Meet The People

Who Do You Want To Hear From?

Farmers

Did you know that today, nearly all Illinois farms – 97 percent – are family owned? While our farms may come in different shapes and sizes, we all value the same thing: responsibly growing safe, healthy food for your table and ours.  

Moms

These Chicago-area moms are asking questions – about food, farming and everything in between. They've visited different Illinois farms and are now sharing what they see, hear and learn on their visits. Meet the moms and visit their blogs to read their stories.

Experts

Dieticians. Health professionals. Agronomists. Scientists. These are the experts who are providing a glimpse into the relationship between farm practice and food quality and what that means for you. Find information about these topics and more straight from the source.

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  • Farmers
  • Moms
  • Experts
Kristin Srail

Kristin Srail

Geneva, IL

"We grow fruits and vegetables. We love using our hands to grow the finest quality foods."

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Cortney Fries

Cortney Fries

"Eating healthy is now about more than just choosing lean proteins and veggies. I'd like to learn firsthand how the things we eat are produced."

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Heather Guido

Heather Guido

"While I've heard many moms talking about GMOs in a negative light, I'd like to know more and share what I learn."

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Trent Sanderson

Trent Sanderson

Clare, IL

"I grow corn, soybeans, wheat and beef cattle with my family."

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Amina Nevels

Amina Nevels

"The combination of healthy food and budgeting is important to me."

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Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

Rockford, IL

"I grow organic, conventional, GMO and non-GMO crops. When you open a can of DelMonte corn, you might be eating food grown on my farm!"

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Ruth Zeldenrust

Ruth Zeldenrust

Chicago Heights, IL

"We grow vegetables and flowers in Chicago Heights. Everything is picked by hand."

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Ellen Krasin

Ellen Krasin

"I love learning the stories behind people who help grow the food we eat, and I believe it's important for my children to understand, too."

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Jodie Shield

Jodie Shield

Chicago, IL

"I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and have taught nutrition at the college level for many years."

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Dave Bishop

Dave Bishop

Atlanta, IL

"My family and I raise a little bit of everything on our certified organic farm."

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Anita Mann

Anita Mann

"Agriculture is a subject I know very little about, and I just want to learn more about how a farm operates. What better way to learn about them than to experience a farm firsthand? "

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Michele Aavang

Michele Aavang

Woodstock, IL

"We grow corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and have a 60-cow herd of beef cattle."

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Bridget Evanson

Bridget Evanson

"I'm very curious to learn the difference between what I think happens on modern farms and what actually happens, and it's hard to make educated choices without firsthand experience."

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Genevieve O'Keefe

Genevieve O'Keefe

"Some of us only get to see the farm as the product of its work, so I really want to understand more about what life is like for farm families, and how alike or different we might be."

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Scott and Karen Bohnert

Scott and Karen Bohnert

East Moline, IL

"We team up with Scott's parents to raise dairy cows and crops in East Moline, IL."

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Megan Dwyer

Megan Dwyer

Coal Valley, IL

"We raise cattle with our families in western Illinois."

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Jen Meiring

Jen Meiring

"Feeding my family healthy meals has always been a top priority for me, so these farm tours help me make better and more informed decisions when it comes to buying food."

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Stephanie Kush

Stephanie Kush

"It's important for people to know where food is coming from. I recognize that food doesn't just appear in our stores."

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Alan and JoAnn Adams

Alan and JoAnn Adams

Sandwich, IL

"We grow corn, soybeans, and alfalfa and raise cattle in northern Illinois."

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Alicia Gonzalez

Alicia Gonzalez

"I want to get to know our farming community and show them our appreciation for what they do."

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Alison McGrew

Alison McGrew

Good Hope, IL

"I raise cattle with my husband and two children in western Illinois."

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Amanda Hinman

Amanda Hinman

"As a mom and a personal trainer, I have both a personal and professional interest in where food comes from."

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Amy Hansmann

Amy Hansmann

"I cook at home most nights of the week, and I'm excited to see for myself what happens on Illinois farms."

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Amy Wagliardo

Amy Wagliardo

"I know that this program will help me to see where my food comes from and make more informed food purchasing decisions. "

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Andrew Bowman

Andrew Bowman

Oneida, IL

"I grow corn and soybeans with my dad. My wife and I market popcorn, too, and work together to raise our son, Ryker."

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Andy and Katie Pratt

Andy and Katie Pratt

Dixon, IL

"We grow corn and soybeans with our family in northern Illinois."

