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4 Illinois groups win federal agriculture grants 


Associated Press
October 20, 2011

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- State officials say Illinois has received four grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help local food producers expand operations.

The grants are part of the department's farmers' market promotion program aimed at improving such markets, roadside stands, community agriculture programs and agricultural tourism. Priority is given to areas that are considered so-called food deserts.

Southern Illinois University will receive more than $80,000 to establish a Farmers Market Association to help with professional development and resources for farmers and communities.

Other winners include Food Works of Carbondale, which has been awarded $90,000 to conduct training and mentoring for 60 new farmers and ranchers. Chicago-based Faith in Place received more than $39,000 to help grow 15 Chicago-area winter farmers markets.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon announced the grant winners Wednesday.