Schmidgall Talks to IL Senate Ag Committee About More Farm-to-Table Measures

By Benjamin Cox on March 8, 2024 at 12:19pm

Jenny Sauer-Schmidgall address the IL Senate Ag Committee in Springfield about the concept of her self-serve farm-to-table store the Grab N' Grow Greenhouse in Riggston. (Photo Courtesy of Capitol News Illinois)

One of West Central Illinois’ local food hubs had a representative at the Capitol yesterday to discuss more farm-to-table operations.

Capitol News Illinois reports the Illinois Senate Agriculture Committee heard testimony yesterday on two bills that seek to make Illinois-grown food more accessible to the state’s consumers.

Senate Bill 3077, by Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, would establish a $2 million per-year grant program within the Illinois Department of Agriculture to help fund projects to enhance local food processing, aggregation and distribution within the state.

Senate Bill 3219, by Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, would establish another kind of grant program through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help fund equipment upgrades at farmer-owned grocery stores.

Jenny Sauer-Schmidgall, of Riggston who runs the Grab N’ Grow Greenhouse with her husband, says the Farm Store concept has been growing in popularity around the country.

“The heart of the home is the kitchen,” she said. “Food brings everybody together. And it would just be really amazing to see the farmers’ stores be a part of a community and keep everything there.”

Both bills advanced out of the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday and could be taken up soon by the full Senate.