2018logoIllinois agriculture extends beyond the fields of corn, beans and wheat you see while driving on the highway. Illinois is ranked first in the country for food processing sales and is home to 2,372 food processing companies, which support more than 71,000 jobs in our state. Every day we are impacted by the agriculture in our state.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture aims to assist small agri-businesses from around the state, which led to the creation of the Buy Illinois Challenge. If the 4.7 million households in Illinois dedicated an additional $10 of their weekly budget to purchase Illinois products, it would generate an additional $47 million each week for the Illinois economy.

The Illinois Products Expo has introduced local products to the public for the past 20 years to show Illinoisans how easy it is to purchase products that are produced, processed, packaged and manufactured in Illinois. The Illinois Products Expo will take place March 3 and 4 in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

Visitors will be able to sample and purchase Illinois products. These products range from fresh meat to homemade jellies. There will also be non-food items such as soy candles, soaps and lotions. If you are interested in attending, click here for a list of participating vendors.

Admission is $5 per person (children 10 and younger are free) and food sampling is included in the price of admission. Beverage tastings will also be available for a small cost. Wine tasting costs $5 and includes five tastings and a souvenir wine glass.

Since it is Illinois’ Bicentennial and the Illinois Products Expo is celebrating 20 years, there will be a free hourly drawing for a chance to win anywhere between $20-$200 in Expo Cash that a shopper can use during the two-day Expo.

If you are interested in taking the Buy Illinois Challenge and want to find products near you, click here.celebrate2018 IL Products Anniversary Logo