FARM Illinois Plan

Click the cover image to view the full FARM Illinois report

Illinois and Chicago have the potential to be a regional, national, and global hub for food and agriculture innovation and addressing global and local food insecurity by 2025.

The Food and Agriculture RoadMap for Illinois (FARM Illinois), released in May 2015, outlines strategic recommendations that will set the national and international standard for how the food and agriculture system can improve health, contribute to the economy, create jobs, employ new technologies, preserve the environment, adapt to a changing climate, and help under-served communities. The plan is the first coordinated, system-wide effort to bring together Illinois’ food, agriculture, and business networks.

From September 2014 through May 2015, more than 150 stakeholders and experts representing different aspects of the food and agriculture system – from policy to advocacy, research to industry, and production to consumption – contributed to a rigorous analysis of the region’s strengths and weaknesses and developed 23 strategic recommendations in 6 key areas:

  • Leadership for innovation: Develop an integrated, statewide, long-term, public-private strategy to increase coordination among agriculture and food system stakeholders, particularly between Chicago and statewide food and agriculture interests, and maximize existing resources in the industry.
  • Business development and entrepreneurship: Spur business growth and investment by making Illinois the preferred destination for food and agriculture companies of all sizes.
  • Workforce and education: Develop a high-quality workforce for food and agriculture and educate Illinois policy makers and the general public on sector innovation.
  • Resource management: Ensure Illinois sustainably protects and manages its natural resources.
  • Infrastructure: Ensure Illinois’ infrastructure is capable of supporting the state’s ability to sustainably meet its own needs while being a global leader in food and agriculture.
  • Branding and market development: Develop larger and more diverse local, regional, national, and international markets for Illinois’ agriculture and food products by raising Illinois’ profile.

Among other recommendations, the roadmap calls for establishing FARM Illinois as a permanent entity to spearhead ongoing strategic development and implementation in the future. On March 31, 2016, FARM Illinois became a permanent association in partnership with Global Philanthropy Partnership, a 501(c)3 fiscal agent. 

To view an executive summary of the plan, click here 

To view the full plan, click here