One of the best aspects of farming is taking both full responsibility and full pride in whatever happens in my fields.

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Most corn grown in Illinois is grain corn

Illinois’ grain corn is used for food, animal feed and ethanol

Corn is a renewable, versatile resource for consumers and farmers:

  • Illinois’ soil and climate is perfect for growing corn
  • Less than 1 percent of Illinois corn is sweet corn
  • Pigs and other livestock use corn for feed
  • Ethanol is processed from grain corn, and the byproduct is fed to cattle and pigs

Perspectives

Farrah Brown

Farrah Brown

Glendale Heights, IL

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About me

I'm a part-time nurse, so it's challenging to cook every night. I've made some big changes in the way my family eats over the past year, starting us on a journey toward healthier eating and ridding our diets of unnecessary preservatives
and additives.

About my family

We have two sons, age 5 and age 3. We love to ride our bikes to the park and enjoy time outdoors. We love reading and doing crafts together. I love to take my boys on adventures – finding a new spot every week to explore and have fun and broaden their horizons.

Why I'm touring farms

It's becoming increasingly important to me to know exactly where my food is coming from, and be able to trust that it's safe and healthy. Fresh meat and produce from trusted sources has become one of my obsessions. I would love to be able to see the farms firsthand, and learn about the processes involved in growing the food I feed my family.

How being a mom has changed my family's view of food

Now, we definitely put more time into planning a menu that provides the most possible nutrition and balance while still trying to stay within a modest budget.

From a Mom

Another thing that stood out about Larson Farms, is their commitment to supporting ethanol as an alternative energy source.

They sell their grain to the ethanol factory and then purchase the end product grain back from the plant for use in the feed for their cattle. According to Lynn Martz, they support ethanol because "we can grow it, we can use it. It's very renewable. It's a win-win."

Jennifer Weiss

Jennifer Weiss

Chicago, IL

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About me

I grew up in Kentucky, and I would love to reconnect with my agricultural heritage and really learn the "ins and outs" of how our food goes from raw materials to finished product at
our stores.  

About my family

My husband and I have two sons, 3-year old Cameron, and 1-year old Michael. We play trains together, go to the park, and attend and serve in our church. Every evening, I usually make a meal from scratch, including meat, fresh vegetables and grains.

Why I'm touring farms

I have concerns about the misinformation out there, and whether there is any truth to claims about food additives, antibiotics/hormones, and the organic vs. ordinary debate. I'm interested in knowing where our food comes from, and I want to help set the record straight by listening to the facts straight from the farmers, instead of all the hearsay about how our food is grown, processed and prepared.

What she hopes to see on the farms

I am excited to see how the animals grow, how our food is grown, the different aspects of farm life, and learning about the common goals and values we share – as city folk and country folk – as we love and nurture our families.

From a Mom

When you ship the corn out to the ethanol plant, you ship 56 lbs. of corn and get 30 lbs. back in useable feed components for the cattle. Not much lost in producing ethanol. My mind was changed or at least better educated on ethanol!

Jill Thurmond

Jill Thurmond

Deer Park, IL

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About Me

I’m a wife and mother of two boys. I love to cook, bake and read, while my boys love to play sports and eat my creations (especially when baked goods are involved)!

Why I'm touring farms

Aside from what I grow in my own garden every summer, I’m not all that knowledgeable about how food is grown. I’m looking forward to becoming more educated in food production and sharing that knowledge with family and friends. I’m also excited to meet other moms in my community!

From a Mom

Only about 1 percent of corn that is grown is "sweet corn," like what we buy at the grocery store. The other 99 percent is used in other products including ethanol, animal feed, "meal" that's used in products like corn chips, tortillas, tortilla chips etc. Companies that use the corn for specific food items like tortilla chips will only buy corn grown from a certain seed(s) so that their products will look uniform from bag to bag and year after year. 

Sara McGuire

Sara McGuire

Chicago, IL

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About Me

My husband and I have two girls. We love the outdoors, museums, cultural attractions and just learning new things. I’ve become more committed to sourcing food locally. While becoming self-sufficient might be more of a fantasy, I at least want to learn how to support those who support me.

Why I'm touring farms

I’m interested in learning more about how to support local agriculture and connect our urban life to those who provide our food.  Sustainable food sources are important to me.

From a Mom

Combines are really really cool. I got in and watched it chew up the stalks of corn and spit out the grain. The farmer driving it smiled at my exclamation of pure joy at the ride. It is just so efficient and incredible a machine.

What's your perspective?

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