May 22, 2022

Cultivating Our Communities launches 2022 campaign

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — 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 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 Lieutenant Governor’s Office, 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. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “Through Cultivating Our Communities, the people of our state can see the bright minds feeding and growing Illinois.”

Since 2020, 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 the 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 II. “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,” added IFB President Richard Guebert Jr.

The first feature highlights fourth-generation farmer Michael Turley, owner and operator of Rolling Lawns Farm in Greenville. Stratton and 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, 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: bit.ly/COCDairyFarm.

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