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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2007

Illinois Products Expo To Feature Homemade Foods and Wine From Illinois Companies

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Eighteen new exhibitors will be among the more than 70 Illinois food companies that give away samples of their products during the ninth annual Illinois Products Expo, Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke announced today.

The Food and Cooking Extravaganza, which also features products from state wineries and agribusinesses, will be held March 3-4 in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

“Market development programs like this are important because food processing is one of Illinois’ leading manufacturing activities,” Hartke said.  “By providing Illinois food companies an opportunity to market their products directly to consumers, the Illinois Products Expo helps to create demand for our crops and jobs in our food industry.”

Illinois ranks first in the United States in sales of processed food products, and third in food processing jobs.  The state’s 1,539 food companies employ more than 85,000 workers.

The Expo’s food offerings will include fresh meat products, candy, gourmet seasonings and sauces, homemade jams and jellies, specialty dressings and other items.  Beverages also will be available.  Expo visitors can quench their thirst with an apple cider slush or sip of Illinois wine from one of 15 vintners.  Wine will be sold by the sample, glass and bottle.

Expo hours are:  Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is $3.  Children 10 and younger will be admitted free of charge.

Free recipes and coupons will be available, and drawings will be held for door prizes, including baskets of Illinois food products and a $650 Weber Genesis Silver-C gas grill.

Sponsors include the American Egg Board, Bunn-O-Matic Corporation, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Finance Authority, Illinois Food Retailers Association, Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association and Illinois Specialty Growers Association and Kehe Foods, as well as the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Marketing and Promotion and other participating food companies and agribusinesses.

A list of the participating food companies, wineries and agriculture associations follows:

Ahruns Famous, Inc., Crystal Lake
American Egg Board, Springfield 
Aunt Em's Gourmet Popcorn, Deer Creek
Auntie Ruth's Gourmet, Inc., Chicago
Avatar Teas, Bloomington
Beverly's Dressings, Roanoke
Bombardieri's Specialty Items, Staunton
Butch's Pizza, Inc., Morton
Capital District Dietetic Assn., Springfield
Chef Dick's Barbecue Sauce, Girard
Country Bob, Inc., Centralia
Country Lights Soy Candles, Ltd., Leland
Coupla Guys Foods, Chicago
Darn Hot Peppers, Cobden
Debbie's Naturally Made Lotions, Nilwood
Dorothy's Candy, Godfrey
E. Formella & Sons, Inc., Woodridge
Eagle Bridges Soy Candles, Jacksonville
Future Farmers of America, Springfield
Gringo Foods, O'Fallon
H & B Ham Company, Brighton
Hannah's Granna's, Charleston
Homeplace Sodas, Charleston
Illinois Beef Association
Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Assn. Illinois Pork Producers Association
Illinois Specialty Growers Association
Illinois State Beekeepers Association Illinois State Turkey Growers Association Interstate Brands Corporation, Litchfield
J.D. Mullen Company, Inc., Palestine
Kitchen Cooked, Inc., Farmington
Little Muddy Longhorns, Scheller
Lonzerotti's Italian Products, Jacksonville
M & G Foods, Hamilton
Mackinaw Valley Apiaries, Inc., Mackinaw
McCain's Barbecue Sauce, Mason
Oakland Noodle Company, Oakland
Onofrio's Classic Sauces, Springfield
Pasta Alley, Robinson
Pasta By Sue, Belvidere
Pease's Candy, Springfield
Pick-A-Pepper Candy Co., Springfield
Prairie Pure Cheese, Belvidere
Purvis Farms Sausage, Sullivan
RGW Candy Company, Atlanta
Red Cactus-USA, Inc., Quincy
Riley's Seasonings, Inc., Pittsfield
Rockome Gardens, Arcola
Sasse's Apiary, Chestnut
Spice of Life, Decatur
Steidinger Foods, Forrest
Tabgha Company, Harrisburg
Toohill Seed & Beef Services, Heyworth
Turtle Crossing Food Corporation, Bartlett
Turtle Island, Inc., McHenry    
Voss Pecans, Carlyle

Participating Illinois Wine Companies:
Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass
Berryville, Claremont
Fox Creek Vineyards, Olney
Fox Valley Winery, Oswego
Hogg Hollow Winery, Golconda
Illinois River Winery, Utica
Lasata, Lawrenceville
Mary Michelle Winery, Carrollton
Massbach Ridge Winery, Elizabeth
Pheasant Hollow Winery, Whittington
Ravissant, Belleville
Shawnee Winery, Vienna
Spirit Knob Vineyard & Winery, Ursa
Vahling Vineyards, Stewardson
Willett's Winery & Cellar, Manito
 
To learn more about the products to taste at the Expo, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website at www.agr.state.il.us and click on “Illinois Products Expo.”



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