chickens to small commercial enterprises
  • Rules and Regulations for selling local food in Illinois
  • Small Ruminants - getting started in sheep and goat production
  • Soil Health and Cover Crops - options and economics