Partners

Partners

Interested in learning more about Illinois farm, family and food related people, places and events? The state’s largest organization of farmers, Illinois Farm Bureau, provides an in-depth look at these topics through this informative podcast.

Episodes

September 8, 2023 20 mins
It has been a tough weather year for farmers, including those who grow pumpkins, mums and other specialty crops. Still, pumpkin growers such as Gail Sasse with Gail's Pumpkin Patch near Beason, and John Ackerman with Ackerman Family Farms near Morton share what you might expect from a visit. And, Ashley Buzan, perennial expert with Woldhuis Farms, Sunrise Greenhouse near Grant Park, shares how this year's crop of mums have fared an...
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Some school districts in Illinois have started to source food for breakfast and lunch meals from local farmers and have resurrected scratch cooking. Connie Crawley, Food Service Director for Lincoln School District 27, shares details on how and why her kitchens have made the transition. Chef Greg Christian, who owns and operates Beyond Green Partners in Chicago, provides details on how he and his company make it happen every day an...
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August 25, 2023 21 mins
The federally-funded program Eat. Move. Save. provides food aid recipients in Illinois with community-based nutrition education. Individuals and families eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase food have access to information and activities to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of chronic disease. In recent years, the Illinois-based program underwent an evaluation. Hear what's taking plac...
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August 17, 2023 14 mins
You'll discover four dozen or so things to see and do this fall on this Illinois farm northwest of Chicago. Stade's (pronounced STAH-dees) Farm & Market near McHenry is a family affair with you-pick opportunities throughout the growing season and its "Farmtractions" park where you can have even more fun. In this episode, Vern Stade shares what the farm is all about and how you can make the most out of this and other visits to s...
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In the fourth of a series on farm-, family- and food-related places and events to discover, how about a Garage Band Night where you can bounce from garage-to-garage for great music and fun, or a fun run or walk right plus more on the historic, Route 66? Hear from Gina Willenborg and Carrie Copple with Teutopolis for Tomorrow about their town and event, along with Katie Funk and Jeff Hake with CORE McLean who share what's happening ...
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On a busy block on North Broadway in Chicago, this growing company takes Illinois soybeans and makes them into a product that has been growing double digits annually for more than a decade. In a follow-up to a Partners podcast and Partners magazine and website stories two years ago, Jenny Yang, owner and operator of Phoenix Bean, which makes tofu and food products that use tofu, discusses her expansion and how she works with Illino...
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July 28, 2023 20 mins
Have you been to your local farmers market lately? Despite some challenges this year posed to farmers, most markets have started to burst with a bevy of fresh, Illinois-grown fruits, vegetables, flowers and more. Hear from some of the farmers who sell at markets, such as Quen Von Bergen, Jennifer Kinney and Joe Wanda in northern Illinois. Janie Maxwell, executive director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association, shares what's ne...
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July 21, 2023 28 mins
In the third of a series on farm- family- and food-related places and events to discover, come with us to the only Illinois county that's a peninsula known for growing peaches and other fruits, vegetables and crops. Debbie Kamp, Calhoun County farmer and owner of Hagen Family Orchard shares peach facts, figures and more. Cory Jobe, president and CEO of Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau, describes what else you can discover in ...
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July 14, 2023 18 mins
Summer weather extremes can be tough on gardens and yards. Might yours be in need of a rescue? Victoria Thomas, a farmer and horticulturist from southwest Illinois, shares her expertise on a unique set of plants you might want to consider for your garden and/or yard rescue. Jan Phipps, Partners website and magazine gardening writer, also provides some guidance. From her gardens, yard and farm in east-central Illinois, she discusses...
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July 7, 2023 20 mins
A survey to gauge the cost of a classic cookout showed slight relief in 2023. Yet some on the front lines of helping to ensure food security say food pantries remain busy. Hear details on the survey from Roger Cryan, Ph.D., Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau. Discover a creative program known as Partners in Produce, that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to several food pantries in Illinois, from MaryBeth Massey, Supplemental...
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In the second part of a series on opportunities for farm- family- and food-related places and events to discover, consider these activities and destinations to put on your travel calendars. Sheila Hoffman, mayor of Durand, Faith Ackerman, president of Durand Charm, LeAnn Clark, president of Durand Area Retailers, Trades and Services (DARTS), and Kelly Giovanine, executive director of Durand Charm, share why their community is speci...
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This dairy power couple answers the question, "What do farmers do in summer?" and a whole lot more. Meet Joshua and Emily Reinhardt, who share everything from late night and early morning trips to the barn, robots, milk nutrition, working with family, juggling haying, chopping, mental health and more right from the barn office on their Randolph County, Ill. farm.
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It's the perfect time of year to find out what you can do to help strengthen the power of pollinators. Find out why and how and about a free event in Chicago with Bona Heinsohn, Director of Government Affairs and Public Relations, Cook County Farm Bureau, and Raelynn Parmely, Environmental Program Manager, Illinois Farm Bureau.
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June 9, 2023 17 mins
As most Illinois farmers wind down planting, these two start harvesting. The 'Stahlhut girls" of Madison County, Kim Hansen and Kris Straub, grow lavender and open their former pig and dairy farm to the general public. Hear from the two who explain all about growing lavender, why they grow it and what they do with it all.
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June 2, 2023 20 mins
Fans of locally raised, locally processed meats say you can taste the difference. Tom Eickman with Eickman's Meat Processing in northwest Illinois and Erica Kelsey with Country Home Processing in southeast Illinois explain why and some of the unique things they do and make for you and others to try.
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In the first of a series on opportunities for farm- family- and food-related places and events to discover, consider these affordable activities to possibly put on your travel calendar. Bob Norris helps lead Lincoln Days in western Illinois. Merri Sevey spearheads the new Freedom Fest in northwest Illinois. Both of their communities have been helped by an Illinois-based institute breathing new life into small and medium-sized Illin...
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May 19, 2023 28 mins
A livestock farmer and an energy expert share their knowledge of great and safe grilling techniques. We talk cuts, foolproof ways to cook, energy use and storage. Hear from Wes Hornback, who with his family raise beef and pork, along with David Rich, Propane Marketing & Technical Services Manager, GROWMARK.
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May 12, 2023 17 mins
This new garden in suburban Chicago hopes its blooms benefit pollinators and vegetation cleans water from streets, parking lots, yards and fields. Learn what it's about and how you might replicate some or all of it with Beth Gehrke, Elgin area farmer and board member of the Kane County Farm Bureau, and Jonathan Koepke, president of Environmental Consultants and Planners (ENCAP), who helped design the pollinator and rain garden in t...
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May 5, 2023 23 mins
What's taking place to have fresh, Illinois-grown-and-raised fruits, vegetables, meats and more available for school children in Illinois schools? Explore with two people helping to lead efforts to make it happen. Gary Cuneen serves as Executive Director for Seven Generations Ahead, and Mike Lewis is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
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April 28, 2023 28 mins
Flower farming in Illinois continues to bloom, whether fields where you can roam, or on porches, in shops, and full buckets for you to select from at farmers markets. Hear from Kate Danner, Mercer County flower farmer and owner of Dandee Flowers, and Drew Groezinger, Jo Daviess County flower farmer and owner of Clara Joyce Flowers, on how and why they do it and how you can experience what they grow.
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