Each event will feature a presentation by Simon King of Carnegie Mellon University Design Center

Greenville – Friday, August 19 at 5:30pm
American Heritage Farm Museum (1395 Museum Avenue, Interstate 70, Exit 45)
Alan Guebert, columnist at The Farm & Food File and author
Amy Marcoot, Marcoot Jersey Creamery

Shelbyville – Saturday, August 20 at 4:00pm
Chautauqua Auditorium in Forest Park (East North 9th Street & Park Place)
Steve John, executive director of the Agricultural Watershed Institute
Diane Roberts, president of the Shelbyville Farmers Market Association

Cobden – Sunday, August 21 at 4:00pm
The Old Feed Store (111 North Appleknocker Drive)
Wayne Sirles, vice president at Rendleman Orchards
Mike Plumer, farmer, agricultural consultant, and cover crop specialist

About the Program

In recent decades, farming across Illinois has evolved dramatically in the face of technological, environmental, and economic change. Join us for an evening of food, music, and conversation as we discuss possible future developments in agriculture and their potential impacts upon rural communities in Illinois, featuring perspectives from within and beyond the region.

What are some of the most significant opportunities and challenges facing small farms and industrial agriculture in our state at present?

How might ongoing technological innovation benefit small farmers as well as industrial agriculture?

How can agricultural producers achieve a healthy combination of profitability and ecological stewardship?

How might that combination contribute toward the long-term economic and cultural viability of local communities?

In late August, we’ll be visiting three Illinois communities to learn how people there might answer such questions.

These events will feature remarks by Simon King, who grew up on a farm in rural Michigan and is now the director of the Carnegie Mellon University Design Center. Drawing on his first-hand experience with both farming and design, he’ll talk about how technological innovation might shape the future of small farms and industrial agriculture alike and perhaps combine some of the positive attributes of different approaches to farming.

We’ll then hear from people knowledgeable about agriculture within the region, who will respond to Simon King’s presentation from a regional perspective and share thoughts about how potential agricultural shifts could affect local communities in the coming years.

A free meal highlighting locally grown and prepared food will provide an opportunity for conversation in which all participants will be welcome to participate. The evening will conclude with a musical performance.

We hope you’ll join us to discuss these critical issues – and to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Illinois’s farming communities.