This week, we will take a short break from reviewing the responses to the survey sponsored by the Fairbury Planning Commission because we have something very important to announce.
Slow Food International has selected Spence Farm of Fairbury to represent the United States in their Almanac. This recognition was released earlier this month. This award is very notable as it includes world-wide renown! Only one farm per country is chosen each year.
As mentioned on their website, “Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us. Since its beginnings, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people, in over 150 countries, working to ensure everyone has access to good, clean and fair food.”
Spence Farm is the oldest family farm in Livingston County. Settled in 1830, Spence farm is now an eighth generation-run farm. Today, Willa Virkler is the sixth generation, while her son Marty and his wife Kris represent the seventh generation. As the eighth generation farmer, Will Travis, Marty’s son rounds out the current three generations who are stewards of Spence Farm.
For many years, they have been part of the growing movement to build a sense of community around food and farming. They raise poultry, cattle, hogs, and over two hundred varieties of vegetables and grains. Their heritage products set them apart as a model of resilience and diversity.
Chefs from Chicago, including world-renowned chef, Rick Bayless of Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, regularly visit Spence Farm. They are attracted to the quality of the food raised by Spence Farm and their two local groups of farmers, Stewards of the Land and Legacy of the Land. These groups sell their products directly to chefs, restaurants, institutions and grocery stores across Central Illinois and Chicago.
To be the only farm in the entire USA to be named in the notable Almanac is quite an honor for Spence Farm and also a huge attraction for the Fairbury area.
“We are very fortunate to have Spence Farm and the multitude of other farms right in our own community – serving markets like Chicago, Champaign, Bloomington and Peoria. As we have mentioned before, folks from the City come to the farm to enjoy the sense of tranquility and learn firsthand where their food comes from. Congratulations to Spence Farm, and thank you for all your hard work in putting Fairbury on the map!” says Bobbi.
As always, please call Bobbi at Heart’s Desire (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any ideas, thoughts or information to help our community.