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istock photo carrots purchasedHave you ever seen a child smile when you handed them a freshly picked apple straight off the tree? Or have you watched as a farmer walked out to his herd of cows and they all came running up to greet him? Have you ever planted a seed and realized that you were growing more than just a seed? Growing food, sharing food, eating food: this is where memories are made, this is where traditions and communities are built.

Here at Illinois Stewardship Alliance, we believe everyone should have access to wholesome, locally grown food and the farmers, land, and animals responsible for providing that food should be treated with honor. But both family farmers and consumers must overcome many challenges to make that happen, from farm policies that unjustly burden small farmers to economic issues that prevent wholesome food from making it to the people who need it most. You can help though! Make a donation to Illinois Stewardship Alliance and we will continue our work in increasing conservation practices among farmers that will protect our soil and water, we will continue to open new markets for small farmers and increase access to local food, we will continue to teach present and future generations the importance of local food and sustainable living and how to incorporate them into their own lives, and we will continue to fight for fair food and farm policies that support our family farmers and make good food available for all.

Your donations support amazing local farmers. Check it out!

Have you met Clay Yapp and Traci Barkley of Sola Gratia Farm? They are beginning farmers that donate 25% of their harvest to local hunger abatement programs. But to make their farm viable, they need to be able to sell their products through a variety of outlets. This year we helped connect them to chefs in their area through our Chef-Farmer Mixers and opened new restaurant markets in their community for local food with our Local Flavors Farm-To-Table Restaurant series.
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Do you know Andy Shireman? He’s a grain and livestock farmer in Morgan, Scott and Brown counties and an advocate for conservation farming. He uses cover crops on all 3000 acres of his farm. We’ve arranged for him to speak at six conservation conferences, reaching over 245 farmers in order to share his knowledge, encouraging those farmers to get on board with using  sustainable farming techniques that will help protect soil and water quality.
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Have you met Donna O’Shaughnessy and Keith Parrish of South Pork Ranch? They are a certified organic farm raising pastured beef, pork, and dairy in Chatsworth, Illinois. Last year we helped stop legislation that would ban on-farm raw milk sales, threatening the financial viability of their farm and taking away the consumers right to choose.
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