News Article

Organic Farm Tour Set for July 14 in Woodford County

By Aces Staff
Jun 2, 2003

Date: June 2, 2003

URBANA - A tour of several organic farms in Woodford County will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Monday, July 14. Terra Brockman, president of The Land Connection Foundation and other local farmers will host the tour that will visit successful, diverse, organic farms.

"One farm grows 450 varieties of vegetables on 10 acres," said Brockman, "and probably makes more money than on 1,000 acres of conventional corn and soybeans. Another farm we'll visit has 500 certified organic acres of cropland and pastureland. They raise beef, hogs, dairy cows, chickens, turkeys, sheep and geese, as well as organic grains in a seven-year rotation and some fruits and veggies. In between, we'll stop and visit a new organic farm that's in the process of transitioning to organic grain production." Brockman said that there will be tastings at each farm, and refreshments at noon.

There are six tours being offered this summer through the University of Illinois Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program. The first tour took place in June and visited ethnic grocery stores in Chicago. "Sustainable agriculture includes alternative farming practices like organic, but it's also about ways to provide an adequate and dependable farm income," said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, a U of I research specialist who is coordinating the tours.

On Tuesday, August 12, community-supported agriculture will be the topic with a tour of Angelica Organics in Caledonia.

Tuesday, August 19, a tour will visit Tanglefoot Farm in Simpson to learn about prawn farming.

On Wednesday, September 10, the topic will be agritourism with a visit to Hardy's Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul. The tour will include a hay ride and lunch served in the style of the grand Old West.

The final tour is scheduled for Wednesday, October 29, to Pike's Hunting Club in Marion where the topic will be waterfowl fee hunting.

A registration form is available online at http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/asap/index.html or by contacting Cavanaugh-Grant.

For additional information contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at (217) 968-5512 or cvnghgrn@uiuc.edu. A small fee will be charged for each tour. Registration at least one week in advance is required.

The tours are sponsored by the Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois, the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program and the Illinois Small Farm Task Force.

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