The Land Connection’s ‘The Weekly Harvest’

April 15, 2014
The Land Connection is hiring a Farmland Program Manager!

Will you be our new Farmland Program Manager?

The Farmland Program Manager is a full time, grant funded position. The successful candidate will have connections with Illinois farm families and farming communities, and will do research, programming, outreach, and education around the urgent need to preserve, protect, and enhance farmland, especially as land changes hands.

The successful applicant will oversee all of The Land Connection’s existing farmland programs and services, and will access and develop diverse funding streams to support them.The Farmland Program Manager will work closely with the Executive Director to plan and execute farmland programming that meets the evolving needs of land owners and inheritors, as well as meeting the farmland needs of sustainable farmers.

Overall, the goal of The Land Connection’s farmland program is to enable more elderly farmers and land inheritors to keep their stewardship legacy alive during farm transfers, and to enable more young and transitioning farmers to find suitable farmland so that the crucial work of caring for the earth while feeding our communities can continue.


Salary is competitive and dependent upon qualifications. Benefits include paid time off and health care. To apply, send a letter of interest, resume and writing sample (not to exceed 4 pages) to by May 1, 2014.

Farmland Transition Roundtable
The Land Connection
505 W. University
Champaign, IL
Tuesday, April 29, 6:30-8:30p.m.

Did the job posting for the Farmland Program Manager make you think about what to do about your family farmland? The Land Connection is facilitating Farmland Transition Roundtables as an easy way to start important conversations about your farm’s future. You will meet others in similar situations, and have a facilitated discussion about what you would like to see happen with your farmland.  We will do some goals clarification, succession self-assessment, and you will have the opportunity to get information and feedback about your farmland situation, and offer feedback to others. The evening includes a locally sourced dinner and registration is $20. Visit our website for more information.


Join The Land Connection for our annual fundraiser, Ramp Fest on April 22, at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Champaign. Seats are limited, and ticket sales end April 17, so purchase your tickets today!

Ramp Fest celebrates ramps, the first wild green things of spring, and also raises much-needed funds for The Land Connection, which allows us to:

  • provide the training new farmers need to run a successful farm business and provide good food to their community
  • assist new farmers overcome one of their greatest barriers-getting access to farmland
  • work with retiring farmers and farm inheritors to find ways to keep their land well-stewarded into the future

Tickets are $150/per person, half of which is tax deductible. This is a great way to have a delicious meal (the menu is going to feature ramps AND rabbit!), a nice night out on a farm and help support The Land Connection!

We hope you can join us on Tuesday, April 22, at 6:00 p.m. for this very exciting event featuring one of the first wild, local foods available each spring.

Workshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities
Social Media and Marketing: The Webinar 
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00pm-7:00pm
April 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23

Couldn’t make it to one of the Social Media and Marketing workshops in March? Attend and want to see it again? You can join The Land Connection and Kristi Waits from Second Cup Media online for a 6 part webinar series in April. These will be recorded and available online afterwards, if you can’t log on during the live session. No RSVP is required, and you can watch them for free as many times as you would like.

Farm Dreams Workshops

Monday, April 21: Effingham, U of I Extension Office, 5:30pm

Monday, May 5: Kankakee Public Library, 5:30pm

Monday, June 2: Danville Public Library, 6:00pm

Monday, July 7th: Peoria

Have you ever dreamed of having your own farm? Farm Dreams is an interactive workshop designed to help you learn what it takes to do just that. Participants meet experienced sustainable farmers, learn about different successful farm enterprises, and ask questions about the genesis and development of local sustainable farm businesses. It covers resource assessment, goal setting, financial planning, and marketing options. The workshop costs $20 and includes a locally sourced dinner. To register, visit our website. Registration closes the Thursday before the workshop date–so sign up soon.



Know Your Farmer Workday
Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

4410 N Lincoln

Champaign, IL 61822
Saturday, April 19, 1:00pm-4:30pm


This first time event from Common Ground allows you to give back to one of our local small scale farms. After a box lunch prepared by Prairie Fruits Farm, we will be working with Shea Belahi of Heirloominous Farm (The Land Connection’s incubator farmer) for a few hours of spring farm preparation. Participants will then enjoy a guided farm tour of Prairie Fruits Farm, concluding with samples of gelato and cheese! All participants need to be able to transport themselves to the event, this event is not taking place at Common Ground, and should come prepared with water bottles, closed toed shoes, layers and gumption. This event is subject to cancellation due to weather, participants will be notified 24hrs in advance. Register online on Common Ground’s website.


