Mindshare Midwest: Innovating the Food Chain of the Future

GP Farm Forum at Mindshare Midwest: Regenerative Agriculture Systems

The next GP Farm Forum takes place during the 2019 Mindshare Midwest: Innovating the Food Chain of the Future, a FREE two-day event in Peoria, IL (sponsorships welcome for this event that supports Easterseals of Central Illinois)!

Greater Peoria Farm Forums

During this Farm Forum we will discuss regenerative agriculture systems and how they can increase on-farm ecosystem services, diversify farm revenue, and how it all ties to the big picture goals of innovating our farm and food systems.

Panelists include:

 Bill Davison, University of Illinois Extension

Bill Davison is a Local Food System Educator with University of Illinois Extension. He manages the Refuge Food Forest, Grand Prairie Grain Guild and breeds corn, small grains, and vegetables for local markets. He is a founding member of Regenerate Illinois and the Artisan Grain Collaborative and he works with a diverse group of partners on the innovative Middle Mackinaw Project. This project integrates diverse crops, livestock, and agroforestry to show that food production and conservation can be mutually beneficial.

Carol Hays, ReGenerate Illinois

ReGenerate IL is a coordinating space that brings together and facilitates a diverse group of champions and thought leaders. We support regenerative farming and ranching practices that produce a variety of food crops that work with nature. We support teams that are seeking to bring regenerative practices to a variety of organic cropping systems–grains, livestock, nuts, berries and legumes, vegetables, and others.

Michelle Wander, University of Illinois

Michelle Wander is Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and the Director of the Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program at the University of Illinois where she has studied ecological soil management and soil quality for over 20 years. She presently serves on advisory councils for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research’s Soil Health Council, the Soil Health Partnership’s Science Advisory Council, and the National Soil and Water Conservation Societies’ Policy Committee.

Harold Wilken, Janie’s Farm

When Harold Wilken was about two years old, his father put him in a wooden box he’d made to fit next to him so he could take his son on the tractor as he cultivated his fields. For this and many other reasons, farming was Harold’s destiny — although it wasn’t until many years later that Harold, together with his wife Sandy and son Ross, became the proprietors of Janie’s Farm Organics which has grown to include over 2,400 acres of USDA Certified Organic grains.

At last count, Janie’s Farm Organics was growing wheat, oats, rye, emmer, einkorn, buckwheat, corn, soybeans (for soy milk and tofu), black turtle beans, alfalfa, popcorn, and seed corn. Harold is also growing Kernza, a perennial grain developed by The Land Institute.

(final farmer panelist being confirmed)

Q&A to follow the panel discussion. Join us for the other Mindshare events to network and build new partnerships toward innovating our region’s food and farm economy!

Learn more about the full event and register at https://mindsharemidwest.com/

**Please note that the previously scheduled Farm Forum on April 12 has been canceled – please plan to join us at Mindshare instead! We are working to craft a Farm Forum panel suited to our region’s farmers**

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