When lawmakers and farmers come together— magic happens! Legislative farm tours are our way of getting legislators out of the office and into the field where they can learn more about the root issues facing our food system and opportunities for change!
We’re grateful to Representative Dan Brady for joining us with farmer Matt Kilgus of Kilgus Farmstead last week. The farmstead was one of the first in the state to open their own on-farm creamery and begin producing and packaging milk right on the farm! Since then they’ve added beef, pork, and goat production as well.
During the tour, we talked about how risky it is to diversify and start a creamery, and how state and federal grant programs can help.
We talked about how the pandemic exacerbated problems with livestock processing bottlenecks and how farmers have come together to explore legislative solutions.
And finally we talked about how important it is for state and federal programs and institutions to prioritize local sourcing in their food procurement and what a difference that can make to small farms.
Kilgus farmstead is raising animals humanely, growing crops sustainably, building climate resilience, providing their community with nutritious food, and building economic wealth by keeping food dollars local. We need a landscape full of farms like theirs, and shifting Illinois policy to support small, diverse, regenerative farms is one way we get there.
We look forward to continuing the conversation with Rep. Brady and lawmakers across the state.
Look for Kilgus dairy products at a coffee shop near you— and Springfield friends— you can pick up amazing local ice cream made with their milk at the The Salted Lemon- Market & Creamery.