Mar 23, 2012  |  Today's News

Livestock remains an important consumer of Illinois corn. Livestock within
Illinois and around the country, along with animals around the world, do a
tasty job of converting the nutrition and energy found in a corn kernel into
the vital nutrients found in meat products. Now, an updated study of the
contribution of animal agriculture to Illinois' economy shows the industry
continues to serve as an economic engine in both rural and urban areas of
the state, with the production sector of the industry contributing $3.5
billion of total impact and more than 25,000 jobs to the state's economy.

When combined with meat and dairy processing, the entire complex produces
more than $27 billion of total impact - up from $21.060 billion in 2004.
That's equal to 5 percent of the state's economy and 99,000 jobs.

"The Illinois livestock and meat and dairy processing industries provide a
significant source of revenue for our local, regional and state economies,
while employing 1.4 percent of the state's workers and contributing to our
local, state and federal taxes," said Rob Shaffer, a cow/calf producer from
El Paso, Ill., and current chairman, Illinois Livestock Development Group

In fact, the trend in Illinois livestock output shows modest growth in the
real value of products sold. Pork and poultry lead with positive real
growth, dairy is nominally flat and has declined in real terms, and beef and
sheep and lamb marketings decline both nominally and in real terms.

"The Illinois livestock industry continues as an important element of the
total Illinois economy," Shaffer said. "While the industry has realized a
number of animals decline during the past 30 years, since 2000, Illinois
still shows modest growth in the real value of products sold. The Illinois
livestock industry really does impact us all at many different levels."

The study also showed Clinton County, located in south central Illinois,
produces the most livestock products of any county in Illinois. It produces
$122 million in direct output and $169 million in total output. The industry
generates annual taxes of $13 million and total employment of 1,443 full
time workers. The livestock industry in Jasper County, in east central
Illinois, generates the greatest share of the county's economic activity.
The industry equals 9.9 percent of all the personal income generated in the

The ILDG contracted with Peter Goldsmith, Ph.D., University of Illinois at
Champaign, to conduct an updated study of the economic contribution of the
animal agriculture industry in Illinois. This is the third time this study
has been conducted: the first time in 2001, and then again in 2004.

Copies of the full report can be downloaded at
> under the "Research" tab.