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Southern Illinois series highlights diverse farming enterprises

Tomatoes on a vine

SIMPSON, Ill. - Do you grow and sell fresh products locally? Are you considering diversifying your farming operation? Would you like to get to know your local farmer? Join University of Illinois Extension educators as they team up with area farmers to provide four monthly evening meetings to highlight and demonstrate diverse farming enterprises across southern Illinois. 

Through the series, participants can experience different types of production and marketing practices utilized by southern Illinois producers. By meeting on working farms and direct marketing outlets, participants can have a “hands-on” learning experience and a chance to ask questions. Throughout the four twilight meetings, individuals will have a networking opportunity which is an important step in forming relationships with other local enterprises. This opportunity helps to increase business for both parties, grow the capacity of our local foods and small farms, and support a stronger, more sustainable regional economy.

The meetings are scheduled monthly on Monday evenings, May through August, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following dates at the locations listed below:

May 15, 2023Bass Farms, Cobden School Rd & U.S. 51, Cobden, Ill. 
Hydroponic Tomato Production & Plasticulture Strawberry Production

June 12, 2023Burnt Hill Cattle Co. LLC, 4815 Piopolis Rd., Dahlgren, Ill. 
Pasture-Raised Livestock & Poultry, Local Meat Processing & Sales

July 17, 2023 - Riverside Mercantile Store, 101 W Main, Elizabethtown, Ill. 
Direct Market Sales & Value-Added Products from Local Sources

August 21, 2023 - The Patch, 14656 Pittsburg Rd., Marion, Ill. 
Cover Crops, Pumpkin Production & Fall Agritourism

The programs are free, but registration is required. To register for any or all of the meetings in this series, visit or call (618) 695-2441. For more information, please contact Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educators Bronwyn Aly or Katie Bell.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Bronwyn Aly at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your needs. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. 

SOURCE:  Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator Bronwyn Aly, University of Illinois Extension,, (618) 695-2441.

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.