Springfield, IL— The following is a statement by Executive Director Liz Moran Stelk on behalf of Illinois Stewardship Alliance on the 2018 Farm Bill:
The draft 2018 Farm Bill released yesterday effectively ends the tiny but mighty Farm Bill programs that worked steadily over the last decade to revitalize local economies and make wholesome food available across Illinois.
The Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and Value-Added Producer Grants supported more than 30 projects in Illinois communities and dozens of family farmers. They created businesses and good jobs across our state, strengthened farmers markets, established food hubs, and have driven consumer demand for fresh, local food.
These hardworking Farm Bill programs are among the only ones that support local food production. They arm communities with the tools they need to create food security. While they are tiny investments, over the course of the last decade they have proven to make a huge impact.
Alliance members have seen the impact of these programs firsthand. The Farmers Market Promotion Program helped The Land Connection build a mid-week farmers market that serves low income residents in Champaign. The Value Added Producer Grant helped Kilgus Farmstead in Fairbury start the only on-farm dairy bottling operation in the state, helping their business support three families and deliver milk to retail locations across Illinois.
We are counting on Illinois U.S. Representatives Mike Bost, Rodney Davis and Cheri Bustos stand up for these tiny but might programs as the Farm Bill debate unfolds in the House Agriculture Committee.
Farmers Market Local Food Promotion Program Grant Recipients in Illinois:
Angelic Organics Learning Center
Belli’s Local Foods Market & Juice Bar
Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living
Board of Trustees Southern Illinois University
Bureau County Health Department
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Chicago Green City Market Program
Chicago Horticultural Society
City of Aurora
City of Carbondale
City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
City of Freeport, IL
Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly
FairAcre Traders LLC
Faith in Place
Freeport City Hall
Fuller Park Community Development Corporation
Growing Home, Inc.
Illinois Farmers Market Association
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Inner-City Muslim Action Network
Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks Incorporated
Jacksonville Main Street
Joliet Junior College District
Julie + Michael Tracy Family Foundation
Lincoln Land Community College
Loyola University of Chicago
McHenry County Food Cooperative (d/b/a Food Shed Co- op)
New Venture Advisors LLC
Northern Illinois University
Oswegoland Park District
Plant Chicago, NFP
The Endeleo Institute, Inc.
The Land Connection
Topco Associates LLC
Woodstock Farmers Market
Value-Added Producer Grant recipients:
Greta’s Goats, Pecatonica
Kilgus Farmstead, Fairbury
Kinnikinnick Farm, Caledonia
Living Waters Farm, Strawn
Marcoot Jersery Creamery, Greenville
Rustic Road, Elburn