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November 20, 2020

 

 
 
 
 

Since the pandemic started, at least 20 municipalities across the country have changed their rules to allow backyard chicken farms. An additional handful of local governments are considering changes to respond to increasing requests to keep chickens in urban areas. When it comes to drafting new rules to accommodate backyard coops, experts in animal welfare and the poultry industry say it’s important that local municipalities not rush them and to be specific. Catherine Brinkley, an associate professor at UC Davis in Human Ecology, Community and Regional Development, has been critical of how cities approach ordinances. A 2018 study she led examined the effectiveness of chicken coop ordinances in Colorado and found that these local rules need to do enough to protect animal welfare and human health. Unlike commercial poultry guidelines, the majority of ordinances did not include standards for vaccination or veterinary care. Brinkley says the best approach to establish such standards would be by working directly with experts such as University extension and veterinarians. 

 

 
 
 
 

Illinois is updating the State Water Plan for the first time since 1994. COVID-19 delayed the planning process, but now there are two ways that you can weigh in and help shape the plan, including 1) Take a survey, available in English and Spanish, to provide input on the key issues that the Plan should address; and 2) Attend any of the three virtual public meetings that the State will host on December 1, 2, and 3, 2020. Details about the meetings are available on the State Water Plan website.  Future outreach meetings will be held in late spring and summer of 2021 to review the next stages of the report development. Those meetings will either be virtual or in-person if restrictions are lifted. This is your opportunity to tell the State of Illinois how you would like to protect and manage Illinois' water resources. Please feel free to share this invitation with others.  

 

 
 
 
 

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) opened the application period for the Small Equipment Grant Program. Applications are due January 29, 2021. The program will provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. In June, $3.5 million was awarded to 154 fire departments/districts and EMS providers. This program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment. In addition to firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE), applicants can apply for items such as masks, gowns and gloves. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. Stand-alone, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible. Fire department, fire protection districts and township fire department applicants are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying. Due to NFIRS undergoing updates at this time, the OSFM will require departments to be current through June 2020 for this grant period.

 

 
 
 
 

When you plan your holiday meals, think about buying your ingredients from local farmers. When you buy a local turkey, you’ll not only get a turkey with unique and delicious flavor, but you’ll be keeping your food dollars local, growing your local economy, and helping keep family farmers on the land. Find farms on the online directory of the Buy Fresh homepage. To learn more about the farm, their farming practices, online ordering and pick up options or other sales avenues, click on their profile. Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois is a coalition of organizations and agencies across the state committed to working together to build our regional local food economy. The coalition is led by a Steering Committee including Advocates for Urban Agriculture, Angelic Organics Learning Center, Chicago Food Policy Action Council, Family Farmed, Food Works, Illinois Cooperative Development Center, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Farmers Market Association, Illinois Specialty Crop Growers Association, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and The Land Connection.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

November 20 (LGE Webinar) - Connect Illinois Digital Equity Grant Program

 
 
 
 
 

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