The Land Connection: The Weekly Harvest, Aug. 26

August 26, 2014
In this Weekly Harvest:    
legal Legal Cow Pies
For entrepreneurial farmers, legal issues seem to be around every corner and under every cow pie. And what you don’t know can slip you up and leave you with you-know-what all over you!

Here are just a few of the legal questions we’ve fielded in the past week from our Central Illinois Farm Beginnings graduates and other local farmers:

  • Can I give sample tastes of my tomatoes at the farmers market?
  • What if someone is injured when they visit or work on my farm?
  • Can I sell my farm’s meat products from my on-farm store?
  • Chemical drift has killed my grapevines and part of my CSA vegetable garden. Can I get compensation? Where do I start?

To answer these sorts of questions, and many more, we’re offering a series of free legal issues workshops that will be led by Rachel Armstrong, lead attorney and founder of Farm Commons. We still have a few spaces available, so register now for a workshop near you!


Tuesday, September 2:  Springfield, U of I Extension office
Wednesday, September 3: Champaign, U of I Extension office
Friday, September 5: Carbondale, SIUC Dunn-Richmond Center
Tuesday, September 9: Grayslake, U of I Extension office



While there are many challenges for entrepreneurial farmers, there are also many rewards, one of which is the deep satisfaction that comes with producing great food in a way that enhances soil, water, and people’s lives. Come help us celebrate The Land Connection’s 10 years of Central Illinois Farm Beginnings with a celebratory potluck at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery the afternoon of Sunday October 5. For more information and to RSVP, click here.



Last but not least, this is the final week to get a scholarship for the 2014-15 class of Central Illinois Farm Beginnings.  If you or someone you know would like to become a farmer, contact Jeff Hake, or fill out the online application.



Workshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Farmers Markets: Rules, Regulations and Reforms 

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

August 25, 1-2:30 p.m.

August 28, 6-7:30 p.m.
Two webinars will provide an opportunity for farmers market vendors and farmers market managers to learn about new regulations and reforms that impact farmers markets and provide input to the Governor-appointed Illinois Farmers Market Task Force about future farmers market regulations. This year the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor Quinn signed into law HB5657, Smarter Rules for Farmers Markets, that made a number of reforms to farmers market regulations in Illinois to support consistency, transparency and economic opportunity. This webinar will provide an overview of the reforms that HB5657 made and what farmers and market managers need to know about the new law.


Register here or call the Sangamon Menard Extension office at (217) 782-4617.

Central Illinois Farm Beginnings
Scholarship Deadline September 1, 2014
If you want to plan and launch your own sustainable farm business, register now for our year-long, farmer-led program. Some scholarships are available.

For more information, visit our website.


Food Forest, Cover Crops, Soil Health, and Adding Value through Diversity

PrairiErth Farm

September 4, 2014 9am-12pm
Topics covered at this free field day (lunch included!) will include off the grid grazing; controlled drainage systems; balancing soil health and micronutrients; the “3Crop” farming system; value adding techniques; and three on-going university research projects. Speakers will include Dave Bishop of PrairiErth Farm; Dr. Sam Wortman of the University of Illinois Crop Sciences department; Dr. Bill Becker, crop consultant; Liz Pegg, doctoral student at Illinois State University; and Cassandra Wilcoxen, University of Illinois. For more information, click here or contact Dave Bishop
Legal Issues Workshops
Tuesday, September 2: Springfield, U of I Extension office
Wednesday, September 3: Champaign, U of I Extension office
Friday, September 5: Carbondale, SIUC Dunn-Richmond Center
Tuesday, September 9: Grayslake, U of I Extension office

If you work with sustainable farmers, this workshop is for you!  Learn all about the  wide range of legal needs that entrepreneurial farmers may need help with, including:

  • Creating a business entity
  • Writing by-laws and operating agreements
  • Negotiating land leases
  • Hiring employees and interns
  • Health department regulations for value-added or processed foods
  • Complying with a variety of production and marketing regulations

The Land Connection, in collaboration with Rachel Armstrong, lead attorney at Farm Commons, will present information, role-play interactions, and resources to help you effectively present and disseminate the legal information and tools that farmers need to become economically viable businesses, and the stable and resilient foundation of rural areas.

These workshops will be of particular value to organizers, presenters, and facilitators of farmer training programs, University and Extension personnel, community college instructors, and nonprofit staff. Each The workshops are a full-day and include lunch. With four locations across Illinois, there is one near you! To register for this free workshop, visit our website.


Seedsaving Workshop

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

Champaign, IL

September 27, 2014

Saving seed is a practice as old as agriculture itself and yet it has faded with the advent of hybrid seed and a decrease in home and small-scale production. In this three hour workshop, Vicki Nowicki, founder of the Liberty Gardens Seed-Lending Library, will first discuss the principles of seed saving, then take us to the plot of Heirloominous Farm just outside Champaign, where she will demonstrate how to save lettuce and bean seeds. Register on our website.   

