The state is getting more than half-a-million-dollars from the feds in order to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen the state’s specialty crop industry.  Right now, the state devotes more than 117-thousand acres of farmland to growing specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.  

Those crops bring in about 137-million in sales.  Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins and horseradish in the nation and ranks among the top ten states in the production of other specialty crops such as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas and lima beans.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ )