Building Our Region's Specialty Crop Value Chain

Event dates: 2019-03-14 - 2019-03-16

Building Our Regions Specialty Crop Value Chain March 15, 2019 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fergies Pub & Banquet Center, Manito, IL
In Greater Peoria, farms large and small are taking advantage of opportunities with specialty crops. But much of the economic activity beyond production happens outside of our region. Specialty crops grown at a smaller scale in our region (such as organic vegetables and specialty grains) are sold in larger markets such as Chicago and St. Louis. Large-scale crops, such as Mason Countys green beans, go to processing facilities outside of our region.
How can we work together to establish meaningful, scalable market opportunities for specialty crops? Can we build a regional values-based supply chain that captures a greater share of the economic return by diversifying more farms, generating new business activity in aggregation, processing and distribution, and building mutually-beneficial partnerships throughout the supply chain?

To honor Mason Countys nickname The Imperial Valley of the Midwestdue to its high volume of specialty crop productionwe are hosting this next Farm Forum in Manito to explore the possibilities of developing a viable, scalable regional value chain for specialty crops. We are inviting guests that represent the numerous links in that chainfrom production and aggregation, to processing, distribution, institutional purchasing, and retail.

Tentative Agenda

2:00 p.m. Welcome & Introductions

2:15 p.m. The Imperial Valley of the Midwest: Our Agricultural Potential

2:45 p.m. How do we build a scalable, efficient regional value chain?

3:15 p.m. Open Space Meeting Format (what is Open Space?) What does todays group care about and what can we do together to start building a regional specialty crops value chain?

4:15 p.m. Review of Open Space results and next steps

5:00 p.m. End of programming - mingle if you wish! Register for this free event at

Tory Dahlhoff
Primary Phone: (309) 495-5910

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