Jan
24
12:00 PM12:00

Understanding Financial Statements: Preparing Farmers for Uncertain Times

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Jan. 24 - Understanding Financial Statements: Preparing Farmers for Uncertain Times, Pam SchallhornUniversity of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development Educator

Harvest is over.  Outside pressures on net farm incomes continue to mount. Uncertainty for farmers and their families as well as lenders may create challenges when the time comes to increase or renew credit lines for the 2019 crop year.  University of Illinois Extension Educator, Pam Schallhorn will be presenting an informational workshop on understanding farm financials from a lender’s perspective. Schallhorn will also provide insights and lessons learned on negotiating credit accommodations based on her experience as an Agricultural lender during the Ag Financial Crisis from 1987 to 1991.  This webinar will be presented live at Kaskaskia College - Agricultural Education Center, Centralia, Illinois.


View Event →
Mayoral Candidates Forum on Food & Environmental Justice
Jan
30
6:00 PM18:00

Mayoral Candidates Forum on Food & Environmental Justice

  • Breakey Theater, Douglas Hall at Chicago State University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Hear how mayoral candidates would promote a comprehensive vision of Food and Environmental Justice that includes:

  • Building community wealth through supporting food entrepreneurship in underserved communities,

  • Supporting and expanding the Good Food Purchasing Policy passed by the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Parks Department,

  • Driving sustainable urban and industrial redevelopment supports a community-based green economy while contributing to community health,

  • And equitable access to healthy, sustainable, local, fair and humane food.

Spanish language interpretation will be provided.

This event is hosted by Chicago State University’s Honors College and the Chicago State Department of Geography, Sociology, History, African American Studies, and Anthropology.

Co-sponsors include: Chicago Environmental Justice Network, Chicago Food Policy Action Council, Chicago South East Side Coalition To Ban Petcoke, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Grow Greater Englewood, Ixchel, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Street Vendors Association of Chicago, Southside NAACP, Urban Growers Collective, Urban Stewards Action Network.

Directions and Parking

Driving to CSU

  • From the far north, using Lake Shore Drive (41) south to connect to the Dan Ryan Expressway and at 95th Street, and take left Exit 62.

  • From the southeast, southbound on Lake Shore Drive, Jeffery Boulevard south to 95th Street and west to St. Lawrence Avenue.

  • From the south, I-57 north to Halsted exit. North on Halsted to 95th Street and east to 95th and King Drive.

  • From the west, Eisenhower Expressway (290), east to connect to the Dan Ryan Expressway and at 95th Street, and take Exit 62

View Event →
Jan
31
12:00 PM12:00

2018 Updates on Illinois Cottage Food Law

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Jan. 31 - 2018 Updates on Illinois Cottage Food Law, Mary Wright, Drusilla Banks, and Jenna Smith, University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educators

Join our Nutrition and Wellness team for an overview of the new legislation surrounding home cottage foods operations. Can you can tomatoes for sale at farmers markets? What's the difference between harvest cut greens and fresh-cut prepared salads? Your value-added questions will be answered along with an overview of a new Extension website to help guide you through the new law. 

View Event →
Feb
7
to Feb 8

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course

C&T Smith, LP in conjunction with U of I Extension Kankakee and Pembroke Farming Family presents the international AFDO (Affiliated Food and Drug Officials) FDA/USDA certified Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training. The training will be held in Pembroke, Illinois, the oldest existing free African farming community in the United States established in 1830. Yes, during African American History month February 7th. The training is 8:30-4 p.m. with refreshments, lunch and snacks served. Participants will earn the PSA Grower Certificate along with accompanying electronic and hardcopy material to develop GAPS/FSMA compliant record keeping. This is important for growers, manufacturers, policy authors, and purchase decision makers. This certification is the standard for local, national, and international food trade concerning human and animal consumption. There will be an optional second day training at the same location, February 8th that will live coach food safety plan development.

Dates: Thursday, February 7, 2019 – 8:30 am to 4:00 pm (PSA Training) & Friday, February 8, 2019 – 8:30 am to 2:00 pm (Food Safety Plan Writing)

Location: Pembroke Public Library, 13130 East Central, Hopkins Park, IL 60958

Hosts: University of Illinois Extension; Pembroke Family Farms (PFF) and C&T Smith, LP

Who Should Attend

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety.  The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in §112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:

*Introduction to Produce Safety

*Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training

*Soil Amendments

*Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use

*Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)

*Postharvest Handling and Sanitation

*How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module.  There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Benefits of Attending the Course

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan.  Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:*

*Microorganisms relevant to produce safety; where they may be found on the farm

*How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm

*Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one

*Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them. 

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course.  To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course. 

Cost to Attend

Total cost to attend the PSA Grower Training Course is $145. The cost will include PSA Grower Training Manuals ($50) and a Certificate of Course Attendance from AFDO ($35).  Other expenses will be for meals, beverages and room rental.

View Event →
Feb
7
12:00 PM12:00

Five Years In: What do we really know about growing and processing Industrial Hemp?

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Feb. 7 - Five Years In: What do we really know about growing and processing Industrial Hemp?, Thomas Keene, University of Kentucky Agronomy Specialist and Hemp Extension Associate

With hemp legislation in the 2018 Farm Bill and new Illinois legislation opening the door to industrial hemp, production continues to expand in Kentucky and nationwide.  What have we learned in those first 5 years? Can it actually replace tobacco as some have touted?  We’ll explore these questions and look at some of the hard production over the last few years. Join University of Kentucky's Tom Keene introduce the lessons learned from 5 years of research with industrial hemp production in Kentucky and what this might mean for Illinois.


