Empowering our community through education: Making Regenerative Farming Accessible for All

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2024: $29,067.00
Projected End Date: 02/15/2026
Grant Recipient: Kakadoodle
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Coordinator:
Marty Thomas


  • Animal Products: eggs, honey, meat


  • Animal Production: grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, pasture fertility
  • Education and Training: display
  • Farm Business Management: e-commerce, farmers' markets/farm stands, marketing management, value added

    Proposal summary:

    Our project is all about helping
    our community discover the incredible benefits of supporting
    regenerative farmers through an education campaign and a
    regenerative farming marketplace. Many folks in our community
    aren't aware of all the benefits of regenerative farming.
    Healthier soil, fewer carbon emissions, more diverse wildlife,
    and tastier food.

    Even if some people do know these
    benefits, it can be tricky to find regenerative products. There's
    the limited availability of farmer's markets, which operate for
    only a short period each year. Also, discerning whether products
    at regular supermarkets truly originate from regenerative farms
    is difficult. The absence of a centralized marketplace makes it
    hard for consumers to ensure that they are supporting
    regenerative agriculture, leading to skepticism regarding the
    sourcing and sustainability of their food.

    We want to make it super
    convenient for everyone in our community to get regenerative
    products all-year-round, and for everyone to understand the deep
    benefits of supporting regenerative agriculture. Our project
    about educating our community on the benefits of regenerative
    farming. By making regenerative products more accessible and
    showing how they're not just good for us but also for the planet,
    we aim to empower our community to make choices that benefit us

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Solution and Objectives:


    Our project's primary objective
    is to educate and empower our local community about the many
    benefits of regenerative farming practices,
    and to make regenerative food easily
    available year round in a convenient way
    . To achieve this, we've designed a
    multifaceted approach that combines both education and the
    implementation of a physical marketplace.


    Teaching Methods and Materials:

    1. Direct Mail Educational
      : We will launch a comprehensive direct mail
      educational campaign targeting members of our community. This
      campaign will include informative newsletters and pamphlets
      that highlight the advantages of regenerative farming. We'll
      provide insights into soil health improvement, reduced carbon
      emissions, enhanced biodiversity, and the superior taste and
      nutrition of regeneratively grown food. By reaching residents
      directly, we aim to ensure that everyone has access to this
      valuable information.
      The topics explored will be:

      • "Our Food, Our Health:
        Understanding the Impact of Modern Agriculture"

      • "The Earth Beneath Our
        Feet: Soil, Water, and Sustainability"

      • "True Cost of Food:
        Economic and Social Perspectives"

      • "Power on Your Plate: The
        Consumer's Role in Shaping the Future of Food"

      • "Regenerative
        Agriculture: Healing the Land, One Farm at a Time"

      • "Cultivating
        Independence: Building a Self-Sustaining Regional Food

    2. Farm Field
      Partner regenerative farmers will play a pivotal
      role in our educational efforts. We will organize a farm field
      day event where these farmers will present educational talks
      and demonstrations. Attendees will witness sustainable
      agriculture practices in action, such as cover cropping,
      no-till farming, rotational grazing, and holistic land
      management. Through these on-farm experiences and farmer-led
      discussions, community members will gain firsthand knowledge of
      regenerative farming techniques.
    3. Educational Posters at
      the Marketplace:
      At our brick-and-mortar collaborative
      marketplace, equipped with merchandisers and display shelves to
      showcase partner farmers' products, we will prominently display
      educational posters that convey the essence of sustainable
      agriculture and regenerative farming. These posters will be
      accessible to visitors year-round, serving as a continual
      source of information. Topics will include the positive impacts
      of regenerative practices on soil health, local ecosystems, and
      food quality.


    Sustainable Agriculture Practices

    Our project will actively
    demonstrate and promote several sustainable agriculture
    practices, including:

    1. Regenerative Farming
      We will showcase regenerative practices
      such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and minimal tillage to
      improve soil health, boost biodiversity, and sequester carbon.
      These practices are employed on partner farms and highlighted
      during farm field day.
    2. Local Food
      By establishing a collaborative marketplace,
      we will emphasize the importance of local food systems.
      Supporting local farmers reduces food miles, lowers carbon
      emissions, and bolsters the regional economy. Our marketplace
      will exclusively feature products from regenerative farms,
      promoting sustainable sourcing
    3. Reducing Food
      Through our investment in infrastructure like
      refrigerators and display shelves, we aim to minimize food
      waste by preserving the freshness and presentation of products.
      This aligns with sustainable agriculture's goal of reducing
      resource wastage.

    Project Objectives:

    1. Community
      Educate at least 4500 community members
      through our direct mail educational campaign, farm field day,
      and marketplace posters, ensuring they understand the benefits
      of sustainable agriculture and regenerative farming.
    2. Increased
      Raise awareness among community members,
      with community members indicating greater knowledge and
      appreciation of sustainable agriculture practices after
      participating in our educational initiatives, through a
    3. Access to Regenerative
      Ensure year-round access to regenerative
      products for the Franklin county and Chicagoland community
      through the collaborative marketplace.
    4. Sustainable
      Encourage sustainable purchasing
      practices, with 60% of marketplace visitors expressing intent
      to buy regeneratively sourced products regularly, measured by
      sales at our marketplace and through a survey. 

    By implementing these strategies
    and sustainable agriculture practices, we aim to empower our
    community with knowledge, access, and the motivation to support
    regenerative farming.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.