Local Food Lobby Day 2019

Farmers, eaters, and organizations from across the state gather to raise their voices at the Capitol for fair food and farm policy during Local Food Lobby Day 2019.

Earlier this month, Illinois Stewardship Alliance hosted our 10th annual Local Food Lobby Day! That’s 10 years of bringing farmers and eaters together across the state to meet with their legislators and drive change for a better food system. If we’ve learned anything in these past 10 years, it’s that real people make a difference. When folks come together with knowledge and resolve, share their stories, and work collaboratively with politicians on all sides of the isle, change happens. It’s how our members have passed more than 12 laws since 2012. It’s how we’re moving forward 3 bills, 1 resolution, and 2 appropriations requests this year.

We were especially grateful this year to have an opening address from Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee Scott Bennett, as well Representative Tim Butler, our home representative here in Springfield.

Senator Scott Bennett and Representative Tim Butler address the crowd at Local Food Lobby Day 2019

We were also grateful to have friends and partners across the state in attendance, including representatives from:

Advocates for Urban Agriculture
The Land Connection
Illinois Farmers Market Association
Midwest Permaculture
Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Regional Fresh Food Council
Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

Read on for a recap from our partners at The Land Connection and
check out more photos from the day here.

Recap from The Land Connection

Jacquelyn, Rey, and Taidghin went to Springfield, Illinois earlier this month for the Local Food Lobby Day hosted by Illinois Stewardship Alliance. This annual event was an opportunity for our organization, along with many individuals and organizations from all over the state, to work together so that we can build a thriving local food and farm system across Illinois. The group learned how to educate legislators on the importance of specific bills and the impact they would make, if passed and funded, on natural resources, local economies, our communities, etc. As a staff, one of our favorite highlights was getting to meet our district’s senator, Scott Bennett. We all had great conversations with him and truly appreciated his genuine interest in how our experiences with the Champaign Farmers Market and food access have helped us understand the need for funding to be appropriated towards the Healthy Foods Incentive Fund. He was also very interested in continuing to learn more about cover crops and how an incentive for farmers to adopt cover crops would be beneficial in our work to protect the environment. Overall, it was a great day and we are already looking forward to the event next year!

Jaqueline, Rey, and Taidghin of The Land Connection speak with Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee Scott Bennett during Local Food Lobby Day 2019