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Improve profitability, sustainability of local food, small farm specialty operation

Improve profitability, sustainability of local food, small farm specialty operations

URBANA, Ill. – There is no off season on the farm and winter is a chance for small producers to gain new knowledge. The University of Illinois Extension 2021 Small Farms Winter Webinar Series offers 10 free weekly sessions with tools to improve profitability and sustainability for local foods and small farm specialty operations.

Starting Jan. 21, Extension and industry experts will provide practical knowledge producers can use on emerging topics that advance local food and specialty crop production in Illinois. Topics include biological pest control, aquaculture, cut flower production, regenerative grazing, and accessing wholesale markets.

Sessions run noon to 1 p.m. CT Thursdays Jan. 21 through March 25. To register for one or more of the following sessions or for more information, visit

  • January 21: Exploring Cover Crops and No-till in Tomato & Pepper Production Systems, presented by Nathan Johanning
  • January 28: Augmentative Biological Control in Protected Culture and Greenhouses, presented by Dr. Kacie Athey
  • February 4: Aquaculture and Aquaponics: An Overview For Urban Agriculture, presented by Andrew Coursey
  • February 11: So You Want to Be a Farmer/Value Added Producer?, presented by Andy Larson
  • February 18: Spring and Summer Bulbs for Cut Flower Production, presented by Candice Hart
  • February 25 : Regenerative Grazing - Could It Work on Your Farm?, presented by Doug Gucker and Katie Bell
  • March 4: Grower/Business Spotlight: Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains, presented by Jeff Hake
  • March 11: Containerized Production: Options When Quality Native Soil Isn't An Option, presented by Zack Grant
  • March 18: Food Desert or Food Apartheid?, presented by Grace Margherio and Joey Fonseca
  • March 25: Too Small for Wholesale Markets? Think Again, presented by Kathryn Pereira and Chicago Food Action Policy Council staff Marlie Wilson and Dakarai Howard

Each program will be recorded and made available to registered participants following the live session. Past programs are available on YouTube at

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Zach Grant at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for the requested accommodation.

SOURCEZack Grant, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, Illinois Extension
WRITEREmily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.