Live Local, Shop Local Online
Directory Connects Communities to Local Food
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 23, 2022
Illinois Farm Bureau®
Associate Director of Food Systems Development
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Local farm and food businesses looking to spice up their online presence can now connect with thousands of new customers through Live Local, Shop Local’s online directory. Live Local, Shop Local, is an Illinois Farm Bureau program aimed at connecting communities with local food and agriculture.
The directory, powered by MarketMaker and hosted by the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, allows customers to easily search for farms and businesses based on the products they are looking for. It’s also just one resource offered through the Live Local, Shop Local program.
“People love the online directory because they can find farms and markets that sell fresh, local ingredients and offer family-friendly activities,” said Raghela Scavuzzo, IFB Associate Director of Food Systems Development. “Illinois farmers also enjoy it because the virtual platform connects people in their communities with what these growers are passionate about: producing food that’s flavorful and nutritious.”
Shoppers can search through popular item categories, including fruits, vegetables, cheeses, honey, flowers and value-added products. Visitors can also search for agritourism experiences, wineries, breweries, distilleries and other experiences.
Local farm and food businesses can create their Illinois MarketMaker profiles at foodmarketmaker.com. Registered users can add an e-commerce option or link to an existing store, check out the Buy/Sell Forum for product listings and advertising and add business affiliations to be seen across multiple networks.
As an added bonus for Illinois Farm Bureau members, online vendors who indicate an affiliation with the organization on their profiles will be featured on participating county Farm Bureau websites and in the Illinois Farm Bureau Abenity Membership App.
Business owners can access their account and revise their data anytime throughout the year through the foodmarketmaker.com website. It is recommended that businesses update their profiles ahead of and during busy shopping seasons, such as the summer and fall farmers market seasons.
“This is a new way to promote Illinois Farm Bureau members and local food through county Farm Bureaus and our membership app, Abenity,” said Scavuzzo. “We are excited that counties throughout the state can offer this convenient resource to families during the busy summer market season.”
Start exploring the more than 1,800 Illinois farms and businesses featured in the online directory at specialtygrowers.org/shoplocal. Farms and businesses interested in joining Live Local, Shop Local’s online community can contact Scavuzzo via email at Rscavuzzo@ilfb.org.
The Live Local, Shop Local program is made possible through the Connect Fresh Collaborative. Collaborative partners include Illinois MarketMaker, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Farmer Veteran Coalition, Illinois Farmers Market Association, Buy Fresh Buy Local Illinois, The Land Connection, Illinois Farm to School, Feeding Illinois, and Artisan Grain Collaborative. Learn more at foodmarketmaker.com.
About Illinois Farm Bureau:
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 386,291 and a voting membership of 79,159. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.
About Illinois Specialty Growers Association:
The purpose of Illinois Specialty Growers Association (ISGA) is the promotion and development of the Illinois specialty crop industry. ISGA was formed in 1989 to improve the coordination and cooperation among our individual associations. ISGA is an umbrella organization for the following affiliated associations: Illinois Herb Association, Illinois Irrigation Association, Illinois State Horticultural Society and Illinois Vegetable Growers Association.
About Illinois MarketMaker:
MarketMaker is the platform and database that powers the IFB Live Local, Shop Local directory. Additionally, MarketMaker is a digital information network that crowd sources information from farms and food related businesses. The information is compiled into individual profiles based on business or farm type and placed in a searchable mappable directory that can be shared across partner web sites. MarketMaker is a networked community of users across the food supply chain that can identify potential customers, food sources, processors and distributors.