Bioenergy Feedstock Symposium 2014

On September 24, researchers from around the country will be gathering for the tenth annual Bioenergy Feedstock Symposium, held at our very own University of Illinois (the I-Hotel, to be precise). This year’s theme is “The Future of Feedstocks” and the discussion will focus on what can and will be done regarding plant-based energy sources, from the lab, to the field, to the legislative chamber. Speakers include environment lawyer Ingrid G. Anderson, researchers such as Dr. Jeff Klingenberg (Repreve Renewables, LLC) and Dr. Erik Sacks (UIUC), and policy analyst Dr. Lauren Quinn (UIUC). The following day, the annual Energy Farm Field Day will be held out at the Energy Farm on Race Street. This event is free to attend.

Registration is still open here. The cost of attendance is $40, which includes breakfast, lunch, and a light snack. For more information about this event, please contact

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NGRREC Faculty Fellow Jim Best Presents Series on the Future of Big Rivers

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) Faculty Fellow Jim Best has organized an upcoming colloquium series entitled “The Future of Big Rivers: Form, Flux, Ecology and Management.” Each presentation in the series will take place at 5 p.m. in the Digital Computer Lab room 1320 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Wednesday, Oct. 8, Professor Phil Ashworth of the University of Brighton, UK, will present “Why are the World’s Big Rivers so Different?”

Tuesday, Nov. 11, Professor James Syvitski of the University of Colorado will present “New Possibilities in Monitoring and Modeling Hydrology and Sediment Transport for Global River Networks.”

Thursday, Jan. 29, Professor Steven Goodbred, Jr., will present “Constructing the Ganges-Brahmaputra Megadelta: From Process to Morphology to Stratigraphy.”

Friday, March 13, Professor Matt Kondolf of the University of California Berkeley will present “The Mekong: Threats to a Unique Human-Ecosystem.”

Thursday, April 30, Professor Andrew Nicholas of the University of Exeter, UK, will present “Computer Simulation of Large River Evolution.”

For more information, email Best at

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Prairie Rivers Network Annual Dinner

Where: I Hotel Conference Center, 1900 S. First Street, Champaign, IL

When: Friday, October 10, 2014

Reception – 6:00 pm (music by Don’t Ask; silent auction)

Dinner – 7:30 pm

After-party at Houlihan’s

Price: $50 per person or $400 for a table of 10 Continue reading

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Florida Local Food Summit

Up here at the University of Illinois, we’re gearing up for the iSEE Congress 2014 (which you should sign up for if you haven’t already), but for our readers in the more southerly part of the nation, several organizations are combining forces to give you the first annual Florida Local Food Summit.

Out Front of East End Market, Photo By the Robinsons

The summit will take place at the East Market in Orlando on October 3rd and 4th, with events ranging from Farm Bill 101, to discussion of food justice, to a guide to setting up a CSA. Speakers and guests include microfarmer Jean-Martin Fortier, representatives from the Farmworker Association of Florida, and Janisse Ray, writer of The Seed Underground.

Registration information can be found here, and please note that fees will rise after September 22

For more information, you can visit their website here, or email questions to

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Farm-to-Mansion Dinner Fundraiser

allerton logoallerton logoallerton logoLocal growers and vendors are getting together to support Allerton Park – and so can you! Come out to support Allerton Park and these local farms as you enjoy delicious tasting-portion samples, complemented with beer from JT Walker’s Brewery (Mahomet, IL) and wine from Sleepy Creek Vineyards (Fairmont, IL).

Guest Chef Thad Morrow of Champaign’s Bacaro will highlight the flavors of the season with produce from the University of Illinois’ Sustainable Student Farm and meat from Triple S Farm (Stewardson, IL). Continue reading

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Seed Saving Workshop

LogosPrairie Fruits Farm and The Land Connection will be hosting a workshop on Saturday, September 27 from 1-4pm on the principles and history of seed-saving. The workshop will be led by Vicki Nowicki, founder of the Liberty Gardens Seed Lending Library. She will also demonstrate how to save lettuce and bean seeds. More information about her can be found in this Chicago Tribune article.

The cost to register is $20, and the workshop will be held at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery.

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2014 National Young Farmer’s Conference

Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to learn from agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations at the National Young Farmers Conference: Reviving the Culture of Agriculture. On December 3-5, 2014, Stone Barns Center will host the 7th annual National Young Farmers Conference, providing participants with access to inspiring keynotes and unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more. Continue reading

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Note on new calendar format

I’ve been working on streamlining our events calendar over the past few months, and trying to figure out how to best accommodate not only our events, but also those of other local organizations with similar purposes. So instead of the list, there is now a grid on the sidebar. Events can be viewed by hovering over the dates. I’m still working out all of the issues, and apologize for any inconveniences.

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Consumer Reports Food Label Conference

San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
Friday, September 19, 2014
9:30 am – 4:00 pm PST

On September 19th, 2014, Consumer Reports is holding an all-day labeling event at San Francisco’s City Hall, which will be hosted by Dr. Urvashi Rangan, the Executive Director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and  Sustainability Center. Continue reading

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Local Food System Symposium

Wednesday, October 22

8am to 12pm

SDRP – 301 E. Gregory Drive, Champaign IL 61820
Phone (217) 244-5792.

The symposium will focus on discussions among local farm growers, local food related organizations and faculty, staff and students from across disciplines at the University of Illinois. The discussions will address concerns about infrastructure of the local food system, impact of local food on economic development, and education and training of farmers in an attempt to build a successful model of local food system in the community. Continue reading

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