9/1 Field Day: Involving Institutions in Local Food Systems

Pre-registration is required. Online registration has closed. Please call 217-528-1563 to inquire if space is still available.

Private producers, university student farm staff, and university buyers will share ideas about how to involve institutions in local food networks. The focus will be on universities, but the lessons can be applied to other large institutions, such as schools and hospitals.

Presenters and panel discussions will start at 11:00 and include:

  • Representatives of the Local Organic Initiative of Carbondale (LOGIC) will talk about how they established a relationship to provide local, organic food to Southern Illinois University dining halls.
  • A panel of University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University students will discuss their involvement in student farms and answer questions about how they have built relationships with university food buyers.
  • Representatives of dining services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Southern Illinois University – Carbondale will discuss the needs of institutional food buyers and
    discuss opportunities for partnering with local farmers.
  • A panel of farmers organized by The Land Connection will discuss and answer questions about producing for and selling to institutions—issues, obstacles, successes

Activities will conclude with a tour of the University of Illinois Student Farm at 3:00. After the student farm tour, attendees may stay as long as they wish and network with UI students during the annual UI Student Farm Open House, which runs from 3:00 to 6:00 PM.

An organic box lunch will be served at 1:30. Lunch is free for students. Non-students must pay $12 for lunch in advance. Non-students who do not wish to pay for lunch may attend the meeting for free and choose either to bring their own lunch or eat at the UI Student Farm Open House at 3:00.

Pre-registration is required by August 25. Please order a ticket above based on whether you are a student or not, and if not a student, whether or not you want to purchase an organic box lunch.

Directions to UI Student Farm, 2711 S. Race St., Urbana IL 61801:

At intersection of Race and Windsor, go south. The gravel drive will be first driveway on the right. Park in the grass of to the right of the gravel road. The meeting will be in Room 1005 (Laboratory) of the administrative building.

If you have any questions, please call (217) 528-1563.


The Illinois Organic Growers Association supports networking and farmer-to-farmer exchange among farmers interested in organic and sustainable production methods, promotes and develops new and improved production methods that are state- and region-specific, and helps growers support expanded markets for organic agricultural products.

The Sustainable Student Farm at The University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign serves as a production farm to supply residence halls with locally grown, low-input sustainable food. In addition, the farm acts as a living laboratory to connect students, community members, and the state at large with regional, small-scale food systems.

The Local Organic Initiative of Carbondale (LOGIC) is a group of Southern Illinois University students, faculty, and staff who have started an organic garden on the SIU-Carbondale campus to provide produce for campus dining halls.

The Land Connection is an Illinois nonprofit organization devoted to training farmers, saving farmland, and empowering consumers.

University of Illinois Extension provides outreach programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer
and more profitable for individuals and their communities.

The Illinois Stewardship Alliance promotes environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially just local food systems through policy development, advocacy, and education.