‘Working the Soil’ July 20 at Elizabeth Community Center

From press release

ELIZABETH, Ill.—Learn how to make more money, start your first farm and sell directly to consumers at “Working the Soil: Sharing Thoughts on Agriculture from the Grassroots Up” at the Elizabeth Community Center, near Highland West College Campus and the Fairgrounds on U.S. Route 20 in Elizabeth, Ill., at 6:30 p.m., July 20.

Organic Valley Farmers Delmar and Theresa Westaby and Jeff and Sheila Koester will be speaking about their experiences raising organic food and being part of a cooperative. Of particular interest to area residents will be the higher prices paid for organic products combined with cost saving from eliminating expensive fertilizers and pesticides.

Eric Reed, from the Illinois Finance Authority, will make a special trip up to Jo Daviess County to explain innovative financing programs available through the state to provide low-cost loans to first-time farm owners. Learn how you can get money to buy land.

John Crabtree, from the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska, will wrap up the evening with a workshop for farmers. He will discuss how to raise healthy food to meet the growing demand from consumers for locally-sourced meat and produce. He will also discuss methods to market your products directly to consumers.

This event is sponsored by the Organic Valley Family of Farms, a cooperative of more than 1,650 farm families. Organic Valley will be providing samples of their milk and other products for people to enjoy during the evening.

The event is hosted by HOMES (Helping Others Maintain Environmental Standards), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, pro-agriculture group of farmers and citizens dedicated to protecting family farms, rural communities, human health, and the environment by promoting sustainable agriculture and conserving natural resources. For more about HOMES and to help support the HOMES cause, visit www.StopTheMegaDairy.org.

For more about the event, call (815) 745-9013.

From the July 14-20, 2010 issue

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