By Ben Shaberman
Organic farmers, specialty growers, and agricultural professionals from throughout the Midwest braved arctic-like conditions to attend the 2010 Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference in Springfield, Illinois, from January 6-8, 2010.
Making its first appearance at the annual event, the Vegetarian Resource Group was warmly and respectfully received by attendees. At VRG’s exhibit booth, visitors collected and perused a variety of books, brochures, and handouts to learn more about vegetarian cooking, nutrition, and health benefits. While most conference attendees were not completely vegetarian, most also acknowledged the benefits of being meat-free, and expressed an interest in moving more toward a vegetarian diet.
Several attendees representing farmer’s markets, herb growers, and community-based nonprofits were grateful to receive free VRG brochures and literature to hand out at their events. They noted that they either had customers or constituents who were vegetarian, or they were interested in promoting a vegetarian lifestyle at their events.
Here are some examples of the people and vendors who took an interest in VRG’s materials:
- An organic community agricultural project will use VRG materials
to enlighten people about our nation’s food supply and a more
healthy and sustainable approach to eating.
- A veterinary professor picked up the Vegetarian Journal to learn
more about the dietary and cultural habits of his students, many
of whom are vegetarian.
- A vegan and owner of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company in
Mansfield, Missouri, took VRG literature to distribute to his
- A representative from the USDA’s National Resources Conservation
Service came by the VRG booth to learn about new vegetarian food
alternatives for him and his family.
- A representative from Eden Place Nature Center, located in the
South Side of Chicago, picked up VRG materials to hand out to
visitors, many of whom live in urban neighborhoods.
- Several people took VRG materials to give to their vegetarian
friends and family members.
VRG extends special thanks to Patricia Wieland for introducing us to the conference and supporting our presence there, as well as Ben Shaberman for staffing the VRG booth.
Check out Ben’s book, The Vegan Monologues.