Land Connection Developed Resources
Resources for growers of specialty and organic grains
General information - small grains
General information - organic grains
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, providing prices for organic grain crops
For more, download the documents attached at the bottom of this page.
Resources for sustainable entrepreneurial farm businesses
This Library organizes thousands of resources and docs to help you quickly find the information you need on risk management, marketing, financial management and more.
ATPI is a non-profit association representing agriculture and tourism entities in Illinois. ATPI’s mission is "to encourage, foster, support, and stimulate tourism development, especially agritourism, in Illinois through support of existing business and development of new businesses."
ATTRA is the best place to start looking for information you need, with incredibly useful documents, a bank of internship opportunities, webinars, and even an 800 number to “Ask an Ag Expert.” ATTRA stands for Appropriate Technology Transfer to Rural Areas, which is probably why the government has funded it all these years.
Fabulous site with tons of great resources for everything from business planning, to finding farmland, to information on specific farm enterprises from mushrooms to goats to chickens.
CISFN promotes the development of local food systems in Central Illinois through farmer support and training. Network members are committed to sustainable farming and are willing to share knowledge and participate in learning opportunities. Members are able to attend workshops and field days for free.
Even though this site is focused on New York State, almost everything on it is also applicable to Midwest farmers. Check it out for news, projects, and resources. And don’t miss their sister site for new farmers: nebeginningfarmers.org
The Edible Economy Project is a grassroots group in central Illinois that is building a viable local food system in Illinois. Their first projects are on-farm food hubs and a coop grocery story featuring local foods.
Some food safety resources, but mainly for consumers. The organization puts on a big conference in Chicago every March.
Farm Commons provides business legal services to farmers, creates useful legal education resources, and works with attorneys to reach community-based farmers around the country.
Farmigo, Local Dirt, Local Orbit and others
These online farmer-buyer matching services may help when you have a surplus of something, but should probably not be your main marketing outlet. The sites do have some useful information and tools.
This young farmer association provides avant-garde farmer resources and information, including an almanac,blogstream, DVDs, events, workshops, art projects and more.
Provides information and some financial assistance through programs such as Illinois Specialty Crop grants and cost-share for Organic certification through USDA.
Small business information available at Entrepreneurship and Small Business.
Developed by Bryan Endres, a U of I professor and attorney, this is a great place to find Illinois-specific legal information of critical importance to small farms and direct marketers. A new section has resources that address the unique legal concerns of CSA farms, such as worker-share agreements, volunteer waivers, etc.
Illinois Small Farms is a U of I Extension site that provides information for small-scale farmers and those who work with them. It serves commercial small farmers as well as the small acreage landowner.
ISA promotes ecologically sustainable, economically viable, socially just food systems through policy development, advocacy and education.
This U of I Extension site provides information on organics, business planning, fact sheets, and other resources.
IVARDC seeks to improve the incomes of agricultural producers and small business owners and expand employment opportunities in rural Illinois by capturing more value-added dollars in their operations.
They have a page listing Illinois CSAs, but it’s very out of date.
Kiva Zip makes 0% interest loans through crowd-sourced funds for small- and medium-sized businesses that fit their criteria of doing "social good".
This site has a wealth of resources for sustainable and organic producers focused on these areas: ecological systems research, marketing and food systems research, policy research and cross-cutting research that bridges all areas (water, energy, soil and alternative farming systems).
This organization provides crop and soil research, food and farm education, public policy, and more.
MOSES is often a “one stop shop” for your farming questions and needs. Among many other services, they provide Fact Sheets, a resource directory, guidebooks, Farm Finance and other resources, mentoring programs, field days, policy and media resources, land-linking, tree fruit network, season extension information . . . and the best of all conferences, The Organic Conference, which takes place the third week of February.
This site provides a wealth of food and farm resources, plus news and events concerning sustainable and organic agriculture.
Part of the Wallace Center, the National Good Food Network works to bring together producers, buyers, distributors, advocates, investors and funders – in order to scale up good food sourcing and access. The site has good food hub information and resources.
This group provides support and information on sustainable farming practices, land access, and community building so that farming remains a desirable and profitable career.
Practical Farmers supports profitable, ecologically sound, and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-led investigation and information sharing. You don’t have to live in Iowa to join and participate in their programs assisting farmers with both production and marketing needs.
Rachel Coventry and Maggie Watcher conducted a two-year study on pollination and single varietal honey. They published their findings in this guide booklet to help reach other small-scale honey producers.
Routes to Farm is a collaborative effort to make resources available to farmers who are launching or growing their farm businesses in the Chicago foodshed.
Second Cup Media helps farmers bridge the gap between technology and relationships. We offer workshops, coaching sessions, and retreats to groups and individuals looking for help with their online presence and marketing strategy.
An investor group that provides debt and equity financing to businesses "focused on the importance of building community wealth through a healthier local food chain" in the greater Chicago area, including all of Illinois.
SARE has a wealth of educational materials, and runs competitive grant programs that provide funds for farmer/rancher (and other) projects. You can also search their database to find result from other farmers’ projects, e.g. blueprints for tools and buildings, season extension information, even how to transform your diesel tractor to solar power.
Illinois is in the North Central Region, and NCR SARE offers grants and educational opportunities for producers, scientists, educators, institutions, organizations and others exploring sustainable agriculture.
Spence Farm Foundation, located in Fairbury, IL is teaching the art, history and practice of sustainable small family farming. Check out their workshops, field days, and Harvest fundraiser every September. They have facilitated two cooperative marketing and educational groups, Stewards of the Land, and Legacy of the Land.
This site provides information and resources on direct-to-consumer marketing, including where to find a farmers’ market; how to start a farmers’ market; and funding opportunities.
A USDA website with information related to all aspects of sustainable farming. The AFSIC specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems and practices in support of USDA's effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmers.
The National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards.
ASAP's programs and resources help farmers, students, and society at large understand the additional economic and ecosystem benefits that come with sustainable and organic agriculture.
Provides many resources including an events calendar, extension publications, news releases, and features. There are similar sites for other Illinois counties.
WFAN's mission is to link and empower women to build food systems and communities that are healthy, just, sustainable, and that promote environmental integrity.