Illinois Farmers Market Task Force

Illinois Farmers Market Task Force  

 (PA 97-0394) SB 1852

 Background  : The Illinois Farmers Market Task Force was created by Public Act 97-0394 (SB 1852) after being unanimously approved by the General Assembly in the spring of 2011and  signed into law by Governor Quinn on August 16, 2011.

This new law establishes the creation of a Farmers Market Task Force that will work with regulating entities to create less confusing, more uniform, better streamlined, and less burdensome statewide regulations in regards to Farmers Markets throughout the state.

Its goal is to help minimize and standardize regulations governing farmers markets statewide without compromising public health.    The Task Force will help educate farmers, market managers, health officials, and the public about food and food safety, thus creating healthier, better informed, and more prosperous communities and successful farmers markets.

Action to Date :   The first meeting of the Illinois Farmers Market Task force was held at the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Springfield, IL on June 28, 2012.  At this meeting, a chair and co-chair were elected, and committee by-laws were developed. The group decided that the priorities for the first year were: defining what is a Farmers Market and developing and conducting surveys of farmers, market managers and local health departments to better understand the regulatory issues facing farmers markets in Illinois. The Task Force has since met on August 1, 2012 and September 13, 2012 to address the mission and objectives for the Task Force and develop the surveys.    The three separate surveys will be sent out via email to farmers, market managers and local health departments in late September and the results will be analyzed at shared at future meetings and training opportunities.

Task Force Members

Pat Welch, Coordinator -lllinois Dept of Public Health, Pat Stieren, Chairman -IL Farmers Market Association;  Roxanne Junge, Co-Chairman -Glenview Farmers Market, Lisa Bralts,  Urbana Market at the Square; Sandra Streed, Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council; Susan Bostanche,  Plainfield Farmers Market; Delayne Reeves, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Diane Handley, Illinois Specialty Grower’s Association; Stacey Bailey, Will County Health Dept; Will Hayes,  Peoria City/County Health Dept; Sharon M. Valentine, St. Clair County Health Dept; Marjorie Sawicki, Belleville Farmers Market and IL Local Food Farms and Jobs Council, Elaine Sebald, Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market  & IFMA; Elizabeth Patton, East Side Health District; Kevin Dixon, Dupage County Health Dept; Ryan Dougherty, llinois Commerce and Economic Opportunity Dept; Laura Hepp-Kessel ,  Illinois Lt. Governor’s Office; Brad Dearing, Dearing Country Farm; Debbie Daniels, Bear Creek Farm and Ranch; Laura Erickson, Green Youth Farm, Chicago Botanical Gardens Farmers Marke;  Robert Haugland, Farmer and Illinois Stewardship Alliance; Mike Henry, Simonton Orchards and Nashville Farmers Market.

Meeting dates and minutes will be shared on the Department of Public Health website in the near future.  The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 29, 2012 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm and will be held at the Illinois Department of Agriculture Administration building in Springfield.