Illinois Contacts

Illinois Farmers Market Association
Janie Maxwell, MS, RDN, LDN
Executive Director
Illinois Farmers Market Association
Web site:

SNAP Info & Contacts

Program Name/EBT Card Name: LINK Card

Current Contractor: Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc. (Conduent)


Illinois Ag Department

Illinois Department of Agriculture 

Illinois News/Case Studies

USDA Farmers Market, Local and Regional Food Systems Grants Announced

Hannah Fuller October 2, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced this week that it has awarded $27 million in grant funding through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) and $9.3 million in grant funding through the new Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) grant program. The grants fall under the Local Agricultural… Read More

Standing Together Against Racism: Black Lives Matter

Stephanie Fenty June 3, 2020

Over the past week, the United States has been shaken by the deep inequities rooted within our justice system that have continued to destroy the lives of Black Americans like George Floyd. In the past, the Farmers Market Coalition has largely remained silent on matters of race and injustice. We will do so no longer.… Read More

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Summit Debrief

Darlene Wolnik November 1, 2019

The 2nd annual National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit took place October 7-9, 2019 in Rosemont, Illinois. FMC hosted pre-Summit activities, including a state & network leader meeting, an emerging issues panel, and discussion groups on markets training and technical assistance needs.  For the second year, Farmers Market Coalition gave its all for the Summit, including bringing the entire FMC… Read More

2019 National Poster Contest Winners

Maya Clark July 9, 2019

The Farmers Market Coalition and Farm Aid are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 National Farmers Market Poster Contest. Since 2014, Farmers Market Coalition has hosted the National Farmers Market Poster Contest to showcase the creative ways that farmers markets around the country are advertising in their communities. Both FMC and contest sponsor… Read More

FMC Mini-Grants Support SNAP Programs Across the Country

Stephanie Fenty March 20, 2019

Last year, FMC awarded seven $500 SNAP Mini-Grants to farmers markets and farmers across the country who displayed a clear commitment to expanding SNAP programming, and connecting SNAP shoppers in their communities to healthy, affordable food. Here’s a first look at the great work resulting from the funding. Keya Wakpala Community Farmers’ Market Mission, SD… Read More

2019 ILFMA Annual Conference and Winter Farmers Market

Stephanie Fenty February 12, 2019

2019 Annual Conference and Winter Farmers Market April 4, 2019 Allerton Mansion, Monticello, IL Register Here Do you manage or sell at a farmers market? Or maybe you’re interested in the local food movement? Then save the date of Thursday, April 4, 2019 for the Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) annual conference  at Allerton Park… Read More

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Illinois Farmers Market and Food Access Manager Position

Stephanie Fenty January 16, 2019

Position: Farmers Market and Food Access Manager Organization: The Land Connection: Champaign, Illinois Reports To: Executive Director Employment Status: Part Time, Non-Exempt Salary: $14-$18/hour Summary Job Description The Farmers Market and Food Access Manager will be responsible for developing and running The Land Connection’s Champaign Farmers Market each year from May through October, as well… Read More

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2018 Illinois Farm Bureau’s Live Local: Local & Regional Food Conference

Stephanie Fenty October 11, 2018

November 5-17, 2018 Bloomington, IL | DoubleTree by Hilton Register at Read More

From Coast to Coast: A Snapshot of the 2018 Farmers Market Poster Contest

Allie Vrtachnik May 25, 2018

The 2018 National Farmers Market Poster Contest has come to a close, folks! The deadline for poster submissions was May 15th, but you still have till until May 31st to act as a judge for the Fan Favorite award. Your vote counts as a ‘like’ for your local market or favorite submission. Browse the contest… Read More

Cultivating Customers at the Farmers Market Webinar – Illinois

Stephanie Fenty April 6, 2018

Mastering the Farmers Market Series: Cultivating Customers at the Farmers Market Workshop April 11th, 2018, 12:00 to 1:30pm CDT. The webinar will share fresh strategies to help you build, maintain, and enhance your recognizable brand. Discover the power of effective booth design and customer connections to create a loyal following. Plus, get social media tips… Read More

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Illinois Farmers Market Boot Camp – April 25, 2018

Stephanie Fenty March 30, 2018

Farmers Market vendors should plan to attend the Farmers Market Boot Camp offered by Illinois Extension.  Vendors and future vendors at farmers markets will be provided an update on cottage food laws and farmers market rules at this year’s Farmers Market Boot Camp. “There have been some changes in the cottage food laws that allow vendors to sell baked… Read More

Welcome, New FMC Board Members!

