In a small classroom at Knox College, a group of kids sat in a circle of tables, surrounded by seed catalogs and marked up sheets of paper.
As farmers turn from planting their crops to keeping weeds and pests in check, they rely on herbicides and pesticides.
"Buy Illinois!" That's the message the state's Department of Agriculture has for consumers.
The state is promoting the idea by encouraging grocery stores and farmers' markets to take part in its new "Where Fresh Is" campaign.
Jennifer Tirey of the Agriculture Department said Illinois shoppers are more inclined to buy food if they know it's grown on Illinois farms.
Owner Larry O'Hern had one year to complete the permitting process for Shamrock Acres. He did not meet the deadline.
The facilty would have housed up to 18,000 hog at a time. It would have been built in southeastern McDonough County.
Warren Goetsch is the bureau chief of environmental programs for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
He says, “We had issued an additional information request, I believe it was around the 7th of November, and did not receive a response.”
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is holding up a proposed large-scale hog farm in northeast Hancock County.
Junction Acres would be home to up to 18,000 pigs a year. It would be built near LaCrosse.
The deadline for the permit was March 3rd. The department instead requested the construction plans and the animal waste-handling plan.
Walter Goetsch is the Ag Department's Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs. He said the information is often not part of the original notice of intent to construct.