2008 Task Force

The Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Task Force was created to formulate a plan to facilitate the growth of Illinois-based farm and food system for economic and community development while enhancing access to healthy, local food in Illinois.

The Illinois agricultural industry is a national leader in the delivery of vast quantities of low-cost commodities into the global food system. Farm exports are good for the Illinois economy, but an over-reliance on imported food represents a lost opportunity. Illinois¹ annual food expenditure of $48 billion is a sum that nearly equals the state government’s annual budget. The state treasury will benefit only when Illinois begins to implement a plan to capture all the benefits from growing our own farm-and-food economy.

The development of a farm and food system that keeps tens of billions of dollars in state will also generate the revenue to address the following economic goals:

· Provide incentives for farmers to invest in their enterprises

· Ensure jobs and incentives for farm labor

· Provide farmers with access to land for production

· Make farm equipment and supplies affordable and available in state

· Encourage diversified farm production

· Build the infrastructure to move products from the farm to market

· Expand in-state markets for farm products

· Offer customer access to farm and food markets

· Educate people of Illinois about the benefits of buying local food and farm products

· Provide affordable financing and insurance for new and transitioning farmers

· Correct regulatory barriers that hinder farm and food production

· Open up access to food and farm data

· Establish local resource centers to build, maintain and expand local food systems

· Encourage local food and farm networks to plan local systems

Comments
2 Responses to “2008 Task Force”
  1. Maria Thornblad says:

    Hello,

    My name is Maria Thornblad and I am writing in regards to my interest in increasing local food accessibility in Illinois. I am currently a graduate student at DePaul University pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. For the past few months, I have researched and submitted a report on local food systems in Illinois. I focused on improving the lack of infrastructure that is needed to provide local food within the state, especially for high-volume markets.

    I have one year left of graduate school but am looking to become involved in helping Illinois increase local food. I am interested in focusing on the infrastructure/ business aspect of it and was wondering if you could refer me to any contacts who would be able give me good suggestions. I currently live in Chicago and use public transit, which limits my options of organizations that I could potentially work for. In addition, due to my hectic nature of school and working part-time, I wouldn’t mind options that could allow me to volunteer or become an intern to increase my knowledge in this field.

    Maria Thornblad

  2. ernest says:

    I would like to make some local food activist contacts in the Dewitt county area of Illinois, or from anyone in the surrounding area lotusdog [at] hotmail [dot] com http://www.facebook.com/lotusdog

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