skip to main content
Heartland mobile logo

Local Food


"If Central Illinois shoppers bought 15% of their food directly from their local farmers it would generate $639 million in new income annually for the region"

 - Ken Meter, Building Economic Recovery Through Local Food Systems (June 28, 2011)

Heartland Community College believes the local food system plays an important economic and community development role in Central Illinois.  We support this growing industry through educational programs, research, community partnerships and information sharing.  

  • Heartland's Agriculture Program is designed for students planning to complete the first two years of study leading to a baccalaureate degree and major in agribusiness, animal sciences, crop and soil sciences, horticulture, agricultural mechanization or agriculture education at a four-year college or university. 
  • Workshops and Training

    Heartland offers continuing educations workshops for experienced or beginning farmers addressing topics from production practices to business and marketing strategies.

    Community Education

    Heartland supports individuals seeking a greener, healthier lifestyle through a range of community education classes coving topics from cooking with local ingredients, organic gardening, and food preservation techniques.  

    Check the community education schedule for a current listing of classes. 

  • With grant funding from the Illinois Green Economy Network and a Rural Development Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, Heartland partnered with members of the Edible Economy Project to create economic growth through building partnerships with community members, businesses, and nonprofits to lay the foundation for strong food, farming and business enterprises to support a modern, efficient local food system in Central Illinois.

    The project resulted in:

    • A partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Illinois Western University to develop a producer cooperative food hub for the Arthur/Arcola, IL Amish Farmers

    • Promotion of online transportation bulletin board, Freight Friend, to help farmers and transportation providers coordinate deliveries

    • Development of two online ordering systems:  one for a collaborative of Champaign, IL area farmers marketing products to residence halls, and the other for a farm selling to multiple wholesale buyers across the state