Meet the first Local Food Changemakers of the Year!

Congratulations to Derek and Libby Ervin of Glacier’s End Farm!

On Tuesday at Agriculture Day at the State Fair, Derek and Libby Ervin were awarded the new Illinois Local Food Changemakers of the Year, presented by Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

The award recognizes farmers who show exemplary leadership in growing the local food economy and helping Illinois farmers feed Illinois.

Derek and Libby manage Glacier’s End Farm in Southern Illinois where they raise apples and create a variety of cottage food products — including jams, jellies, hot sauces, and syrups — from ingredients foraged on their land or purchased from neighboring farms.

This year, Derek and Libby worked with farmers across Illinois to lead an effort to create smart new cottage food state regulations to better support small farms and help them reach new customers. 

The Ervins worked with Alliance members to draft and negotiate the Home to Market Act; conducted outreach to farmers, cottage food producers, and media to support the effort; and testified about their experience to a legislative committee — all while running their farm business!

Because of Derek and Libby’s leadership and willingness to engage with policymakers, farmers across Illinois will now have greater ability to market products made in their home kitchens, shoppers across Illinois have greater access to unique, artisan products, and Illinois’ local food system is stronger. 

In fact, Derek and Libby were invited by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to vend their cottage food products at the state fair– for the first time in state fair history!

When Governor Pritzker signs the Home to Market Act, it will go into effect January 1, 2021. Derek and Libby are gearing up for it – follow Glacier’s End on Facebook and bookmark their website to order their products online at the turn of the year. 

The Home-to-Market Act, and a handful of other game-changing bills, wouldn’t have happened without your support. Join us and Derek and Libby this September out on a farm in Southern Illinois for a Summer Shindig to celebrate together.

We can’t wait to see you and celebrate all you’ve helped make possible.