Conservation Reception and Talk, with Craig Cox, Environmental Working Group

Alice Cambell Hall, U of I

April 23, 5:30-7:30 PM


Join the Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in honor of Earth Day in partnership with the Student Chapter of the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Society, the Agriculture Watershed Institute, Faith in Place, Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Prairie Rivers Network! Craig Cox, Senior Vice President of the Environmental Working Group, will discuss how the elimination of direct payments to agriculture and their replacement with programs that provide revenue and price guarantees will affect taxpayers, farm income, and resource conservation. Cox, who has spent his life working for conservation and worked on the last four farm bills, will discuss what will be needed to harmonize agriculture and the environment in this challenging century. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit their site.


Barefoot Gardens Workshops

3201 West Adams Rd.
Macomb IL, 61455
Intermediate Workshop: April 26th and 27th

Barefoot Gardens is offering two gardening skills weekend workshops.  In both workshops, they will provide lunch (homemade and as organic and local as possible), coffee and tea, useful handouts and (for those who choose to stay) primitive camping sites for Saturday night .  They will also offer year round support should participants have any questions after finishing the workshops.  For more information, contact John Curtis at Barefoot Gardens.



Farmland Transition Roundtable
The Land Connection
505 W. University
Champaign, IL
Tuesday, April 29, 6:30-8:30p.m.

The Land Connection’s Roundtables are an easy way to start the important conversation about your farm’s future. You will meet others in similar situations, and have a facilitated discussion about what you’d like to see happen with your farmland.  We will do some goals clarification, succession self-assessment, and you will have the opportunity to get information and feedback about your farmland situation, and offer feedback to others. Visit our website for more information.


Agritourism Intensive

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

4410 N Lincoln

Champaign, IL 61822

June 23-25, 2014


The Land Connection will host its first Farmer Training Intensive, on agritourism, from June 23rd-25th at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery in Champaign. Attendees will delve into the details of running agritourism operations by: receiving tours and presentations of four successful farms that will cover topics from start-up and capital access to pricing, regulation and infrastructure; learning from regional tourism boards and The Land Connection staff about the potential markets and opportunities for growth in agritourism; walking through the risks and risk mitigation strategies of successful agritourism businesses with a farm law expert; and observing the promise and the peril of an on-farm commercial kitchen and processing facility through both presentation and delicious meals provided by the farm’s chef. For more information or to register, visit our website.

This Week on the TLC Blog…
Cara busts you for looking ahead in your 2014 TLC calendar.

Jen Miller and a goat at Rush Creek Farms
If you have peeked ahead in your TLC Farmer calendar, you already know something about Jen and Andy Miller, owners of Rush Creek Farm in Sidney, Illinois. The day I was out talking with them last summer was one of those perfectly beautiful Midwestern sky days, so the photos will do most of the talking.

Post your ad in the classifieds section of our new website! To have something listed in the Weekly Harvest, email us at or call
Two acres of permanent growing beds for lease, will divide.Well water and ample supply of mulch and finished compost available on site. Two hoop houses can be included. Shed space (with electricity) for tools and equipment. Tomato cages, plastic hoops and other supplies also available. 75 old growth maple trees on site that can be tapped to make syrup.  Good setup for beginning market gardener or family needing a large garden. Land is just west of Batavia and is ready for planting. Contact Tim Fuller for more information
Looking for hard-working individual(s) with a passion for nature, the earth, and growing food! Help needed with growing produce for market and food coop Hancock County, 40 minutes from Quincy, IL. Owner will be available but ability to work independently is important. Flexible schedule, but looking for commitment throughout the growing season. Benefits include profits from produce sales, supplemental stipend, and available lodging at the property in primitive cabin. Owner will cover cost of seeds, plants, and other incidentals associated with approved projects. Must have own transportation. For more information, please call Rebecca at (217)592-2383 or email and see ad on TLC site.


Farm manager needed for 2014 season for small organic farm located between Dodgeville and Spring Green, WI.  Approximately 8 acres of previously tilled land,plus additional acres, available for immediate planting or preservation.  Housing available.

Please contact Audrey Gaynor at or mobile:  312-758-9930



Nonfarming siblings own 40 acres near Easton, IL and want the land to be farmed more sustainably and are looking for options. They do not want to sell at this time, but are interested in an opportunity to help a sustainable farmer get started. Call 425-238-7290 or email for more information.


This position will Organize and staff PFI’s livestock field days, pasture walks, conference programming and workshops. Feature livestock farmers’ experiences in newsletters, blogs and other media, including work on enterprise budgets. Lead PFI’s livestock-related on-farm research and demonstration projects, including facilitating project selection, working one on one with participating farmers, and writing research reports. Write grants and build partnerships with others offering livestock programming. For more information, contact Sally Worley at



Beautiful land and home about 6 miles up from the Mississippi River town of Grafton. Land is bisected by a small creek and woods. It would make the perfect market or hobby farm for the right people. 33 raised 20′ x 4 feet beds currently in production, 18 of which are small fruits and asparagus. Plenty of room for expansion at the front of the property, or on upper acreage. I just want to see our dream carried on by someone who wants more than just a country retreat. Contact and other information here. 


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