From our farms to your table, all food has a story.

Learn more about farming and what we do on our farms. See which questions others have already asked. If you don't see your question here, use our Ask a Question form.

  • Today, the vast majority of farms are still family owned.  In Illinois 97 percent are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. For these family farms, being stewards of the land and caretakers of their animals truly runs in their blood.

    Get to know some Illinois farm families by checking out their farmer profiles.

  • The USDA requires all beef, pork, poultry or milk destined for grocery stores or restaurants be tested and inspected by the Food Safety Inspection Service to ensure there are no antibiotic residues. Farmers also are required to follow strict withdrawal periods for animals given antibiotics.

    Learn more about the role antibiotics play on the farm.

  • There is no science-based research linking food to early development. Higher body weight has been suggested as a contributing factor. You might not realize it, but all living things contain hormones. Watch this video as Illinois farmers talk about hormones in dairy and meat compared to other food items.

  • The World Health Association, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and American Medical Association, to name a few, have all deemed ingredients derived from a genetically modified crop as safe as ingredients derived from crops raised using other methods.

    In this video, Paul Jeschke talks about the benefits of using GMO seeds in his fields.

  • Grain-finished – Cattle spend most of their lives grazing on pasture, and then spend four to six months in a feedyard where they eat a mix of grasses and grains

    Grass-finished – Cattle spend their entire lives grazing on pasture

    Check out this infographic on today’s beef choices.

  • See what this Field Mom learned about reading labels, or visit the USDA’s website to learn more about label requirements.

  • While organic and non-organic foods are produced using different farming methods, nutritionally they aren't different.

    In this blog post, an Illinois farmer urges consumers to dig deeper on what food labels like "organic" really mean.

  • Plants use nutrients in the soil to grow. Fertilizers are natural compounds from the earth including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that give growing plants the nutrients they need. When farmers need to control a pest or weed problem, they use products judiciously to help protect the plants.

    See what these farmers had to say about the use of chemicals on crops in this video.

  • The livelihood of livestock producers – whether large or small – depends on the health and well-being of their animals. Regardless of the size of the farm, caring for animals is a 24/7 job that requires knowledge, patience and the utmost devotion. 

    Read this blog post from a farmer about how operations of all sizes are providing day-to-day care for their animals. 

  • Yes, just like consumers have choices in what they buy at the store, farmers choose what they want to plant in their fields. They spend a lot of time researching, reading, meeting and listening to industry experts to determine what’s best for their farms.

    Check out this blog post from an Illinois farmer as she answers some common questions about farming.

  • There is no set definition for “local” when it comes to marketing products. Many Illinois farmers sell their products directly to the public and others sell to brands such as DelMonte, Dean’s and Farmland that can be found in grocery stores throughout the state.

  • The legend of cow tipping is mainly just that – a legend. In this video, Linda Drendel gives ones of many reasons as to why tipping a cow over would be quite the challenge.