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Harvest feast planned

A previous Spence Farm harvest feast is shown / CIFN photo.

Three farm families will discuss their passion for agriculture during the upcoming Harvest Feast near Fairbury to benefit Spence Farm Foundation.

The September 18 event will feature Jeremy and Justin Steffen who will talk about farming and what they do. Also, Amy Randazo will speak on how she got into the industry. The chef panel includes Art Smith from the Ideology Restaurant Group who will provide a cooking demonstration.

“He was Oprah’s chef for quite some time – so that’s really exciting,” said Erin Meyer, executive director of Spence Farm Foundation.

In addition to Smith, a wide variety of chefs will be on hand. The feast supports the foundation and its mission to cultivate a healthy food system while connecting the food, farm and health industries together to help move the food system forward.

“We are making great strides in our efforts of providing education to all of these principal players,” added Meyer.

The Harvest Feast is usually a sellout each year, so attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible through Tickets are also available for the cooking demonstration.

The foundation recently announced its Grow and Give Garden initiative. The primary goal of the garden, located just east of Fairbury, is to grow delicious food for the community. So far, over 575 pounds of produce has been distributed to area food pantries and churches. The garden is supported by volunteers and is coordinated by Ben Nelson, a farmer with Stewards of the Land. Jenny Steffen of OSF Healthcare is the volunteer coordinator.

“We’re working with the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H then some families in the community come out and help in the garden,” Meyer said.

For more on the community garden, e-mail

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