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Angie Runyan

Angie Runyan

"I decided to become a City Mom to increase my opportunities to learn about agricultural resources, get to know others with the same interests and meet the people producing our food. "

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Autumn Perrault

Autumn Perrault

"I am a busy mom of four who wants to be an informed consumer."

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Becky Martinez

Becky Martinez

"With all the conflicting information about what foods to feed your family, I am looking forward to learning firsthand from the people who grow it."

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Betsie Estes

Betsie Estes

"I worry about the hormones and antibiotics in food and how those things will affect my children down the road."

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Brent Scholl

Brent Scholl

Polo, IL

"The main focus on our farm is our pigs. We also raise cattle and sheep, and grow corn, soybeans, hay, wheat and oats."

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Brett and Krista Swanson

Brett and Krista Swanson

Oneida, IL

"We grow crops with Brett's family and love raising our three daughters on the farm."

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Brian and Heather Hampton Knodle

Brian and Heather Hampton Knodle

Fillmore, IL

"We grow corn, soybeans and wheat and raise a small herd of Black Angus cows."

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Brian and Jen Sturtevant

Brian and Jen Sturtevant

Lanark, IL

"We raise grain and pigs with Brian's family."

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Carol Cohen

Carol Cohen

"I'm interested in learning all I can about local food and farms so I can make the best food purchasing decisions for my family."

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Carrie Steinweg

Carrie Steinweg

"I like to feature local farms in my food blog and learn about where food comes from."

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Chris and Dana Gould

Chris and Dana Gould

Maple Park, IL

"We raise pigs and crops with Chris' dad, Eldon, who started the farm in 1964."

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Christa Grabske

Christa Grabske

"As a mom, I want to know what's in our meat and dairy products."

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Christina Lee

Christina Lee

"I question whether or not our society is overreacting to the possible dangers of pesticides, so I look forward to asking farmers their opinions."

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Cissy Rankin

Cissy Rankin

"I'm interested in learning about the role I can play in supporting local farmers and sharing that information with friends and family."

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Dina Barron

Dina Barron

"As a mom, I'm concerned with clean growing and production techniques."

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Donna Farmer, Ph.D.

Donna Farmer, Ph.D.

St. Louis, MO

"I'm a scientist and a mom. I've held a variety of roles at Monsanto since joining the company in 1991."

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Dr. Howard Brown

Dr. Howard Brown

Champaign, IL

"I work with GROWMARK, Inc. educating farmers about nutrient management and environmental stewardship."

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Dr. Janeen Salak-Johnson

Dr. Janeen Salak-Johnson

Champaign, IL

"I am an Associate Professor at U of I, studying the impact of environmental factors on animal welfare."

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Elizabeth Rago

Elizabeth Rago

"With all the conflicting information about hormones and chemicals, I want to learn more from the farmers themselves."

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Farrah Brown

Farrah Brown

"Fresh meat and produce from trusted sources has become one of my obsessions. I would love to be able to see the farms firsthand."

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Heather Caulfield

Heather Caulfield

"I want to get a better sense of the standards and common practices of how animals are raised."

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Janelle Floerke

Janelle Floerke

"I like to support locally owned grocery stores and buy fresh, in-season food because I worry about too many chemical preservatives."

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Jesse and Mary Faber

Jesse and Mary Faber

Pontiac, IL

"We raise dairy cattle with my family while raising two kids of our own."

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Jill Niewoehner

Jill Niewoehner

"I want to better understand hot topics in the food industry, such as GMOs and pesticides."

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Jill Thurmond

Jill Thurmond

"Aside from what I grow in my own garden every summer, I'm not all that knowledgeable about how food is grown. I'm looking forward to becoming more educated!"

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Joe and Emily Webel

Joe and Emily Webel

Farmington, IL

"We help my family grow corn, soybean and cattle in central Illinois. As if raising six kids doesn't keep us busy enough!"

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John and Holly Spangler

John and Holly Spangler

Marietta, IL

"We grow corn, soybeans and raise cattle."

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John and Kate Hagenbuch

John and Kate Hagenbuch

Utica, IL

"We raise pigs, corn and soybeans in Utica with our three children."

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John and Tammy Wakely

John and Tammy Wakely

Rockford, IL

"We raise dairy cattle and crops in northern Illinois."

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Jyotsna Jagai

Jyotsna Jagai

"I want my son to be aware of where his food comes from."