Farmer Grant Writing Workshop

October 1, 2014

University of Illinois Extension

Existing and prospective farmers are invited to participate in a grant writing workshop on Wednesday, October 1 from 6:00-9:00 pm (registration starting at 5:30 pm) at the University of Illinois Extension Office, 700 S. Airport Drive in Springfield. Information will be presented on the basics of grant writing as well as specifics on grants available through the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. A light meal will be provided. Be sure to bring your grant writing ideas too!

For additional information, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at 217-782-4617 or

Whole Farm Technical Assistance Program 
Pembroke Farming Family Association
January 2015
Pembroke Farming Family in Kankakee is offering technical assistance to Small, Socially-Disadvantaged Producers (experienced farmers and new farmer training participants). The program covers production, marketing, and financial aspects of the farm business process, including assessing your resources; budgets and record keeping. Established farmers who are Small, Socially-Disadvantaged Producers can improve their business planning and management skills by participating in this program. For more information, visit their website.
Free Social Media Marketing Webinars and Starter Kits
Online all the time

We know farmers are busy all the time–that’s why we are creating FREE social media content to help you more effectively market your products to consumers. We have also recorded a webinar series on our website and YouTube channel so you can watch and learn on your own time. Visit our website to sign up to receive the starter kits and watch the webinars.
Local Flavors Events
Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana and Peoria
Lunch the first Tuesday and dinner the third Thursday June through October

The Local Flavors series, an Illinois Stewardship Alliance sponsored event, brings together restaurant owners and Central Illinois farmers to provide monthly lunch and dinner events to the public. To see the schedule for your city, visit the 
SurveyHelp Us Learn About Your Farmland Needs
The Land Connection is conducting a survey to learn more about the needs of landowners, and current and aspiring farmers.  Your responses will be a great help as we develop programs to better serve your needs.  Your responses are confidential and will be reported only as aggregate data.

Click here to take the survey.

Thank you, and please feel free to contact Terra Brockman at if you have any questions.

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This Week on the TLC Blog…
Life, Liberty, and Seed Libraries
A seed library is exactly what it sounds like. People can “check out” a variety of seeds and then return saved seed at the end of the growing season.
In this season of abundance, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the fact that just about every vegetable you eat, not to mention grains, started with a seed — a miracle of life inside a hard overcoat.
Seed, like life itself, is better when shared.  Yet, over the past week, the season of abundance and the culture of community ran up against the culture of bureaucracy, control, and fear as the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture shut down the seed bank in the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know:
How to deal with superweeds without using even more herbicides: An Australian farmer may have found a way.
Something you should do:

Share or apply for the Minority Farmer Assistance Grant from the Department of Agriculture. The deadline is the 27th!  Learn about the program and application process on this page.
Something to be happy about:

The Tribune writes about our favorite farm incubator this weekend! Read the article here.

You can post your ad in the classifieds section of our website. To have something listed in the Weekly Harvest, email us at or call 217-840-2128.



I would love a piece of land on which I can grow tree crops in or near Chicago.

My goal is to start my own permaculture-based organic farm within the next two years, and to eventually incorporate educational empowerment programs for youth who lack parents. I plan to cultivate, wild-craft, and forage for nutrient-dense foods and medicinal plants on my farm, and ultimately create a healing farmstay retreat which the youth will help run. Contact Katharine Egan at 224-392-2275 or


Income Producing Property. Great Weekend Getaway. Modern, beautifully kept 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch home, 2 machine sheds (one with AC/heat) and a cattle/horse barn (with water) on 40 acres in Spring Township just east of Belvidere, Illinois. Property is well suited for cattle operation and/or to become an organic, locally grown, farming operation. A unique country retreat. 73 miles northwest of Chicago, IL. 82 miles southeast of Madison, WI. Contact Ray Brownfield, Managing Broker at Land Pro, LLC, 630.258.4800 or



Looking for a dedicated farmer to farm 133 acres, 90-96 tillable, some pasture and remainder in woods and creek bottom. 1/3 acre certified organic blackberry patch. Only second year in production produced over 1750 lbs of blackberries. Approximately 90-92 acres in legumes in transition, ready for 2015 certified corn or bean crop. 2400 square foot farm house, new windows, older barn.

If interested in either buying or renting, contact Nathan at 217-370-4370.

Looking for hard-working individual(s) with a passion for restoration agriculture. Help needed with nurturing (and eventually harvesting) 2-acres of woody perennial polyculture. Need help creating a big year-round greenhouse to grow produce. Also need help to create a silvo-pasture for cattle and pigs.  For more information, please call Marcia at (217) 582-2112 or email


Greenhouse fully enclosed for 4 acres, trucks, generators, tools, hose, growing benches, file drawers, desks, computers, growing pots, heating equipment, etc.  Everything that is needed to run the business is for sale. Asking price is $450,000. Contact Vivian Moncken at Lauschke Realtors at 618-558-1551.


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.


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