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Kathryn Pereira

Headshot of Extension educator Kathryn Pereira
Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator

8753 S Greenwood Ave Suite 100 Chicago IL 60619

(773) 233-2900
Program Areas
Local Food Systems and Small Farms

Kathryn (MS, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison) comes to Illinois Extension with a background of nearly 30 years working in food and agriculture. She has a passion for improving farmers’ income and quality of life as well as consumers’ access to local foods. Kathryn’s career began in Maputo, Mozambique where she worked with peri-urban communities to establish wood lots, fruit orchards, and urban agroforestry food production. When she returned to the United States, Kathryn owned and operated an organic vegetable farm in New Hampshire.

As a graduate student Kathryn studied the viability of pastured poultry in Wisconsin under a USDA SARE grant at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. She has since worked as a Research Scientist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and in UW’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering as a Researcher for the Healthy Farmers, Healthy Profits Project and as National Program Evaluator for AgrAbility. She has consulted for UW–Madison’s Center for Cooperatives, World Council of Credit Unions, BASIS Assets and Markets Innovation Lab, and several local food businesses. Before starting at University of Illinois Extension in 2019, Kathryn worked for an international food retail and manufacturing trade association.

Born and raised in Chicago (south side), Kathryn regularly volunteers with USAID’s Farmer to Farmer Program in southern Africa and for local community and school garden projects. She provides workshops, technical assistance consultations, site visits, and referrals to resources for urban and peri-urban food system projects, organizations, commercial farmers, and residents interested in urban agriculture and local food systems. She is a member of the Midwest Consortium for Equity in Food (M-CERF) and serves on the Cook County Good Food Task Force. She has also completed the Food Finance Institute's consultant training program (Level 1 & 2) to give financial technical assistance to food beverage, and value-added agriculture businesses. 

Teaching: Advanced Business Analysis for Urban Farmers, Compost Ambassador, Digging Deep into Data: using spreadsheets and data for farm planning, Cook County School and Community Garden Training, Master Urban Farmer Training Program

Leading: Cook County Composting Initiative, Extension Foundation 2022-23 Year 4 Fellow for Building a Culture of Composting in Greater Chicagoland 

Presentations: Creating a Mission and Vision for Your Urban Ag Project, Introduction to Farm Law Basics, Business Plan Basics for Farmers, Small Farm Marketing Considerations, Grant Writing for Farmers, Cash Flow Statements for Urban Farms