Homegrown Energy

Stay Warm, Breathe Easy With Homegrown Energy in Illinois

From biodiesel to ethanol to wind, Illinois generates a lot of power.

Sue Schafer ag teacher

Taylorville Ag Teacher is Outstanding in Her Field

Taylorville agriculture teacher, FFA adviser, cultivates leadership, life skills.

Mary Mackinson Faber

Dairy Farmer Dispels Misconceptions to Field Moms

Dairy farmer, Mary Mackinson Faber, invites moms from the city to her farm.

Off-Farm Ag Careers

Illinois Community Colleges are Breaking New Ground in Off-Farm Careers

Illinois community colleges train students for innovative, off-farm careers.

Illinois apple orchard

Wolfe Orchard Apple Growers are Experts to the Core

Apple growers at Wolfe Orchard in Monticello harvest both popular and heirloom varieties in their orchard.

field moms pen pals

Pen Pals for Field Moms

Illinois Farm Families Field Moms are being paired with pen pal farmers this year.

University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension Celebrates a Century of Service

The University of Illinois Extension service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Illinois Fishing

Illinois Fish Hatcheries Keep Waters Stocked for Fishermen

Illinois fish hatcheries ensure plenty of bass, crappie, muskie and others for fishermen in rivers and lakes. Learn how fish are bred by biologists and how the state’s waters are stocked.

Illinois Fishing

Farmers Take Action to Protect Streams and Rivers

Illinois farmers participate in the Indian Creek Watershed project to help with water conservation.

Illinois Farm Families

2014 Illinois Farm Families Happenings

Check in on the 2014 Illinois Farm Families happenings.

Natasha Nicholes

Face Time With Farmers

Chicago moms get a close-up look at how their food grows through the Illinois Farm Families Field Moms program.

Texting Can Wait Campaign

“It Can Wait” Campaign Encourages Safe Driving

Illinois organizations are joining AT&T in the “It Can Wait” campaign, which encourages safe driving with a pledge to not text and drive.

Ag Safety

Farm Safety: Your Only Passenger

Learn why agricultural safety should always be a top priority.

Diane Letson

Chicago Mom Sees the Power of Food

An Illinois Farm Families Field mom examines how food is raised during farm visits.

Farm to Table Restaurants

Farmer-Restaurant Partnerships Encourage Going Local

Farmer-restaurant partnerships bridge the gap from farm to fork throughout the state.

Mississippi River Bridge

Stan Musial Bridge Opens Over Mississippi

Illinois residents can expect fewer traffic jams in the future, thanks to the brand new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge set to open this spring.

Ag Based Cleaning Products

Ag-based Products Help With Sustainability

Ag-based products offer performance-based sustainability to help consumers go green.

Illinois Ag in the Classroom

A is for Agriculture in the Classroom

Illinois Farm Bureau program makes learning core subjects fun.

Illinois Roads

Illinois Infrastructure

These examples of infrastructure help Illinois rank as one of the top states for agricultural exports.

Illinois pigs

Illinois Pig Farmer Opens Conversation About Animal Care

Illinois pig farmer meets with Illinois Field Moms to allow them an inside look at hog production.

Illinois Transportation

Rails, Rivers & Roads Help Illinois Stand as Key Transportation Hub

Improved infrastructure in Illinois strengthens the state’s standing as a key transportation hub

Slow Down Banner-Illinois

Signs for the Times

The Illinois Farm Bureau and department of transportation are starting a campaign to help roads be more safe for farmers and consumers.

Soybean Sustainability

Soy & Sustainability

Illinois soybeans help pave the way in evolving the world of biotechnology.

Illinois Pumpkins

Illinois: The Great Pumpkin State

Illinois leads the nation in production of both ornamental and processing pumpkins

Google Urban Gardens

Google Earth Helps Track Chicago Gardens

Researchers at the University of Illinois use Google Earth to help track urban garden growth in Chicago.

USFRA Katie Pratt

Illinois Farmer Becomes USFRA Face of Farming

Illinois farmer Katie Pratt was chosen as a winner in the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Faces of Farming & Ranching program.

Lightened Up Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe

“Town & Country Partners” Debuts on “RFD Today” Radio Show

This Friday, March 15, at 9:07 a.m., tune in to the new “Town & Country Partners” segment on the “RFD Today” radio show.

Food Checkout Week - Grocery Store

Celebrate Food Check-Out Week

The American Farm Bureau celebrates Food Check-Out Week in February to benefit Ronald McDonald House charities.

Kane Cattle

Western Illinois Farmer Creates ‘Maternity Ward’ for Cows

Kane Custom Calving in Western Illinois allows 350 to 550 cows to give birth on his farm each calving season.

