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Sarah Farley

Sarah Farley
Local Food Systems and Small Farms Extension Educator

100 US 45 South Grayslake IL 60030

(847) 223-8627
Program Areas
Local Food Systems and Small Farms

Sarah Farley, M.S. serves as the Local Food Systems and Small Farms Extension Educator in Lake and McHenry Counties. In her role, Sarah develops and delivers research-based programs to growers, collaborates with community partners and coalitions, and extends University resources to meet the needs of those involved in the local food system. Since joining the University of Illinois Extension in August 2020, Sarah has contributed to various projects including partnering with the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) on a multi-stakeholder USDA-NRCS grant to promote composting and food waste diversion, and to increase the generation and use of compost in commercial, residential, agriculture, and community gardens sectors. Sarah is also a compost education curriculum developer on the Cook County Composting Initiative team, co-chairs the Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Conference for commercial fruit and vegetable growers, and provides expert assistance to small farmers.  She serves on the McHenry County College Center for the Agrarian Learning Industry Council, McHenry County Healthy Living Coalition (MAPP) and holds leadership positions as the Illinois Extension Agricultural Association (IEAA) Northern District Junior Director and Unit 3 Marketing Chair.

Sarah comes to the University of Illinois Extension with a myriad of professional experience including agriculture entrepreneurship, livestock and crop production, sales and marketing, risk management, positive youth development, and farm financial management. She has also contributed countless hours of service as a grant writing and food pantry garden volunteer with the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati, organic farm volunteer with WWOOF Argentina, and a 4-H volunteer leader with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Sarah Farley earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences, Agribusiness Management at Penn State, and a master’s degree in Agriculture and Life Sciences from Virginia Tech. Sarah’s enthusiasm for agriculture is long standing, rooted in her connection to the family farm, projects and experiences as a 4-H alumna, and notable mentors and teachers to whom she will always be grateful. In her free-time, Sarah enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, gardening and exploring local restaurants and coffee shops.