Naturally Rockford: Statewide organic conference Dec. 6-7

URBANA—The University of Illinois sustainable agriculture program in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science and U of I Extension are planning the third statewide conference on organic production and marketing. The conference is scheduled for December 6 and 7 at The Interstate Center in Bloomington, Illinois.

“We are doing things a little differently this year,” said Dan Anderson, Planning committee chairman. Anderson explains that two formerly distinct meetings will be combined to bring the best, most complete research- and farmer-based production and marketing information available to those interested in organic farming and consumer-driven marketing.

On the first day, registrants will have access to cutting-edge organic production and certification information on grain crops, specialty crops and livestock. On day two, registrants will attend a separate conference: Marketing Strategies for Consumer-Driven Agriculture, sponsored and organized by Extension’s IDEA and Market Maker programs.

“These two meetings have a substantial overlap of audience,” said Kim Tack of the IDEA program. “By combining the two conferences, we’ll save farmers and entrepreneurs the expense of traveling to two different events.” Attenders will have the option of signing up for either day alone or both days together for a discounted rate.

An organic and marketing trade show featuring more than 50 exhibitors will span both days. A taste-of-organic reception on the evening of Dec. 6 will feature local and organic food prepared by area chefs, with cooking demonstrations and entertainment. The reception will be open to the public.

For more information, contact Dan Anderson (217-333-1588; or Kim Tack (309-792-2500;

The registration deadline is Nov. 15. Visit the conference web site at

From the Sept. 20-26, 2006, issue

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