Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois is a new resource for communities, businesses, not-for- profits, and others interested in establishing food hubs. The guide "includes descriptions of key functions, best practices, and “how-to” strategies for food hub establishment and operation that are based on successful models operating in other regions that have been specifically adapted for application in Illinois."
After World War II, fruit and vegetable production changed dramatically in the U.S. Mirroring an overall agricultural trend towards larger-scale and crop specialization, farmers in many parts of the country shifted toward commodity production and away from smaller-scale specialty crop production. In Illinois and many other states, this shift resulted in scaled-back fruit and vegetable production. Part of this was due to stiff competition from large-scale growers in warm weather states that had a competitive advantage. In addition, federal agricultural policies and subsidies also encouraged farmers in Illinois and other Midwestern states to move towards grain production... (read full guide)