November 29,  2016
In this Weekly Harvest:     
toppp  The Land Connection 2016 Holiday Happy Hour
Join us TONIGHT for an evening of farmers, food, and fun at the 2016 Land Connection Holiday Happy Hour.

Tickets are just $20 and include cheese and hors d'oeuvres from  Pizzeria Antica, plus one drink. A cash bar will also be available, and we'll be holding a raffle full of fabulous prizes from local farmers, artisans, and businesses. 

All proceeds benefit The Land Connection's farmer training programs and the Champaign Farmers' Market.

We can't wait to celebrate the season with you!

More information and tickets are available  here .

When: December 6, 5-8pm
Where: Pizzeria Antica, 10 E. Chester St., Champaign, IL
How much: $20         
Managing Financial Risk in Organic Grain Farming

It's time to think about grain finances.
Lately, many headlines in farming magazines and newspapers have focused on the low conventional corn and soybean prices. Financial experts are making apocalyptic predictions of masses of farm foreclosures looming on the horizon. 

Maybe, it's time to rethink the system.

Join us on  Thursday, December 8, for a workshop that will walk farmers through the finances of transitioning to organic grain production. The time has never been better to consider capitalizing on the organic price premium.

What: Managing Financial Risk in Organic Grain Farming
Where: Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta, IL
WhenDecember 8, 9am-4pm
How much: $25, includes lunch.    More information and registration available here.

impact Community Impact
In our first season of the Champaign Farmers' Market, we gave out just over $1,000 in matching funds to help local SNAP recipients afford local food. We saw 45 customers use the program, and about 25% of those were repeat shoppers.

This year, we were very excited to see that number shoot up. Not only did the number of SNAP customers double at the 2016 market, but this year 32% became repeat shoppers.

Thanks to a generous grant from Link Up Illinois, we were able to offer a special Fruit and Veggie Bonus in October, that allowed us to triple SNAP benefits at the market. The result: we gave out nearly $3,500 in matching funds.

Our mission is to make local food more accessible and affordable to everyone in our community.

Find out how you can help us fund important programs like CIFB and the Champaign Farmers Market   here .

What We're Reading

Organic No-Till Farming
By: Jeff Moyer

Organic No-Till Farming  is my new obsession! Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Jeff speak at the Acres USA conference in Omaha, NE, where he touched on the concept of no-till farming in organic systems. I have seen his talk on organic no-till a number of times and have found it intriguing.

Tillage in organic crop production systems has always been a concern of mine. Weed control is primarily accomplished with cultivation, which leads to decreases in soil organic matter, increases in compaction, and increased use of fossil fuels via the extra passes over the field needed for weed control. By decreasing the need for tillage passes, this system alleviates all of these problems.

In this book, Jeff Moyer describes everything you need to know about how to set-up and carry out a no-till organic system on your farm. This method works for all large seeded crops, such as corn, soy, and pumpkins. The systems relies on the use of cover crops and an implement called the roller/crimper. This tool lays the cover crops over and kills them by crimping the stems, creating a weed suppressing mulch layer. The crop seeds are then planted through the mulch using a no-till drill. Learn more in this fantastic book! - Mallory

P.S. Don't forget that when you order from Amazon, you can use Amazon Smile to select The Land Connection and a portion of your purchase price will turn into a donation. You can donate while shopping, and it won't cost you anything extra!

WorkshopsWorkshops, Field Days, and Grant Opportunities

Managing Risk in Organic Grain Farming - Workshop Series
This series of workshops is designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing. The four-workshop series started in J uly and runs through February. Each workshop costs $25 to register, or $75 to register for all four. 

Farm Services Agency Workshop
February 11, 2017
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery
Officials from the Illinois state FSA office will be presenting a three-hour workshop, walking attendees through programs designed to assist farmers with access to operating credit, real estate financing, conservation support programs, and disaster relief. Attendees will learn about eligibility and preferential funding groups such as beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. The workshop will conclude with a panel of farmers describing their experiences with the loan application process and how access to FSA funding has improved their businesses.  Attendees of this workshop will be the first to receive The Land Connection's new printed guide to FSA programs for specialty and non-commodity crop farmers.  Learn more and register here.


Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture FINI Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Three funding levels are available for different project scales by farmers' markets, farmstands, or other food system stakeholders. Applications are due December 12. Learn more about the funding opportunity here.


Free webinars on Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)
The Center for Rural Affairs
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Whole Farm Revenue Protection for livestock producers. WFRP will insure up to $1 million in annual revenue from animals and animal products - learn how to apply.
11 a.m. to noon CST: for producers - Register here.
Noon to 1 p.m. CST: for insurance agents - Register here.

Fund-a-Farmer Webinars
Please join Food Animal Concerns Trust for one or both of their free upcoming webinars. 
Understanding Farm Animal Welfare Certification 
Tuesday, December 13
10:00 AM CST
Are you considering Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and Global Animal Partnership certification? This webinar will walk you through the process of becoming welfare-certified and discuss funding options available to farmers interested in certification - including FACT's Animal Welfare Certification Grants. Register here.

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
January 11-13, 2017
Crowne Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Springfield, IL
The Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference (ISCAOC) will be held January 11-13, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield. The conference, which features nearly 100 speakers and 60 trade show exhibitors, will again host four concurrent preconference workshops, general sessions and breakout sessions aimed at helping Illinois specialty growers cultivate their operations.

To receive registration materials or to obtain exhibitor information, please contact Charlene Blary at 309-557-2107 or A detailed conference agenda, online registration, and cider contest information can be found here.

Routes to Farm Summit: Emerging Challenges for Direct-Market Farms
January 18-19, 2017
Starved Rock Lodge & State Park
A growing number of farmers in our region now report declining farmers market sales and increased difficulty attracting and retaining CSA members. Through a process of open dialogue among farmers and local food advocates who gather in January, we will (1) gain an understanding of current challenges for direct market farms, (2) identify critical issues and barriers to their continued success and (3) develop a farmer-led agenda for action that will guide follow-up activity.

Early registration for farmers begins November 13th. Please complete the registration form below. Meals and lodging will be available at no cost for farmers. General registration for food system advocates and other stakeholders will begin December 1st. Space will be limited.  Learn more here.

2017 Market Manager Certification Course
February 10-March 7, 2017
Mount Vernon, IL
Indianapolis, IN
The Market Manager Certificate Program is a voluntary program designed to encourage farmers market managers to pursue leadership skills and professional development in topics essential to market management. Market managers will be recognized with a certificate upon completion of the full program. This certificate offers acknowledgment to market organizers and vendors that the market manager is a trained professional. The course incorporates 3 day-long sessions, in both Mount Vernon, IL and Indianapolis, IN on February 10-11 and March 7, as well as 7 webinars. Learn more here.

2017 Good Food Festival & Conference
March 16-18, 2017
UIC Forum, Chicago
The Good Food Festival & Conference Is The Midwest's Premier Showcase For Local And Sustainable Food.  Celebrate our region's growing local food community!  The 13th Annual Good Food Festival & Conference will connect farmers, food producers, investors, trade buyers, policy makers, activists, families and Good Food lovers over three dynamic days.  Learn more here.
The Theme Always Goes Back to the Environment

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Acres USA conference in Omaha, NE. It was a great trip! I love long drives, and the 8 hours from Champaign to Omaha was perfect! 

agnews Agriculture in the News:
Something you should know
The Farmers' Market Coalition's program for free farmers' market SNAP equipment is back open until May 2017Read more here.
Something you should do
Illinoisians, contact your state representatives in support of releasing funds for Extension services around the state. Learn more here.

Something to be happy about
Champaign Farmers' Market vendor Kaya Tate of Hopscotch was featured in Feast Magazine.  Read more about her eclairs here.

