You never know who you’re going to meet at a conference or field day or talk. At the Specialty Growers and Organic Conference, I got to catch up with many of our Central IL Farm Beginnings graduates and find out what they’re doing and how things are going. But the most exciting recent random encounter happened at the talk I gave at the Fairbury Library this past Thursday evening. There was someone in the audience who looked vaguely familiar, but it wasn’t until he introduced himself afterwards that I realized he was the father of a friend from high school (and also the guy who tuned all the pianos in the community). He and his wife had recently inherited 400 acres near Chatsworth, a few of which he is renting to South Pork Ranch, a nearby organic farm. But what about the rest of the acreage? A few days later, I had a brief conversation with Jeff Glazik, who farms organically nearby. (Find out more about Jeff’s farm and the NRCS EQIP support for organic transition here.) The matchmaker in me kicked in, and I’m looking forward to introducing the experienced organic farmer and the new landowner. Together we’ll see what options we might come up with for those 400 acres of fertile central IL soil. As more farmers retire, more opportunities become available. The Land Connection is available to talk with you to come up with a menu of options that will be good for you and your family, good for the land, and good for generations to come.