In The News

Workshop digs into changing ag communities

This article appeared in the Herald & Review on August 20, 2016. You may access the original article here.


SHELBYVILLE – Farmers, agribusiness professionals, small business owners and others will have a chance to discuss the future of farming and farm communities during a workshop today at Shelbyville’s Chautauqua Auditorium.

“Seeding Change” begins at 4 p.m. and is presented by Illinois Humanities.

“When you look at the economic and cultural future of small towns in Illinois, it’s tied to farming,” said Matt Meacham, program coordinator for Illinois Humanities. “As the future of agriculture changes it will change the future of communities.”

Speakers include Simon King, director of the Carnegie–Mellon University Design Center and Steve John, executive director of the Agricultural Watershed Institute. Farmer’s Market representatives will also speak. A free dinner will be served by Pit Boss Barbecue and entertainment will be provided by the Old Time Fiddlers.

Bringing the event to the historic Chautauqua Auditorium made sense to Brenda Elder, fundraising chair for the Chautauqua Preservation Committee.

“In some ways it will be similar to the programs the Chautauqua was built for,” Elder said. “There will be education, entertainment, food and a way to reach out to others in the community.”

Meacham said he hoped the program was the beginning of more events geared toward rural life.
“The Chautauqua is big enough to host these events and it’s located in a beautiful park in a Central Illinois location, Shelbyville,” he said. “I hope everyone will come out, see the building, eat some barbecue and maybe learn something they can take home and use.”

More information is available at The event is free and open to the public.

“We’ll serve dinner until the food runs out,” Meacham said. “If you haven’t made a reservation, come anyway.”