Illinois Farm Families

Illinois Farm Families Happenings

Check out what is going on this spring with the Illinois Farm Families program.

Snake Road in Illinois

Why Did the Snake Cross the Road?

Twice a year, a stretch of road in the La Rue-Pine Hills Ecological Area closes for snakes and amphibians to make their way across.

Ron and Deb Moore

Illinois Farm Families Field Moms Get Soybeans in the Suburbs

Illinois Farm Families Field Moms learn about growing soybeans from a city girl-turned-farmer.

Sales of Field Moms’ Soybeans Benefit Charity

The nine Chicago-area moms chosen as “field moms” tried their hand at growing soybeans in 2012 and donated the profits to charity.

Disabled Farmer Takes Center Stage in “Farm Hands” Play

Chicago playwright Wendy Whiteside wrote a play called “Farm Hands” about differently abled farmers. She was inspired by memories of her farmer father, who is afflicted with polio, and her disabled grandfathers.

Illinois drought and food prices

Drought to Have Minimal Effect on Food Prices

According to Illinois Farm Bureau Senior Economist, the 2012 drought will only minimally affect the price of groceries.

Illinoisans Volunteer for Harvest for All Campaign

Illinois volunteers put in nearly 80 hours a week for the Harvest for All hunger program, a joint effort of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Feeding America.

Crop Insurance Benefits Farmers and Consumers

Farmers with crop insurance had an advantage during this year’s drought, both for themselves and the consumers they provide for.

Illinois Farmer Turns to Twitter for Drought Updates

Central Illinois farmer, Bill Graff, is using Twitter to follow updates and progress on the 2012 drought.

State of Illinois Funding Educational Programs to Increase Local Food Production

The Illinois state government is providing educational projects through community colleges and Extension programs to help increase production of locally grown foods.

Retiree Grows 600 Tomatoes

Quincy Retiree Grows 600 Tomato Plants

Retiree Bob Koenig of Quincy turned his hobby into a small business with 600 tomato plants grown in his garden.

Illinois Farm Bureau Partners Summer 2012 vertical gardens

Vertical Gardens Sprout at Chicago Airport

These vegetable gardens are reaching great heights. At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, 26 aeroponic grow towers were installed last year.

Illinois Farm Bureau Awarded for Harvest for All Efforts

Illinois Farm Bureau took top honors among other state Farm Bureaus for raising the most funds and contributing the most volunteer hours in 2011 in the Harvest for All program.

Cow tipping and other farming myths

Debunk Farming Myths During Illinois Farming Month

March is Illinois Farming Month, and we’re celebrating the industry by finding the truth behind some common farming tall tales.


MarketMaker Grows Farmers Market Resource

MarketMaker, a University of Illinois Extension online marketing program, is growing and adding new features to better serve both farmers and consumers.

Feeding Food Deserts

Feeding Food Deserts: New Initiative Works to Identify Communities Without Access to Healthy Food

A new initiative has mapped low-income communities without ready access to healthy and affordable food across the state. Find out if you’re near one of these food deserts with a locator tool by the USDA.

Illinois Horseradish Farmer Jeff Heepke, Edwardsville, IL

Southwest Illinois: Horseradish Capital of America

Nationwide, roughly 24 million pounds of horseradish roots are ground and processed each year to produce some 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish. Illinois grows the lion’s share.

AgrAbility Unlimited participant Randy Miller

Agrability Program Helps Farmers Return to Work

AgrAbility Unlimited is a program that helps Illinois farmers overcome disabilities and return to work.

Youngsoo Lee with ultra-high-temperature processing unit. Quaker Oats donated the machine to University of Illinois ACES.

Quaker Oats Donates to Science Class

Quaker Oats donated a high-temp pasteurization unit to the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Illinois Farm Families Field Moms at Lindale Farms

Suburban Moms Tour Illinois Farms with Illinois Farm Families

Illinois Farm Families takes suburban moms onto Illinois farms to help them learn about the realities of farming.

Posters Show Where Thanksgiving Dinner Comes From

In celebration of Geography Awareness Week, November 13-19, Linda Zellmer has created a way to connect consumers to where their Thanksgiving dinner originates.


Illinois Farmers Send Soy to Afghanistan

A Yorkville, Illinois, soybean farmer was part of a team that helped send soy flour to families in Afghanistan.

Winecrisp Apples are a new Illinois variety

WineCrisp Apples Are a New Illinois Variety

WineCrisp, a newly developed variety of dessert apple, has been in the making for more than 20 years by plant breeders from three universities, Rutgers, Purdue and the University of Illinois.

Animal science

20 Ag Careers That May Surprise You

Not everyone involved in agriculture works on a farm. In fact, biochemists, biophysicists, veterinarians and environmental engineers are in high demand.

