SIFA 2024 Conference

Thank you to everyone who attended the inaugural Food Works' Southern Illinois Alliance Conference!

What an incredible amount of gratitude we have for everyone who had a part in helping us to accomplish our first-ever Food Works' Southern Illinois Farming Alliance Conference. We appreciate the farmer support organizations that were attending to share their outreach efforts with our Southern Illinois small to midsize farmers. They included The Land Connection and Illinois Farm Link, The Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen, Illinois NRCS, The American Farmland Trust, The Rodale Institute, Midwest Grit & The Artisan Grain Collaborative, Farm Family Resource Initiative, The Farmer Veteran Coalition,  LEAF Hood Hub, Dispute Resolution Institute, Solar for All, The Southern Illinois Black American Chamber of Commerce, Prairie Rivers Network, The SIU Small Business Development Center, The Jackson Co University of Illinois Extension, The Rainbow Cafe, Faith in Place, Illinois Stewardship Alliance &  The Savannah Institute.

We would also like to thank our event speakers. Conference Keynote Speaker: Dr. Trent Ford discussed climate change and its impact on Southern Illinois agriculture. “While agriculture is directly affected by our changing climate, it also offers many solutions to both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change and weather extremes.” Conference Break Out topics: The Land Connection, Noah Scalero, and Nathan Aaberg brought attention to their program Illinois FarmLink, which helps connect farmers with farmland, and the Savanna Institute MJ Oviatt presented on Agroforestry and the many possible ways to bring perennials and native trees into the landscape to better support your farming operations. 

Thank you also to the venue, John A Logan, our event caterer, and our event sponsors, The Illinois Farm Bureau and The USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program, and last but not least, thank you to those of you who attended. Without all of you, this wonderful event would not have been possible!

Keynote Speakers

Trent Ford 


Hydroclimatologist Dr. Trent Ford is the current Illinois State Climatologist. His research interests include soil moisture, land-atmosphere interactions, and monitoring and predicting extreme climate events such as drought and heat waves. A native of Roanoke, Illinois, Ford previously was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He earned a bachelor’s in geography from Illinois State University before completing his master’s and PhD at Texas A&M University.


Little Egypt Alliance of Farmers
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The conference is brought to you by the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance, with support from the Illinois Farm Bureau and the USDA Transition to Organic Partnership Program.
Food Works is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a sustainable food economy in Southern Illinois.
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