10330 State Route 23
Waterman, IL 60556

Joel and Adela Rissman rent 300 acres that sit in north central Illinois about 65 miles from the heart of Chicago. The land has been in the Rissmans family since 1959, and Joel and Adela have farmed it for the past fourteen years.

The Rissmans crops include sorghum, soybeans, flax, barley, wheat, oats and hay, and they also sell bars of soap, liquid soap, shampoo, dog biscuits and honeycomb beeswax candles. They raise beef, turkeys, and chickens for both eggs and meat. Joel and Adelas childrenKendyl, 13, and Noelina, 10help out around the farm, accompanied by pet dog Koby. They contribute fun and excitement along with some practical help.

All livestock is raised on feed and grain that is grown on the farm and certified organic by Global Organic Alliance. The animals are never fed any meat or bone meal or animal byproducts of any kind. They are also never subjected to drugs, antibiotics, or growth hormones. It gets better: cattle are bedded in the shed with straw and have lots of space outside to run and jump and do whatever it is that cattle do. They are even serenaded with soothing classical music twenty-four hours a day! The chickens and turkeys are raised much the same way, except they are on pasture in pens that are moved daily.

The Rissmans were honored to be selected by The Smithsonian Institute as one of only four farms in the Midwest to be profiled in an exhibit entitled Listening to the Prairie: Farming in Natures Image. They were highlighted as examples of progressive farmers who are committed to sustaining both the natural environment and their livelihoods. The exhibit opened at the Smithsonian Institute Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. in November 2002 and traveled throughout the U.S. until August 2004.

Why is growing organic a priority for your family?
Because poisons kill! We believe that the circle of life includes soil, soil life, plants, insects, animals and humans. To achieve true health, all of these must flourish according to Gods plan.

What is your favorite part of being an organic farmer?
We value providing the best quality, clean food.

Why should people buy organic products instead of other options?
Youll have a better chance of being void of cancer-causing chemicals. We feel everyone should know how and where their meat and food is raised. Only then can you make a truly informed decision about your health.

What makes your farm special?
We do! We are proud and yet humbled that we have been given the chance to be caretakers of a small part of Gods creation.

Where can consumers get your products?
Our products are available via phone or e-mail. We enthusiastically welcome and encourage visitors to the farm. That way we can answer all your questions and show you exactly how the animals are fed and cared for. We also attend the Green City Market in Chicago, which will be extended into this November and December on Saturdays at the Lincoln Park Zoo from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information about their farm and products, you can reach the Rissmans at (815) 264-3487 or rissmanorganics@msn.com.