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Kathy Goers

Kathy Goers

"Farms have an enormous impact on my life, and I feel that's something I should learn more about and teach others about as well."

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Katie Grossart

Katie Grossart

"There's a lot that happens before food reaches our dinner table, and I want to see it firsthand."

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Kyle and Carrie Winkelmann

Kyle and Carrie Winkelmann

Tallula, IL

"We both grew up on farms and continue to grow corn and soybeans today."

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Kyle Cooper Rogel

Kyle Cooper Rogel

"As a private chef and the primary cook in my family, I would like to dig deeper into where our food originates"

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Lynda Gould

Lynda Gould

Ashton, IL

"I'm a mom, farmer and veterinarian. I want to share what I know about our food from all three perspectives."

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Lynn Prehm

Lynn Prehm

"I want to get information about food directly from the people who produce it – not secondhand from others."

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Maggie Bartoszewski

Maggie Bartoszewski

"Since I've only been to the zoo version of farms, I'm looking forward to visiting “real” Illinois farms."

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Michael and Sara Prescott

Michael and Sara Prescott

Lincoln, IL

"We raise beef cattle with our three children."

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Mike and Lynn Martz

Mike and Lynn Martz

Maple Park, IL

"Together with Lynn's family and our son, we raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle."

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Mysi DeSantis

Mysi DeSantis

"I want to learn more about pesticides, whether we should purchase organic foods and the presence of GMOs in things we eat. "

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Natasha Nicholes

Natasha Nicholes

"I try to provide great food on a family budget."

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Nick and Missy Saathoff

Nick and Missy Saathoff

Manteno, IL

"We grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay, and also sell home-raised freezer beef to local consumers."

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Nicole Foster

Nicole Foster

"We are an active family and enjoy time outdoors, especially riding bikes."

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Paul and Donna Jeschke

Paul and Donna Jeschke

Mazon, IL

"We grow corn and soybeans. Our sons have jobs off of the farm, but come back to help when they can."

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Pilar Clark

Pilar Clark

"Knowing how things go from farm to fridge and hearing from the folks who are deeply vested in their farming traditions would be amazing."

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Renee Keats

Renee Keats

" I want to learn more about the pros and cons of organic produce."

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Ron and Deb Moore

Ron and Deb Moore

Roseville, IL

"We raise corn, soybeans and cattle."

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Samantha Godden

Samantha Godden

"Most people are very removed from growing what they eat. I'm interested to see what a typical day in the life of a farmer looks like."

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Sara McGuire

Sara McGuire

"Sustainable food sources are important to me."

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Sarah Decker

Sarah Decker

"I want to learn about how farmers are becoming more innovative and flexible in their day-to-day operations."

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Sarah Deitch

Sarah Deitch

"I want to find out what makes for high-quality food and get a breakdown of what all the food and packaging labels mean."

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Sharon Blau

Sharon Blau

"How has farming changed over the years? Which stories are true? I'm looking forward to finding out for myself."

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Steve and Elizabeth Ruh

Steve and Elizabeth Ruh

Big Rock, IL

"We grow corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on our farm where we are raising our three children."

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Steve and Jolene Ward

Steve and Jolene Ward

Sycamore, IL

"You can find pork from our farm labeled under the Farmland® brand sold in Chicago."

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Susan Herold

Susan Herold

"I have questions about chemical and hormone use that I look forward to discussing with farmers."

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Suzanne Batch

Suzanne Batch

"Since having our daughter, we've become even more mindful of the foods we purchase, so I want to see firsthand where food comes from."

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Tanja Saarinen

Tanja Saarinen

"I want to learn about Illinois farms and food production so I can teach my children about them."

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Teresa Buse

Teresa Buse

"I want my children to understand farm culture the way I did growing up."

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Thomas and Breann Titus

Thomas and Breann Titus

Elkhart, IL

"We raise pigs as well as corn, soybeans and hay on our farm in Elkhart."

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Valerie Johnson

Valerie Johnson

"Price and quality matter most on my shopping trips."

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Veronica Ortega

Veronica Ortega

"I want to learn more about pesticides and other products used to help grow food, and what their effect is on the environment and consumers."

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Vicky Webb

Vicky Webb

"Feeding my family the most nourishing food possible is very important to me."

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Wesley Lyons, DVM

Wesley Lyons, DVM

Sycamore, IL

"I am a veterinarian currently working with farmers in northern Illinois."

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