Illinois Corn Growers Association President Ken Hartman, Jr, a family farmer from Waterloo, IL, released the following statement in response to the Illinois Senate’s confirmation of Philip Nelson as the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
“Illinois Corn Growers Association congratulates Director Philip Nelson on his confirmation by the Illinois Senate to lead the Illinois Department of Agriculture. We value our relationship with the leadership and staff at IDOA and I’m certain that with Director Nelson at the helm that our opportunities to work together will grow to be even more beneficial.
“We know that Illinois corn farmers grow Illinois. We’re our state’s #1 crop. We partner with customers in Illinois and beyond. For example, the Illinois pork industry is our largest in-state livestock customer. They’ll use about 86 million bushels of corn this year, representing more than 75% of livestock demand.
“We also support more than a dozen ethanol plants as their primary feedstock. The co-product called DDGS will put another 29 million bushels of corn equivalent back into the livestock feed system.
“All in all, Illinois corn farmers contribute over $25 billion to the Illinois economy each year, a substantial portion of the nearly $121 billion contribution of the entire farm sector.
“Director Nelson knows that a strong farm economy means a strong Illinois economy. And that starts with supporting opportunities to expand the economic footprint of our farmers.
“I’ve no doubt that he’ll work on behalf of all of us in agriculture, building on his firsthand experience as a farmer as he takes on this new experience in state government.”