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We are because they farm. From the food on our tables to the specialty products in our cabinets—to the shops, markets, and businesses that support our communities—residents across Illinois are connected by Ag. That’s why Cultivating Our Communities (COC) is launching its 2022 campaign with videos, articles, and social media posts that spotlight unique individuals, farms, and businesses in Illinois. COC is a partnership with the Lt. Governor’s Office, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
 
“We know how invaluable the farmers, growers, and workers behind these operations are to the fabric of Illinois and our food systems. This partnership was created to shine a light on them and their contributions,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Through Cultivating Our Communities, the people of our state can see the bright minds feeding and growing Illinois.”
 
Since 2020, Cultivating Our Communities (COC) has showcased more than 85 food and farm businesses through Illinois Farm Bureau Partners and FarmWeekNow.com articles that demonstrate the many ways these businesses uplift rural, suburban, and urban communities across our state. In the past two years, farm and food businesses in 42 Illinois counties were featured. This year, COC will focus on farms and markets in different regions across the state.

“The pandemic impacted consumer food purchasing with many opting to purchase meat, produce, and dairy products locally,” said Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello. “The Cultivating Our Communities campaign provides an opportunity for consumers to see the faces behind their favorite local products or learn about new items produced in their backyard.”

“Illinois Farm Bureau members grow, process, and sell a variety of food and farm products that strengthen local economies and support communities across our state. We’re proud to tell their stories through another year of this collaborative campaign,” said IFB President Richard Guebert, Jr.  

The first feature highlights fourth-generation farmer Michael Turley, owner and operator of Rolling Lawns Farm in Greenville. Lt. Governor Stratton and Director Costello visited The Milk House, Rolling Lawns Farm’s milk processing facility, to learn about their farm-to-table dairy products and wholesale deliveries to retailers like Harvest Market in Springfield.

As chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Lt. Governor Stratton has visited communities, farms, markets, and small businesses centered in Ag and has seen firsthand how they add tremendous value to our daily lives. Many of these moments were captured on video and will be shared throughout the COC campaign. Experience the visit on the Illinois Farm Bureau Partners website: https://bit.ly/COCDairyFarm.

Visit www.ILFB.org/CultivatingOurCommunities to learn more about the campaign.

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