2021-22 Winter Workshops

Live Local, Shop Local is an Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) program that connects local food and farm businesses and Illinois communities. As part of our program, we provide business technical assistance and market opportunities for farms and businesses.

Attend one or more of these Illinois Farm Bureau professional development workshops focused on farmers, small business, agritourism business, farmers market managers, nonprofits, and value-added producers. These workshops are a chance for you to gain new skills, expand your business, and connect with others facing similar challenges. Most of these workshops will be delivered online through a web-based platform such as Zoom or Teams.

Instructor: University of Illinois Certified PSA Trainers 
When: November 4-5 (Times TBA; approximately 4 hours midday each day)
Where: Online
Cost: $30 | Space is limited to 30 attendees! Registration will close Sunday, October 17


Hey fruit and vegetable growers, are you FSMA certified?
If your farm grows produce for human consumption, FDA requires at least one staff member be trained in an FDA approved food safety training. (All staff handling produce should be trained on-farm in food safety procedures annually.) You can read an overview of FSMA here or dive into the full act here. 


Featured Platforms:
Food 4 All, Local Food Marketplace, TBD
Facilitator: Cassidy Dellorto-Blackwell, The Land Connection
When: Bi-Weekly Workshops | November 2 to December 14 | 3:00-5:00 pm
Cost: Free

E-commerce isn’t going anywhere. So, why not give the people what they want?! That’s right, it’s time you started selling online. Even if you primarily sell at the farmers market or through your own CSA, e-commerce can create the ease and visibility to grow your customer base. E-commerce platforms can also provide the functionality to streamline your invoicing, accounting, packing, marketing, and more! 

Join us as we take a deep dive into three e-commerce platforms exploring their functionality and user experience across various sales channels.

We’ll hear from producers that have successfully implemented e-commerce strategies to expand their sales. Bring your questions and be ready to get digital!

WEEK 1 - November 2: Food Hub / Aggregator - REGISTRATION CLOSED
• Lorrie Dahlen, Marshfield Farmers Market (Food 4 All)
• LEAF (Little Egypt Alliance of Farmers) Food Hub (Local Food Marketplace)
• Sherry Maher, Brattleboro Winter Farmers market (Open Food Network)

WEEK 2 - November 16: Wholesale – Register Here!
• Green Roots Farm (Local Food Marketplace)
• Theresa Schumilas, Garden Party Flowers (Open Food Network)

WEEK 3 - November 30: CSA / Subscription - Register Here!

WEEK 4 - December 14: Direct-to-Consumer (Farmers Market, Farm Stand, Storefront) - Register Here!
• Andrea Davis-Cetina, Quarter Acre Farm (Food 4 All)
• Melissa Levenstein, Hidden Penny Farm (Open Food Network)
• Alison Holland, Rainshadow Organics (Food 4 All)

Illinois Farmers Market Association
When: Monday evenings from 6:00-8:30 pm for nine weeks
Where: Online & interactive, utilizing Zoom & Google Classroom
Cost: ILFMA Member $250 / Non-Member $350
Recommended prerequisite: Completion of ILFMA Farmers Market Manager Bootcamp or Market Manager with at least 2 years’ experience.

The Illinois Farmers Market is pleased to offer a Certified Farmers Market Manger Program for Illinois farmers market managers. Managing a farmers market is challenging and requires a wide range of knowledge and skills. This interactive program learning experience will address real-world market issues and train market managers in best practices for successful farmers markets.

The Certified Farmers Market Manager Program is offered by ILFMA in partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau. In 2020-2021 the pilot was offered, with 19 completing the course. 


Registration now open: Winter-spring series
February 21, 28
March 7, 14, 21, 28
April 4, 11, 18


Illinois Farmers Market Association
When: January, TBD, 12:00-1:00 pm, over 4 weeks, with a new topic each week. Specific topics TBA.
Where: Online & interactive, utilizing Zoom
Cost: ILFMA Members $10 each webinar or $35 per series of 4 webinars / Non-Member $40 each webinar or $100 per series
Recommended prerequisite: Already Certified Farmers Market managers complete 12 hours of CEUs (no time limit) and become a Certified Farmers Market Master*
*Prior or concurrent completion of the Certified Farmers Market Manager course required.

This course is geared for farmers market managers that have completed the IL-CFMM Program or market managers looking to explores new and emerging aspects of running and sustaining a farmers market. It provides ongoing continuing education for farmers market managers. Potential topics include; deeper dive into community engagement, link shopper outreach, fundraising, sponsorship, finances, establishing regional cooperatives, vendor outreach, conflict de-escalation, technology, online stores, and much more.

Farmers market managers can enroll for individual topics or receive a discount for registering for the series. Managers who complete both series will be certified as Farmers Market Masters.

Registration coming in late November.

Instructor: Illinois Farmers Market Association
When: Offered in February 2022
Where: Online & interactive, utilizing Zoom. This workshop includes a recording and downloadable resource guide available on the ILFMA website
Cost: ILFMA Member FREE / Non-Member $40

This session will look at online farmers market stores. Early research shows that post-COVID, customers want to continue to shop online. Some shoppers may want a farmers market experience, while others want farmers market products and are not interested in the experience. This session will explore the pros and cons, models and platforms, and the resources necessary to run a successful online farmers market. ILFMA will partner with markets from across Illinois currently offering online stores for an insider’s view. This is an opportunity to learn from innovative markets who have added this service.

Registration coming in December!




2-day virtual workshop
Led by experts in proposal writing from the Grant Training Center.  
When: November 10 & 11 | 9:00 am to 12:30 pm *Download Agenda*
Where: Online utilizing Zoom
Cost: IFB Member $5 | Non-Member $25. Class is limited to 25 participants. Participants will receive digital training resources and a link to the workshop recording.

Register now for this two-day professional grant development workshop and gain the skills to put a good proposal together, advance your research, and find funding. Understand how to look for and read salutations and how to read and apply application requirements. write a grant business plan, craft a compelling summary page, address proposal goals and more. 



Instructor: All sessions are facilitated by Kristine Ranger, M. Ed., Knowledge Navigators, a nationally recognized thought leader.

Conflict Management
When: November 17 | 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Where: Online utilizing Zoom
Cost: IFB Member $25 | Non-Member $45. Class is limited to 35 participants.

Understanding conflict can help improve your workplace. Conflict is inevitable and a normal part of life, however, people respond to stimulators in a variety of different ways. At the conclusion of this bundled workshop series, you will have knowledge, skills, tools, and strategies for navigating conversation and conflict in your everyday interactions.

Attend an introductory 90-minute Zoom session on Understanding Conflict (plus)
+ Complete one Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Profile
+ Schedule a one-hour phone coaching session with Kristine Ranger
+ Reconvene for a two-hour Zoom session



HR System Sessions and Resources  
When: December 9 | 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Where: Online utilizing Zoom
Cost: IFB Member $25 | Non-Member $45. Class is limited to 35 participants.

How do you implement a complete HR system? Remember, a bad system beats a good person every time! If you skip steps in the process, the resulting system will lack integrity and only cover up the symptoms without addressing the underlying problems. Your business will have integrity and be healthy when it is whole, consistent, and complete; that is, when its management, operations, strategy, and culture fit together and make sense.

Attend this two-hour Zoom session on Implementing a Complete HR System (plus)+ Complete an HR Self-Assessment (HRSA) plus a one-hour phone consult
+ Schedule a one-hour phone consult with Kristine Ranger
+ Reconvene and deep dive into one or more “Best Practices” workshops (45 minutes each)


For more information, contact Sharon Dodd at Sdodd@ilfb.org or 309-557-3363.