Our Staff

Grant McCarty

Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms

University of Illinois Extension
Highland Community College, Bldg R
2998 W Pearl City Rd
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-986-4357
FAX: 815-232-9006

Grant McCarty works with commercial and backyard growers and producers by providing resources in fruit and vegetable production. His area of expertise includes soils management, hops production, organic/sustainable crop production, alternative crops, and general fruit and vegetable production. He further assists stakeholders within the local food system in helping them to expand their operation, adopt new practices, and/or better manage their current production.

Grant McCarty received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Maryville College in 2008 and a Master of Science in Plant Sciences from University of Tennessee in 2012. His graduate project involved research to find a sustainable alternative to Methyl Bromide in bell pepper and tomato production. 

Originally from East Tennessee, he works in local foods education for consumers, homeowners, and growers/producers. His area of focus include soil management, Hops production, organic fruit and vegetable production, local food systems development, disease/insect management, and farmers market and direct marketing channels. During the year, he provides consultation and assistance to area growers and producers related to their management practices. 


Program Offerings:

Organic Production 

General Fruit and Vegetable Production 

Hops Production

Soil Health and Nutrient Management 


Backyard Cover Crops

Mushroom Production

Backyard Grains