By Blair Thomas
Hungry for an education in the local food movement? Classes are cropping up at several Illinois colleges.
Six community colleges across the state now offer classes that target students moving into careers for specialty crop and local food demands. The courses and training programs prepare students for careers working in the local food sector.
Each of the colleges – which include Black Hawk Community College East Campus, Lincoln Land Community College, Kankakee Community college, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges (IECC), John Wood Community College and Joliet Junior College – developed a program suited for its resources and its location.
IECC planted a vineyard, fruit orchard and vegetable crop to sell in the community through local restaurants, farmers markets and grocery stores. In a local food farming program at John Wood, students are trained in sustainable fruit and vegetable production and marketing.