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Southern Illinois Summer Twilight Series highlights diverse farming operations

A field of corn with Southern Illinois Summer Twilight Series text.

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 operations across southern Illinois. 

The series will allow participants to 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, producers and Extension educators will provide information on the following topics: high-quality cattle and hog production, custom processing, largemouth bass fish farming, diverse row crop farms, cut flower farms, farm market, intensive vegetable production, processing, and freezing of sweet corn and peaches, and specialty equipment.

Individuals will have a networking opportunity at each meeting, 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 2024 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 13 - Legacy Meats LLC, 6440 Billet Lane, Sumner, Ill. – high-quality cattle and hog production and custom processing
  • June 17 - McLane Farms, 7962 State Rt 146 West, Jonesboro, Ill. – largemouth bass fish farm, diverse row crop farm including rice
  • July 15 - Blessed Blooms, 1618 W Main St, Fairfield, Ill. – cut flower farms and farm markets
  • August 19 - Sunnybrook Gardens, 1152 Bob Martin Dr, Carmi, Ill. – intensive vegetable production, processing, and freezing of sweet corn and peaches

There is no cost to attend these in-person programs, but registration is required. To register online for any or all of the meetings in this series, go to or call 618-695-2441.

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. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.