Get an Education in Local Food at Illinois Community Colleges

Six community colleges across Illinois offer courses and training programs to prepare students for careers working in the local food sector.

How Farmers are Feeding the World

Facts about the struggles farmers face trying to feed the world’s growing population.

‘My American Farm’ Website Teaches Agriculture Through Games

My American Farm is a website developed by the American Farm Bureau that aims to engage kids in agriculture, through fun activities and educational experiences.

Illinois Farm Families

Win Free Groceries for a Year!

“Farmers Feed Us” is a sweepstakes contest that runs through Oct. 2, giving away two grand prizes of free groceries for a year ($5,000).

Wholesome Wave Prescribes New Fresh Produce Health-Care Program

The Wholesome Wave Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to increase production of and access to fresh, locally grown food, is heading to the doctor’s office with the program “Rx for Vegetables.”

How to Apply for RIMSAP

The Illinois State Medical Society and Illinois Farm Bureau’s Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program (RIMSAP) have helped 800-plus would-be doctors gain admittance to the University of Illinois College of Medicine and/or educational loans. Learn more about RIMSAP here. Participants must specialize in a primary health field and practice in an approved rural Illinois community…

RIMSAP student Dr. Nicole Kennedy

Rural Illinois Medical Assistance Program Fosters Caregivers

RIMSAP, founded in 1948, provides recommendations and low-interest loans for prospective rural Illinois doctors.

Green Roofs at the Illinois Department of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture Gets Green Roof

The Illinois Department of Agriculture put a new spin on Springfield’s green scene by adding Illinois’ first “green” roof to its building.

Debbie Jimenez leads her students through a lesson on nutrition at St. Albert the Great School in Burbank, IL. The kids work at identifying the different foods groups. They also make bookmarks and bracelets that serve as a visual reminder of the six food groups and how many servings of each they need daily. The class also has pictures from various pen pals throughout the country and their farms.

Illinois Teachers Use Agriculture to Teach Core Subjects

Half million students in Illinois benefit from Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) annually.

Old Newspapers Go Digital at University of Illinois

The University of Illinois library is making history more accessible by digitizing its collection of farm newspapers from the late 19th through the early 20th centuries.

Lisa Buzzard, age 47, of Beecher City, Illinois, feeds the beef cattle on the farm where she works side by side with her husband Stan tending their 600-acre farm raising corn, beans, wheat, and hay for feed the beef cattle.

4 Women of the Illinois Ag World

Farm women are among the busiest – on and off the farm – as they have found a niche that ties in with Illinois agriculture.

The expansive grass at Wrigley Filed as seen from upper deck. The groundskeepers at Wrigley Field, in Chicago, home of the Cubs, are among the best qualified to give lawn care tips because they have to deal with keeping grass healthy every day.

Cubs Groundskeeper Plays Key Position

Roger Baird, the groundskeeper for the Chicago Cubs, takes his lawn care seriously. He knows he has a team depending on lush, green grass not to trip them up on the way to making a tough catch.

Warsaw, Illinois, farmer and chairman of the local drainage district, Sam Zumwalt, age 64, with the flood gage at the Hunt Drainage District pumping station. He has long been a champion of better flood control for the 16,000 acres of lowlands that make up the district. Water from the nearby Mississippi River reached 25-feet above flood stage in both 1993 and 2008. In the background is the outlet from the pumping station that can pump 200,000 gallons of water per minute off of the nearby farmland through a series of ditches and canals.

Illinois Flood Control Plans Are Flowing

It’s a system that sustains fish and wildlife, communities and commerce. It’s an integrated system where navigation, environmental stewardship, recreation and flood control all play a crucial role in its continued health and welfare.

Children’s Book: Our Generous Garden

Children’s book teaches kids where their food really comes from.

In prairie grasses, Indian grass and big blue stem

Ahead of the Curve of Conservation

Illinois farmers lead the nation in no-till farming.

Agriculture in Action

America’s Heartland TV show celebrates U.S. farmers.


What a Shortage of Rural Veterinarians Means for Farms

A national shortage of rural veterinarians may lead to a health-care crisis for our animals.


Beware of Wildlife When Driving

Autumn presents wildlife collision dangers for Illinois residents.

Showing Animals at Illinois State Fair

Champions of Animal Care

Stop by your local fair to learn more about Illinois livestock producers.


Illinois Farms Are Tuned in to Technology

Today’s Illinois farmers are armed with crop-yield monitors and biotech hybrids.

From windmills to biofuels, Illinois has power to spare.

The Power of Illinois: Wind Energy, Ethanol and Other Biofuels

From windmills to biofuels, Illinois has power to spare.