A table with produce - corn, tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and other vegetables

Plowing Ahead

An unending sea of corn and soybeans lies only a few minutes outside any town in east central Illinois. Yet nearly all crops grown on these commodity farms are shipped away to be used on an industrial scale. At the same time, there are numerous small farms which stand in contrast to these massive operations by growing different types of crops and mostly selling locally.

What are the stories behind these small farms? How do the small farmers sell their goods and keep their businesses profitable, and how has this changed over time? How has the change in demand for organic produce modified the process of farming, especially at a local level? What challenges do small farmers face, and how have these problems changed over time? Where do small, local farmers sell their goods? How stable are these farmers' finances, and how has this changed? How has changing technology impacted small farmers?  What strategies do small farmers have for reaching out to the community and/or to one another? How do small farmers impact the local food supply system?


Distributing the Fruits of Labor

How do small-scale farmers get products from their fields to our plates? Local farmers talk about their involvements in farmers’ markets, food tours, and other areas of distribution.

A Taste of Sustainability

How are local farms becoming more sustainable? Local citizens involved in farming describe the facets of their visions of sustainable farming.

Midwestern Traditions

How is conventional farming practiced in east central Illinois? The corn-and-soybeans farming that monopolizes our landscape has been transformed by GPS, drones, and other cutting-edge technologies.

A Labor of Love

Why do people become farmers? Insights as to how some inherit this trade, while others are attracted to the land or inspired to make an impact.

Putting Down Roots

How has farming developed over time in east central Illinois? A look at how the occupation has developed over the years.

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