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University of Illinois Extension

Chef-Farmer Mixers Help Grow Farm Businesses

February 27, 2014

Springfield, IL – For restaurants it can be easier to purchase produce grown half way around the world than to buy something from a local farmer in town. Illinois Stewardship Alliance wants to change that. Since most distribution companies don't deliver locally grown produce, one-on-one relationships are a key factor in enabling local farmers to sell their produce, meat, cheese, eggs and other products to area restaurants. Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA) will host four chef-farmer mixers in central Illinois in March. The chef-farmer mixers are a series of events designed to bring local chefs and local farmers together for the purpose of creating new partnerships that will promote the use of locally grown food.

"Using locally grown and produced foods puts dollars in the pockets of local farmers and often provides chefs with the freshest product and unique varieties making it a win-win for both parties" said Lindsay Record, Program Director at Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

The dates and times of the events are as follows:

March 10, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. –Peoria, Illinois Central College

March 17, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. –Bloomington-Normal, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts

March 24, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. –Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College

March 31, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. –Champaign-Urbana, Cafeteria & Company

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer period hosted by a panel of local chefs, make new business contacts, learn some tricks of the trade and enjoy ample networking time. Chefs looking to source fresh, locally grown and produced food and farmers looking to expand their markets may attend for free.

Interested parties can register online at ilstewards.org or call (217) 528-1563.

ISA is a non-for-profit organization supporting local food and farming though education, advocacy, and promotion. Our mission is to protect Illinois' farmland, advocate for local food and farmers, link farmers and their food with markets and consumers and their needs, build strong local economies, and grow healthier families and businesses.


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