From our farms to your table, all food has a story.

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Farmers are stewards of resources to protect the land, water and air

Farmers only use fertilizers when needed

All plants take nutrients out of the soil; those nutrients need to be replenished.

Plant food on a bigger scale:

  • Same fertilizers as on houseplants or in the garden
  • Contain natural elements: nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium
  • Many farmers use livestock manure to fertilize crops

Commitment to sustainability: 

  • We respect the land and the plants and animals we raise
  • We’re committed to passing our farm life to future generations
  • We constantly learn new ways to be more sustainable

Perspectives

Amina Nevels

Amina Nevels

Chicago, IL

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About Me

I’m a wife and mother of two girls, and I’m an active blogger and knitter. My family relies on me to make healthy food decisions for them which sometimes proves challenging. When I'm not wrecking my brain about food, we spend our time reading, singing and dancing and cuddling!

Why I'm touring farms

The combination of healthy food and budgeting is important to me. I want to learn more about the process by which food arrives at my grocery store as well as the inside scoop on genetically modified foods. I look forward to learning more about the ABC's of food production and am hoping to dispel some of the myths that influence my shopping practices.

From a Mom

As our world continues to evolve, our food industry has to adapt alongside of it. In practical terms, with millions more people on the earth, the days of free roaming animals that eat off of the land, and farmers driving horse-drawn plows... are gone. With farmers being charged with feeding more than just their family and their town, and with less space to do it, farmers (although still good stewards of the land) are seeking efficient and effective ways to raise livestock and cultivate the land within the changing times.

Amy Hansmann

Amy Hansmann

River Forest, IL

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About me

I'm an active, educated, stay-at-home mom who takes an interest in providing healthy food to my family. I'm a regular volunteer at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry.

About my family

Our family recently expanded with the addition of another son. We now have two boys, 4-year old Keith, and 8-month old Kyle. My whole family loves to sail, and we enjoy the summer season on the water.

Why I'm touring farms

I'm concerned about the use of chemicals in farming and how they may affect our health. As for animal products, I am concerned about overall treatment of the animals, drugs used and cleanliness. I am not happy with the increasing amount of processed foods available and look for healthier options. I cook at home most nights of the week, and I'm excited to see for myself what happens on Illinois farms.

What I hope to see on the farms

I am most interested in those that raise livestock. I hope to see the way they live, the care they receive and the life cycle on the farm. I am also interested in the science used to combat pests or ailments both with livestock and with crops.

From a Mom

I was surprised to hear about the environment repeatedly on our farm day. The Mississippi River, run-off, and strategies for nurturing their land were all mentioned multiple times. It was apparent that each family farm valued the land they had, but were also aware that their actions affect others down the road or downstream.

Heather Guido

Heather Guido

Oak Park, IL

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About Me

We are a family of four, and our two boys love visiting Grandpa to “help” him on the farm whenever we visit New York. While I grew up on an acreage growing grapes, I want to learn more about Midwestern farming, as it’s an industry I don’t know much about.

Why I'm touring farms

While I’ve heard many moms talking about genetically modified food in a negative light, I’d like to know more and share what I learn. There are so few people connected to farming, especially in the Chicago area, that someone has to help educate our children about agriculture.

From a Mom

Am I worried whether or not my milk came from a cow that ate alfalfa haylage, soybean meal, corn silage, or cottonseed that was raised by the organic definition? The answer is no. If I was concerned about organic from a sustainability standpoint, it seems to me that a farmer raising his own feed... is more sustainable that transporting feed across many miles to fulfill a marketing requirement to be an organic dairy farm.

What's your perspective?

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