Please join us for an important meeting at historic Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center on January 18 & 19. The lodge is nestled within the forests, canyons and waterfalls of Starved Rock State Park. We hope the beautiful setting will provide fertile ground for the important conversations that will be taking place.
As you know, direct-market business models such as farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) have fueled much of the growth of the local food movement in the last two decades. However, a growing number of farmers in our region now report declining farmers market sales and increased difficulty attracting and retaining CSA members.
Through a process of open dialogue among farmers and local food advocates who gather in January, we will (1) gain an understanding of current challenges for direct market farms, (2) identify critical issues and barriers to their continued success and (3) develop a farmer-led agenda for action that will guide follow-up activity.
Important questions we hope to address include:
- What obstacles do farmers selling to local markets face?
- How are consumer behaviors and preferences changing?
- How will CSA farms attract and retain new members?
- What’s behind declining sales at farmers markets?
- How can farmers work together to reach new markets?
- What can food and farm organizations do to help farmers overcome obstacles?
Registration for the Routes to Farm Summit