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March 29, 2019



Do you manage or sell at a farmers market? Or are you interested in the local food movement? Join the Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) on Thursday, April 4 for their annual conference at Allerton Park & Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois. This full-day conference will be packed with informative and inspiring speakers, three educational tracks (Market Managers, Market Vendors, and Market Presentations), targeted break-out sessions at all experience levels, networking opportunities, and a fabulous winter market and vendor fair. Dr. John Ikerd will be presenting a Keynote Address on "The Future of Local Foods and Farmers Markets." Register to attend.



Grade school and high school students are invited to submit innovative and scenic photos that depict their vision of agriculture in our state. The photo contest is part of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Ag Invest program. Winning photos are used in informational materials for the Ag Invest program, the Ag Invest calendar, and featured at the Illinois State Fair. For contest rules, click here. Ag Invest is one of the nation’s largest agricultural linked-deposit programs. It helps hundreds of Illinois farmers, ag businesses and agriculture professionals. The treasurer’s office, through Ag Invest, partners with eligible lenders to offer farmers annual or long-term loans which can be used for operating costs, equipment purchases, construction-related expenses, and livestock purchases. Submit photos between March 19, 2019 and June 26, 2019.



USDA Rural Development is hosting two grant workshops on April 11: ReConnect Broadband Program (9 a.m. – noon) and Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant (2:30 to 4:30 p.m.) at the USDA Rural Development State Office, 2118 W. Park Ct. in Champaign. The workshops will address program compliance and documents, application requirements, program resources, application process examples, and guidance toward submitting a complete application. The workshops are open to telephone and electric coops, local units of government, current and potential grantees, consultants, and any interested organizations. For more information and to rsvp, contact Chris Collins, or call (573)208-0574. RSVP due by April 9, 2019. 



University of Illinois Extension’s next Local Government Education webinar, Supporting Communities Before and After Disasters: EDEN and IPWMAN, which airs on Thursday, April 4th at Noon (CST), will be presented by Carrie McKillip, Chair-Elect of Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) and University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development Educator, and Ed Markison, President of Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN) and McHenry County Maintenance Superintendent.  They will review the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), nonprofit Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN), and how these organizations help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters. McKillip and Markison will discuss information that community leaders need to know, how to access resources and information, and the benefits of IPWMAN membership.



April 4 (LGE Webinar) - After the Disaster: A Guide to Post-Disaster Funding Streams and Community Best Practices

May 16 (Belleville) - Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference

June 5 (Springfield) - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

July 14-17 (Columbia, MO) - Community Development Society Annual Conference

August 12-15 (Moline) - Midwest Community Development Institute