Hannah Ferguson

Dec 07, 2015  |  Today's News

Using Illinois Corn checkoff funds, women from the Chicagoland area are touring Illinois livestock and grain farms through the Illinois Farm Families program – and those tours are making a difference.

From time to time, it’s fun to check in on this program and see what the urban moms have posted about their on-farm experiences.  And this top ten list, by Anita Mann, really struck me as a positive. 

I’m not sure it’s listed in priority order, but seeing that this woman’s first impression of the farm is that the farmers are passionate about what they do and that they care about livestock and land is so important to your future on the farm.

Check out what else she took away from this program …

10 Things I Didn’t Know Before I Toured Farms

As I reflect back on this year in the Illinois Farm Bureau’s City Mom program, I’d like to share just a few of the things that I did not know before I began this program and that have made an impression on me.

  1. How passionate the farmers are about what they do. It truly is in their blood. They care deeply about their livestock and being good stewards of the land.
  2. How many farms are family farms.  97% of Illinois farms are family farms.
  3. The incredible work ethic that these farmers have and that they are passing it on to their children. It is a beautiful thing to see.
  4. Most of these farmers do not own all their land, they have to rent some of it.
  5. How many variables a farmer is constantly managing: Weeds, pests, temperature, droughts, floods, hail, cost of fuel, soil health, medical care and nutritional needs of livestock, equipment repair, feed cost, seed cost and the list goes on and on.
  6. The enormous amount of technology that is now utilized on the farm. I pads, apps, GPS tracking, field mapping, soil analysis, ultrasound, pinpoint fertilizer applications, measuring harvest yields to name just a few of the ways it is helping the farmer be more efficient. 
  7. The variety of careers available in the agriculture industry.
  8. The amount of time and research that goes into GMOs, 13 years on average. More than 75 different studies are performed on each new biotech product to ensure it is safe for people, animals and the environment before it comes to market.
  9. How confused we, as consumers, can be by the clever labeling and marketing of products in the grocery store.
  10. What a wonderful resource Illinois Farm Families website is for consumers to get the answers they need to their questions and concerns about the food they eat and the farming practices used today. 

Anita Mann
Naperville, IL

Anita is one of the Illinois Farm Families 2015 City Moms. Throughout the year she will visit Illinois farms to learn more about where food comes from. Following each visit, the City Moms share their thoughts by blogging about what they experience on these farms. Want to learn more? Read Our Story: Chicago Moms Meet Farmers.