Honesta Romberger February 19, 2018

FMC is pleased to welcome seven new additions to the Board of Directors. This year, the election resulted in a tie for the sixth spot, and since FMC’s bylaws permit adding seven members, the Board decided to include both candidates. Our new Directors are: Adrienne Akers, Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market, IN (photo 1) Corey Chatman, Experimental… Read More

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Illinois Mastering the Farmers Market Workshop Series

Stephanie Fenty February 19, 2018

Mastering the Farmers Market – Hosted by The Land Connection Part 1: Cultivating Customers at the Farmers Market – February 27th, 1:00-4:00pm Part 2: Money Matters at the Farmers Market – March 6th, 1:00-4:00pm Jefferson County Extension Office 4618 Broadway St., Mt. Vernon, IL 62864 Register Here This winter brings the 3rd annual Mastering the… Read More

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2018 ILFMA Conference

Stephanie Fenty February 16, 2018

Sowing New Horizons, Envisioning The Possibilities 03/14/2018 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM Dream Hall, 51 S Grove St., Elgin IL 60120 Register Here ILFMA full-day statewide conference will be packed with informative and inspiring speakers, 4 diverse educational tracks (Market Managers, Market Vendors, Market Programs, and Market Presentations) targeted break-out sessions at all experience levels,… Read More

Farmers Market Metrics and Market Vendors

Darlene Wolnik November 28, 2017

By Dar Wolnik, FMC Senior Researcher | (A version of this article was published in Growing For Markets August 2017 issue by Dar Wolnik. To subscribe, go to GFM online) Since the 1970s, farmers markets have been started by various groups in order to serve many purposes. The timeline below is arranged by the major… Read More

Skokie Farmers Market: Enjoying the Local Language of Food.

Allie Vrtachnik October 24, 2017

Just outside of Chicago is the village of Skokie, a Potawatomi word meaning “marsh”.  Skokie is ethnically diverse and its residents speak over 80 different languages. Yet there is one local language that brings them together on Sundays from June to November- and that language is food. The Skokie Farmers Market has been around for… Read More

Spotlight on Urbana Market at the Square

Allie Vrtachnik September 21, 2017

Urbana’s Market at the Square is taking over FMC’s Instagram through next Monday. This 37 season strong market is jam packed with programs that provide customers with local food access, cooking education, and a healthy dose of fun. Those that know it best, such as Sterling Bollman, Urbana’s Assistant Director, know that the market is genuinely invested… Read More

Meet Ginger & Tony Malek of Grandma & Grandpa’s Farm

Allie Vrtachnik September 13, 2017

“Farmer’s markets are a central location where we can connect, educate and build relationships with many people instead of just a few,” says Ginger Malek. She and her husband Tony operate Grandma and Grandpa’s Farm, and are vendors at Peoria Riverfront Farmers Market and Junction City’s Farmers Market. Ginger was born and raised on her… Read More

Meet Darin Blunier of Bluhaven Farm

Allie Vrtachnik August 29, 2017

  Dale Blunier was an Illinois grain and livestock farmer who loved dabbling in new ventures. In the early 1970s, Dale set his sights on raising a half acre of Japanese White Hulless popcorn, and by 1975, it was a popular commodity amongst friends and neighbors. Years later, his son Darin Blunier would continue on… Read More

FMC Live Chat: Farmers Markets Host Successful Visits by Public Officials

Honesta Romberger August 25, 2017

Renegotiation of the Farm Bill is in full swing and key federal programs that support farmers markets are on the line. One of the best ways to demonstrate the importance of farmers markets to decision makers, is to get them onsite to see the market firsthand. Before the season ends, invite your federal and state… Read More

Glenwood Sunday Market: The Ring Heard Around the Park

Allie Vrtachnik June 6, 2017

“We like to say that the entire world is encapsulated in our tiny geographic area of Chicago,” Sustainability Director & Market Director Sheree Moratto says of her Glenwood Sunday Market. In Chicago’s far northeast side, you’ll find Rogers Park, a lively neighborhood where common languages include Arabic, Bhutanese, French, Igbo, Nepali, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu.… Read More

LISTEN IN: FMC’s Jen Cheek talks farmers markets, FINI, and food access

Honesta Romberger May 17, 2017

FMC’s Executive Director, Jen Cheek joined WGN Radio Chicago this morning (5/17/17) to talk farmers markets, FINI, and food access in Illinois and across the country: “If American tax dollars can simultaneously feed our hungry neighbors, and provide a source of income and demand for American produce, it really is a huge win-win.” Listen in: Read More

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Meet Karen Voss of Voss Pecans

