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Campus Engagement in Our Unit

Local Food Resource Guide, 2015

Local Food Resource Guide

The food we eat has profound impacts on public health, environmental quality, economic development, and land use. Increasingly, activists, analysts, public health practitioners, farmers, consumer advocates, and policy makers agree that finding new solutions includes increasing access to local foods.

Over the past nine months, Graduate Research Assistant Nancy Smebak, investigated these topics for University of Illinois Extension on behalf of Peoria County. Kathleen Brown, Community and Economic Development Extension Educator in for Fulton/Mason/Peoria/Tazewell Counties and Dr. Mary Edwards, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, served as advisors.

As one part of the study, Nancy created the EAT HERE guide to local food, designed to help you find farmers and markets selling our local bounty. In this guide you'll find lots of information to help you boost your commitment to eating locally, including: list of farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, farm stand locations, and restaurants that offer local fare. Patronizing the businesses listed in this guide helps you find the fresh foods and supports our local economy too.


Eat Here, Peoria Region



As a community and economic development educator, Kathie Brown worked with community leaders, government officials, volunteer groups, small business owners, and others to help communities become stronger and more economically viable. She focused on leadership and organizational development; local government education and relations; economic development strategies; participatory community planning/visioning processes; group process facilitation; collaboration and partnership building; public issue education; and understanding, using and developing data.

Prior to retirement in 2021, Brown worked with organizations and local governments to help them: (1) analyze and understand their needs, (2) identify alternative courses of action, (3) make informed decisions, (4) plan for the future and (5) evaluate their development efforts.

Kathie worked for Extension for almost 40 years, contributing to programs related to community health, digital literacy, STEAM education, and more.