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Farmer’s Market Vendors Happy About “Eat Local” Day

A New law in Illinois is encouraging people to put money back into the state's economy.
PEORIA – A New law in Illinois is encouraging people to put money back into the state's economy.

One place people can help out is at farmer’s markets. At the Metro Centre on Saturday morning Ted Smith said, "just live nearby and wanted to support some of the local farmers."

Margaret Swanson was there too in an effort to eat healthy.

"Just started coming and we've been every weekend for the past couple of weeks," Swanson said.

Whether people come every week or once a month, it’s good news for the people on the other side of the stand like Janet Noe. Her family has a farm in Spring Bay.

"We raise corn and beans, but for the local here we raise cantaloupe and watermelon," Noe said.

What's even better for Noe is that the new law declares the first Saturday of each month 'Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day.' It's an effort by state legislators to boost the local economy.

"We have a lot of repeat customers that know the importance of coming out supporting us and buying fresh produce," Noe said.

According to the department of agriculture, if each household spends $10 a week on Illinois products, that's about one of these watermelons and a dozen ears of corn, it would put 2.4 billion dollars back into the state’s economy every year.

Noe said the push comes at an important time for many Illinois farmers who were affected by April's floods.

"We got one of those five inches in two hours rains and we had a lot of ground underwater, water standing in places where we didn't usually see it, so it did affect us some this year," Noe said.

She said when people buy local their transactions are really helping their neighbors lead better lives.

"We also raise fresh flowers and the fresh flowers was our daughters FFA project and it is helping put her though college."

The next "Eat Local, Buy Illinois Products Day" is Saturday, October 5th.
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