Organic Farming – Research and Resources for Illinois Producers
Research Extension Specialist in Ag (217-333-1588)
Associate Professor Weed Science (217-244-4469)
Organic and locally grown foods continue to be in high demand with the sector growing at a rate of 20+ percent annually. It is now a $25 billion global market. Local Illinois markets (i.e. Chicago, St. Louis) represent huge opportunities for Illinois organic growers. As a result, organic production systems are increasingly popular among farmers.
At present there are about 250 certified organic producers in Illinois. Most are small farms catering to Illinois consumers through direct marketing. Larger farm acreages, historically devoted to cash grains, increasingly serve growing markets for specialty grains and organic livestock systems. Illinois farmers presently supply only a fraction of the local demand for organic and/or sustainably grown food. And there is a global demand for organic grains that Illinois farmers are well suited to serve.
The University of Illinois has a number of initiatives on which to build a comprehensive program on organic farming and food in Illinois. Stop by the organic exhibit and learn about ongoing projects, upcoming events and helpful resources for Illinois farmers interested in organic farming. Come learn about certification, production and the markets available for organic farmers.