Allie Vrtachnik May 9, 2017

Karen Voss of Voss Pecans can be found at Illinois Urbana at the Market selling her whole shell, half cracked, and ready to use pecans. Four generations of family help oversee their 140+ acres of pecan trees. Being Illinois’ largest pecan growers, Voss Pecans sell all over the state, and there are plenty of nuts… Read More

Meet Katie and Hans Bishop of PrairiErth Farm

Honesta Romberger April 19, 2017

PrairiErth Farm is a 300 acre certified organic farm in Logan County, right in-between Chicago and St Louis. The farm has been owned by the Bishop family for over 30 years. Dave Bishop overseas the livestock and grain operations, while his son Hans and daughter in-law Katie, along with about 7-10 employees and apprentices, manage… Read More

Meet Farmer Joan of Old Town Flowers

Allie Vrtachnik April 3, 2017

Joan Jach looks forward to her ritual set-up on market days: writing Old Town Flowers’ chalkboard prices, arranging her flower buckets, and grounding herself in the routine before the flood of customers. A veggie farmer turned floral, she finds local support at Illinois’ Champaign Farmers Market. “In our age of social media and online shopping,… Read More

Springfield Winter Farmers Market: Built Off Public Sentiment.

Allie Vrtachnik March 17, 2017

A very famous Springfield, Illinois citizen from many a years back had it right with his belief that, “public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.” The current day Springfield community is a testament to Lincoln’s quote, serving as the basis for the brand new Springfield Winter Farmers Market.… Read More

POP Club Participants Wrap Up for the Season

Liz Comiskey October 26, 2016

  (1. Federal Way Farmers Market, 2. Federal Way Farmers Market, 4. Montavilla Farmers Market 5. Indianapolis City Market, 6. Indianapolis City Market) This past summer, 49 markets offered Power of Produce Club (POP Club) programming at their markets with the support of a sponsorship from FMC and Chipotle Mexican Grill. The program helped to… Read More

2016 FINI Grant Awardees Announced

Honesta Romberger June 10, 2016

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the awardees of $16.8 million in competitive grants to help SNAP (formally food stamps) participants increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables. The funding comes from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food… Read More

5 Things I Learned About Instagram From Guest Instagramming For FMC

Honesta Romberger May 26, 2016

by: Stephanie Fenty, The Land Connection   As I’m sure many of you know by now, The Land Connection was given the opportunity to be a guest instagrammer on the Farmers’ Market Coalition’s account. It was quite the privilege to be able to share our market’s story with such a large audience, and get feedback and support from around the… Read More

Educate Your Customers with Recipe Cards from The Land Connection

Honesta Romberger May 11, 2016

  As part of a new campaign to educate consumers about the benefits of specialty crops, The Land Connection is creating a new series of Farm Fresh Now recipe cards, featuring nutrition cards profiling a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, as a way to encourage the purchase of unfamiliar market produce and learn… Read More

Meet Champaign Farmers Market

Liz Comiskey January 24, 2016

  Champaign, IL popped the cork on a new farmers market in 2015, so this week, we are going to peek into their great year via a Guest Instagram throwback-takeover! Champaign Farmers’ Market’s manager, Sarah Simeziane, spoke with FMC about their great season. Sarah Simeziane: We’re very excited to share the creative ways we marketed… Read More

Meet Green City Market

Honesta Romberger December 27, 2015

As the lights dim on another year and we bid 2015 adieux, we say hello to Chicago and enthusiastically welcome Green City Market as FMC’s first Guest Instagrammers in the brand-spanking new year of 2016! How does GCM hold it down in the Windy City? Manager Kathleen Williams explains how. Farmers Market Coalition: Tell us… Read More

**Updated** Congratulations to FMC Member FMPP and FMSSG Awardees!

Liz Comiskey October 9, 2015

The awardees of the 2015 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), and the first ever Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants (FMSSG) were announced last week! Check out all of the FMC members that were awarded below. Many FMC members will also benefit from grant projects within their community networks; you… Read More

FMC Welcomes New Board Members!

Liz Comiskey June 11, 2015

The Farmers Market Coalition members recently elected four new board members, and also re-elected Monika Roth to the Farmers Market Coalition Board of Directors. Christie Balch Executive Director, Crossroads Community Food Network Takoma Park, MD Number of Years in the Farmers Market Field: 8 Christie Balch is the Executive Director of the Crossroads Community Food… Read More

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2013 Discover You Can Participants Announced

Liz Comiskey April 26, 2013

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2013 Discover You Can Learn Make Share℠ program. Thirty FMC member farmers market organizations have been selected by the Farmers Market Coalition and Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball® Brand Fresh Preserving Products, to take part in this summer’s canning education program. The selected 30 organizations… Read More