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February 24, 2017

The Frontera Farmer Foundation will award grants for capital improvements of up to $12,000 to small and medium-size, individually owned farms that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area at farmers markets and otherwise. Farmers must have been in business for at least three years and must demonstrate how the grant will improve both their farm’s viability and the availability of locally grown food products in the Chicago area. Small local farms, which often struggle financially, are more likely to promote biodiversity by planting a wide range of produce and operate using organic practices.

 
 John Davis to Speak at Rural Economic Development Conference

John Davis is the founder and Executive Director of Lanesboro Arts. His work with the lanesboro Arts Campus initiative resulted in its selection as on of hte top 12 Small town Artplaces in America for 2013 as well as a 2014 Bush Prize for Community Innovation Award winner. The conference is March 8-9 in Springfield.
Register here.

 
 

Upgrading street lights to LEDs is an effective way for municipalities to reduce their electricity costs. For those municipalities that own street lights (as opposed to leasing), incentives are available for street light LED upgrades. The incentive of $0.30 per kWh saved lowers the cost of these capital improvements and shortens the payback period, making street light retrofit projects a smart investment. Elevate Energy provides free technical assistance with project planning and application. To be eligible for the incentive, replacement LED lights must be certified by the DesignLights Consortium and projects must be completed by May 2017. For more information, read the program information sheet or contact Mary Jo Warskow at maryjo.warskow@elevateenergy.org or 773.922.3018.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS
March 8 - Rural Partners Annual Meeting, Springfield, IL
March 8-9, 20-17 Rural Economic Development Conference, Springfield, IL
March 11 - Raising Backyard Chickens workshop, Oregon, IL
March 29 - Illinois Farmers Market Assn. Annual Statewide Conference, Chicago, IL
March 31 - Rural Business Development Grant deadline
June 11-14, 2017 Community Development Society Conference, Big Sky, MT
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