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

Employment Opportunities:
We are seeking interns/crew members to start immediately. This is a paid, full-time position with room and board available.   No experience is necessary, but experience in physical labor or mechanical work and animal care is helpful and a great attitude is a must. 

For more information and to apply, contact Julie Larson at

Do you want to farm?  Do you have land but not the skills to tend to it?  Have you wondered what it would be like to spend a summer growing food for a community surrounding a farm?  

Our apprenticeship is designed to give individuals with the desire to farm and grow food an opportunity to do that on a production scale to make a living.  We offer housing & monthly stipend in exchange for a full season commitment. 

We raise mixed produce for CSA, farmer's markets and wholesale customers.  We'll work side-by-side from seed to sale in hopes that you finish the season with a solid grasp of what it takes to run a small farm. Interns are expected to work quickly and efficiently in good and bad weather, to ask questions, and to learn from mistakes. Stipend starting at $800/month and food from the farm as well as shared housing for the right candidate.
Full-time and part-time positions available. Contact Dylan at

We are hiring for farm hands. This is part-time work starting in May or June running into December. You would be doing all kinds of manual labor: harvesting, weeding, washing, occasional transplanting and general cleanup. The benefits are hard to beat: lots of produce, exercise, and interesting people to talk to. No experience needed. For an application, visit our website and send to:

Land, Equipment, and Other:

1980 IH Hydro 84 with IH2250 6' loader row crop model with 4cyl German Diesel Engine. Great farm tractor we have used for the last 5 years transplanting vegetable crops and have upgraded our transplanter and no longer need a hydro tractor. Rebuilt starter and alternator put in last year, new front tires in the last 2 years. Has block heater, 3 point cat i or ii, rear hydraulic outlet, and power steering. Hydro is strong, kept inside. $8500/OBO. For more information email Hans at

Lockie Farm is a 22-acre sustainable farm near Ogden (15 miles east of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois). 2 acres are Woody Perennial Polyculture (planted May 2014). The rest is leased to Kevin Wolz, who is creating a demonstration site for restoration agriculture. I am looking for someone(s) who will rent the 2-bedroom, 2 bath partially furnished house (with garage) and look after the 2-acre food forest. There is a half-acre west of the house that can be used for growing (and selling) produce. T he house will be available in January 2017. If interested, please contact  Marcia Powell at or call  (727) 400-4275. Find more information on the farm here.

NEW HOLLAND 1034 BALE WAGON (Mechanical hay loader/stacker)
A pull type wagon that can mechanically pick small square hay bales up out of the field and stack them into pallets of 100 bales that can be moved with a forklift. Always shedded while I've owned them, since 1999. I've quit raising hay. Two available. Asking $5,000 each, obo. 100 pallets also available. Pictures available here. Contact Brian Severson at  815-584-1850 or email

Selling at least 8 pastured, non-GMO fed, antibiotic-free pigs for around $1 a pound. Also available are a few  Red wattles which are antibiotic free, grown outside and will sell for 85 cents per pound. If you are interested contact Ammon Troyer at (217) 543-2979.

LAND USE OPPORTUNITY - 2.5 acres on north side of Aurora, IL
Landowner is making land available for garden/farm use. Has been in grass since 1981. Located near Indian Trail and Mitchell Road. Call owner Bill Robinson at  (630) 927-0519.

We hope to see someone purchase our family farm for organic farming practices. 40 acres- 20 acres planted soybeans 2016 + 20 acres fenced pastures/timber w/creek, pond. Modular home, pole barn, municipal water supply plus 2 other wells,300 amp electric, new septic system.  Past operations on property:  horses,  aquaculture (pond & creek), poultry, hogs, sheep, dairy, beef, honey, nuts, fruit trees, berries, mushrooms, herbs (woodland and planted), gardens (floral and vegetable), lots of wildlife habitat and mature timber.  Learn more here.

Thank you to all the sponsors, donors, and supporters that make the daily operations and programs of The Land Connection possible. We couldn't do it without you!


 And thanks to all of our 2016 Market Sponsors!

 Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church