The Illinois Department of Agriculture wants shoppers to buy food farmed in Illinois. And it wants grocery stores that sell local food to brag about it. The state's encouraging stores and farmers' markets across the state to take part in its new "Where Fresh Is" campaign. Jennifer Tirey (tie-REE) is with the Department of Agriculture. Tirey says shoppers are more inclined to buy food if they know it's grown on Illinois farms:
"The vendors at those are your friends and neighbors, who grow that produce right here in your backyards, in your neighborhoods. It's always great to be a fan, a consumer, a purchaser of those locally-grown, fresh fruits and vegetables."
She says advertising state-grown food can also help a business' bottom line:
"If consumers cannot find the produce and don't know where it's from, they're not going to buy it."
Participating outlets will receive free marketing materials to promote locally-grown produce. The deadline to apply is February 15th. There's already a similar campaign in Chicago.
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