View Event →
Marketing, Financials and Financing your Farm Project
Feb
9
10:00 AM10:00

Marketing, Financials and Financing your Farm Project

Hosted by Urban Growers Collective

We will begin the day discussing financial planning, budgets and spreadsheets, grant writing and financing your project, and small group budget development. Next, we will create a comprehensive operating budget, profit and loss format and begin to develop a financing or grant writing for the business plan. UGC will provide bookkeeping and accounting basics presentation and provide templates for developing the budget. This information will provide a springboard to begin strategizing how products and services will be sold to generate revenue for the enterprise. Planning value-added products, workshops, and sales to restaurants, Community Supported Agriculture, and farmers’ markets will all be explored through small group discussion and a questions and answers session.

Saturday, February 9, 2019, 10:00am-4:00pm
Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th Street (enter at Racine entrance – Dial UGC)
Cost: $150.00

View Event →
Feb
14
12:00 PM12:00

Intro to Digital Marketing in the Local Food System

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Feb. 14 - Intro to Digital Marketing in the Local Food System, Grant McCartyUniversity of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

Digital marketing is a strategy that lends itself well for farmers in the local food system to utilize. With changes happening regularly, it can be intimidating to know what the best practices are and how to implement a successful digital marketing plan. This presentation will provide an introduction to getting started by using Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and others to set up a digital marketing plan for the 2019 season. Participants will also learn about new/emerging digital trends and ideas on measuring data/impact.


View Event →
Feb
21
12:00 PM12:00

FSMA Produce Safety Exemptions and Guidance: What You Need to Know for 2019

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Feb. 21 - FSMA Produce Safety Exemptions and Guidance: What You Need to Know for 2019, Zack Grant, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

With FSMA and the Produce Safety Rule in place, is your farm exempt? What do you need to know for 2019 in order to comply with the new federal standard? Learn the critical and timely information for compliance necessary to make sure your operation is on track for compliance or conditional/qualified exemption.

View Event →
Dismantling Racism in the Food System – Intensive Leadership Training
Feb
28
to Mar 2

Dismantling Racism in the Food System – Intensive Leadership Training

Hosted by Urban Growers, Collective, this three-day workshop will introduce a framework to better understand how racism and privilege manifests on an individual, cultural and institutional level, as well as provide space to reflect upon ways to empower low-income and communities of color through sustainable, local agriculture.

View Event →
Feb
28
12:00 PM12:00

Maximizing your Production: Succession and Companion Planting

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Feb. 28 -Maximizing your Production:  Succession and Companion Planting, Laurie George, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

Discussion on incorporating succession planting into your production system, and using companion planting to help increase biodiversity in agro-ecosystems. 

View Event →
Mar
7
12:00 PM12:00

Healthy Soil Produces Healthy Vegetables

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Mar. 7 - Healthy Soil Produces Healthy Vegetables, James Theuri, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

Most vegetables are annuals, and farmers prepare each year by tilling the land, incorporating fertilizer, cultivating to manage weeds, laying plastic mulch, and other activities to enhance crop productivity. Yet, this disturbs soil structure and exposes organic matter and ultimately leads to loss of soil carbon to the atmosphere. Soil organic matter (SOM) is of great importance as a soil health indicator and contributes significantly to nutrient retention and availability in soil, aggregate and water-holding capacity, and nutrient recycling. Healthy soil is a living ecosystem in which SOM forms the base of a food web U9consisting of microscopic and larger organisms. In the natural environment, plants form mutualistic relationships with soil microbes to obtain water, nutrients, and protection against some pathogens, while the plants provide food. The presentation will discuss the soil health concept and recommend some ways of enhancing the quality of soil without using synthetic fertilizers. 

View Event →
Mar
14
12:00 PM12:00

The Best Practices for Maintaining Healthy Bee Hives

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Mar. 14 - The Best Practices for Maintaining Healthy Bee Hives, Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

View Event →
Mar
21
12:00 PM12:00

Reducing Damage to Livestock and Specialty Crops from Wildlife

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Mar. 21 - Reducing Damage to Livestock and Specialty Crops from Wildlife, Dave ShileyUniversity of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

Protecting livestock and crops on the farm from predation can be challenging.  In this presentation, an integrated pest management approach will provide options for reducing the likelihood of loss to wildlife.  The discussion will include wildlife population management, limitations, exclusion techniques, fencing designs, and options in the use of guard animals.

View Event →
Mar
28
12:00 PM12:00

Agroforestry for Diversification on Small Scale Farms

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Mar. 28 - Agroforestry for Diversification on Small Scale Farms, Bill Davison, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

View Event →
Apr
4
12:00 PM12:00

ABCs of Tomato Production

The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series will provide practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. These online presentations will give small farm producers a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. The complete list of topics and speakers is included below. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free.

Apr.4 - ABCs of Tomato Production, Bronwyn Aly, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

Customers are looking for high quality, great tasting tomatoes.  Understanding basic production practices, including variety selection, integrated pest management, and fertility, can help to improve your overall yields and sales.

View Event →