Equity in farming is on Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton’s agenda this year.
Her office announced the Advancing Ag Equity & Addressing Food Insecurity initiative Tuesday. In March, her office will focus on food insecurity. By April, Stratton will focus her energies on creating a podcast to further the conversations about farming and food. While Stratton will be sharing her travels on social media along the way, she hopes the efforts will lead to shaping policy for the future.
Having visited rural and urban growers in Peoria, Chicago and East St. Louis so far, Stratton said she’s excited to do more to increase accessibility, including finding more educational and career opportunities for marginalized communities so the agriculture field reflects Illinois’ diversity.
According to Stratton, since the beginning of the pandemic, food insecurity has doubled in Illinois. “As chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, I have visited communities, farms, markets and small businesses centered in ag and have seen firsthand how they add tremendous value to our daily lives,” Stratton said. “I felt it was important to stand with them and support them.”
“From rural to urban to suburban — ag is at the center. It’s our state’s largest industry,” Stratton said. “All communities throughout our state deserve to have access to the bounty that Illinois produces. Our efforts through these sessions, and our greater strategy for equity, will take steps in making Illinois agriculture as vibrant and diverse as our state.”
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