The Southern Illinois Farming Alliance is a farmer-driven network whose focus is to encourage area farmers to learn from one another. The Alliance provides structure for peer-to-peer educational opportunities for beginning and intermediate farmers through field days and social networking opportunities. Many of our gatherings are hosted on farm and include opportunities to ask questions, share stories, and enjoy good food. Food Works also organizes long-form seminars and special guest speakers for farmers who have established farms and are looking to delve more deeply into specific ideas, techniques, and best business practices.
Those interested in attending events hosted by the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance are encouraged to join Food Works.
Help Decide 2024 Field Day Topics: Take the Farmer and Friends Interest Survey
Please take this quick survey and let us know what you'd like to learn this year. Thank you!
All educational events, field days and workshops will be farmer driven and led. We strive to select farms and farmers with unique approaches to lead field days. Host farms and topics will be identified at our annual member gathering and selected by a committee of alliance members.
During the field day, hosts will lead the group on a short farm tour, focusing in on one element of production that has been a success or challenge that they can share with the group. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and share experiences during the event. Each field day will conclude with a potluck and opportunities to socialize with fellow farmer friends.
Social Networking and Communication Network
Social networking is a vital element of all Farming Alliance events. Most field days, meetings, and events will include food either through potluck or provided snacks. There’s no better way to get to know one another than over a farm fresh meal!
The Farmer Forum is a place where farmers, homesteaders and home gardeners can post questions production and processing questions to fellow food growers. The forum was introduced in 2016, and is housed on the website. There is a classified section in the monthly Field Notes newsletter where members can list items for sale or items wanted.
Members will be updated monthly on upcoming Food Works events, regional educational opportunities, state and national food and farming policy, funding opportunities and other relevant news. Members are welcome to submit content and classifieds to be distributed via the newsletter.
"Despite some 35 years of organic gardening experience, each field day we attend results in motivation to try something new. The developing community of shared experiences among the Alliance is both fun and supportive to all who participate."
Jim and Mary Maginel, members since 2011
Food Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois.