About Us

THE PROJECT


Routes to Farm is a collaboration of Farmer Alliances in the regional “foodshed” of greater Chicago dedicated to training the emerging generation of local and sustainable farmers. We make resources available to farmers who are launching or growing their farm businesses for the local and sustainable food and farm economy.

THE GOALS


TO HELP FARMERS:

  • Network with other farmers who share interests, expertise and common challenges
  • Find trainings, mentors and markets to meet their needs
  • Gain on-farm experience and learn best practices from farmer peers
  • Access region-specific resources, such as suppliers, varieties and consultants
  • Attract qualified employees and services

TO HELP FARMER ALLIANCES:

  • Attract beginning farmers and farmers who aren’t currently linked to networks
  • Develop and share best practices in farmer training and public outreach
  • Interface and forge partnerships with organizations from other regions

TO STRENGTHEN FOOD SYSTEMS

  • Provide a public online tool to help farmers find services, member organizations and programs
  • Feature farmer-led alliances, organizations and networks
  • Identify services based on which constituencies they serve and how they help farmers overcome common agricultural barriers
  • Provide links to the resources provided by other networks

OUR FARMER ALLIANCES


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ValleyHUB at the Kalamazoo Valley Food Innovation Center

The ValleyHUB urban farm and food hub supports the value chain for local food in Southwest Michigan through innovative growing methods, farmer trainings, and aggregation and distribution of lightly processed farm-fresh products.

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FamilyFarmed

FamilyFarmed is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities.

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Liberty Prairie Foundation

The Liberty Prairie Foundation is nationally recognized as a leader in developing and supporting enterprises that build and strengthen our local food system while enhancing the natural landscape. The Foundation’s Farm Business Development Center prepares beginning farmers to meet the demand for locally grown organic food in the Chicago region.

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Southwest Badger

Southwest Badger Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in the Southwest Wisconsin region. The organization’s mission is to implement natural resource conservation, managed growth, and sustainable rural economic development in the area through education and implementation of best practices relating to agriculture, grasslands, forests, and surface waters.

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Angelic Organics Learning Center

building sustainable local food and farm systems through experiential education and training programs in partnership with rural and urban people

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The Land Connection

The Land Connection trains farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques; informs the public about the sources of our food and why that matters; and works to protect and enhance farmland so that we, and generations to come, will have clean air and water, fertile soil, and healthy, delicious food.

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This Old Farm Alliance

This Old Farm’s mission is to support the family farm by processing, marketing, and distributing locally raised, wholesome meat, produce, and value-added food. The true cost of production takes into account the environment, sustainable farm wages, and value to the customer.

With nearly 200 members in our Alliance, we’re making ethically-grown food a reality.

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Band of Farmers: The Chicagoland CSA Coalition

Band of Farmers is a coalition of CSA farms serving the greater Chicago area to collaborate on educating consumers about local foods in general and the CSA model in particular.

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Illinois Organic Growers Association

The Illinois Organic Growers Association (IOGA) supports education and networking exchange among farmers interested in organic and sustainable production methods.

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Advocates for Urban Agriculture

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is a coalition of individuals, organizations and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the Chicago area, from home- and community-based growing to market gardens and small farms.

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Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Illinois Stewardship Alliance promotes environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially just, local food systems through policy development, advocacy, and education.

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Upper Midwest CRAFT

CRAFT creates learning opportunities for farmers through the diverse talents of our local community of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farms.

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FairShare CSA Coalition

Connecting and supporting CSA farmers and eaters for more than 20 years, we work to strengthen connections and provide resources that help people access CSA shares. Together with our farms, the Coalition works to set a high bar for quality member communication and meaningful connections to farms, farmers and food.

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Pembroke Farming Family

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OUR SUPPORTERS


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