Legal Guide for Farmers Available

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September 24, 2013 at 11:05 am

SPRINGFIELD – Last week, The Illinois Stewardship Alliance released a legal guide for farmers wanting to sell directly to consumers, restaurants and others.

The guide is intended to be an introduction to the legal framework surrounding agriculture for beginning and current farmers who are interested in being part of the fastest growing sector of their industry – direct farm marketing of vegetables, fruits, meats and other products.

Specific to Illinois, the guide is a handy reference on topics like taxing, zoning, liability insurance, cottage food laws, and regulations that pertain to specific foods.

“I’m excited about the potential of this guide to help beginning and current farmers make the leap into local and organic food sales,” Wes King, Illinois Stewardship Alliance executive director and guide co-author, said.

Illinois Stewardship Alliance first published a legal guide for farmers interested in direct farm marketing in 2003. Changes to the laws and rules regarding food, such as the passage of the Cottage Food Act, compost reform, and federal Food Safety Modernization Act, demanded an update.

“My hope is that this guide will help people grow safe food, form successful business ventures and make the vision of local and organic food as an engine of prosperity for our community, our state and our region real,” Rich Schell, an attorney that focuses on agriculture-related issues and guide co-author, said.

The guide, officially titled “Guide to Illinois Laws Governing Direct Farm Marketing,” is also in the process of being translated into Spanish. The Spanish translation is set to be released later in the year.

In addition to farmers, King said the guide will prove useful to educators in the field of local food and economic developers who provide technical assistance to farmers and entrepreneurs.

Hard copies of the guide can be obtained from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance by calling 217-528-1563 or emailing isa@ilstewards.org. A PDF of the guide is available at ISA’s website, www.ilstewards.org.

Illinois Stewardship Alliance is a nonprofit that promotes environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially just, local food systems through policy development, advocacy, and education.

To keep up to date on Illinois Stewardship Alliance, visit https://www.facebook.com/ilstewards or follow ISA on twitter, @ilstewards.

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