Place-Based Purpose

The Innovation and Education Campus

Collaborate with us for impact in food and agriculture.

Innovation and Education Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

Farm Foundation IEC Groundbreaking FF President CEO Shari Rogge-Fidler Credit Farm Foundation
Farm Foundation IEC Groundbreaking Speaker US. Representative Brad Schneider Photo Credit Farm Foundation
Farm Foundation IEC Groundbreaking Photo Credit Farm Foundation
Farm Foundation IEC Groundbreaking FF Executive Committee Photo Credit Farm Foundation
Farm Foundation IEC Groundbreaking Speakers Photo Credit Farm Foundation
Post Event -3

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Farm Foundation Innovation Education Center took place on Friday, August 18, 2023 at 31330 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, Illinois. Pictured top row, from left: Farm Foundation President and CEO Shari Rogge-Fidler; U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider, Illinois’ 10th District, U.S. House of Representatives; Shari addressing the crowd. Pictured bottom row, from left: Farm Foundation Executive Committee, some of the day’s speakers, and the crowd visits after the ceremony.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Speakers:
Dan Basse, Chairman, Farm Foundation Chairman
Dr. Annette Barnes and Tom Casey, Casey Family Representatives
Kurt Coffey, Vice President Case IH, North America
U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider, Illinois’ 10th District, U.S. House of Representatives

Our Mission Embodied in Place

Farm Foundation is creating a unique campus in the Chicagoland area to establish a centrally located space for innovators in the food and agriculture industries from across the country to learn, debate, and work together as one to build a future for our farmers, our communities, and our world. The Innovation and Education Campus will be a place not just to identify and discuss challenges, but to accelerate the momentum and action needed to solve them. It is our goal to lead food and agriculture forward from this innovative, purposeful space.

More than ever, we need live, in-person collaboration supported by the latest technology to achieve tangible results and make the biggest impact. Agriculture is facing big challenges and we need to bring everyone to the table. We need all voices to come together—farmers, policy makers, researchers, educators, industry executives, and consumers—to craft workable solutions. Farm Foundation’s Innovation and Education Campus will be the go-to place for providing quality hybrid and in-person collaboration to the food and agriculture industries.

Farm Foundation Innovation and Education Center

Farm Foundation SE smaller file

This conceptual design illustrates how the Innovation and Education Center intends to stay in dialogue with the campus’ landscape and historic barn structure, maintaining the vernacular element of the peaked roof and leveraging clear glass to amplify transparency and connection. Image credit: Kahler Slater

The Innovation and Education Center will be a state-of-the-art facility for supporting a variety of uses, including gathering program participants to collaborate; community building and engagement; connecting food and agriculture; accelerating learning through training, development and educational opportunities; content creation to engage with audiences digitally and in-person; providing unique and transformative event experiences that move people to action; and celebrating the Farm Foundation story, impact, and vision for the future.


Real Impact Begins Here

With more than 400 active food companies calling Chicago home, food and agricultural innovation is the heartbeat of this region. By building the first and only integrated food and agriculture center in Chicagoland, we will create a platform for local, regional, national, and even international impact.

Where the Past and Future Meet

Farm Foundation will build the Innovation and Education Campus on part of the former Casey Farm in Libertyville, Illinois. Surrounded by the 5,000-acre Liberty Prairie Reserve, which includes 3,300 acres of protected land, this centennial farm is an ideal location to honor the history of farming in the region and create a space that continues to educate and inspire the community on the importance and potential of agriculture. This will include new local, national, and international programming on regenerative food and agriculture, experiential learning for young food and farm entrepreneurs, and accelerated training and educational opportunities in a fully tech-enabled space. The suburban Chicago location also provides ready access to major airports and transportation, making it easier for people from all over the world to convene and collaborate.

Farm Foundation NE smaller
Farm Foundation Cafe

Project Details

New campus elements: Innovation and Education Center, amphitheater
Preserved historic elements: existing barn, existing oak trees, cultural open space

Innovation and Education Center Groundbreaking: August 18, 2023
Anticipated Construction Completion: 2024
Design Architect: Kahler Slater
Project Manager: JLL
General Contractor:

Farm Foundation Contact: Todd Price, Vice President of the Innovation and Education Campus

Build With Us

IEC Timeline

This is a projected timeline. Farm Foundation closed on the property in April 2022. Groundbreaking is planned for August 18, 2023, with anticipated project completion in 2024.

Our history is long, but our future is just beginning! Our goal is to open the Innovation and Education Campus in time for the 90th anniversary of Farm Foundation. We are actively fundraising to support the design and construction of the Innovation and Education Campus. If you or your organization would like to support the Innovation and Education Campus, or if you have ideas for programs we could jointly deliver through this unique new space, please get in touch.