Taylor McDonald

Apr 18, 2017  |  Today's News |  Livestock |  Public Outreach

IL Corn is a proud member of the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG), a coalition of several Illinois associations (Illinois Corn, Illinois Beef, Illinois Pork, Illinois Soybeans, Illinois Milk, Illinois Farm Bureau) whose goal is to increase the number of animal units within the state. IL Corn understands that animal agriculture growth presents another opportunity for increased corn demand. More importantly, it bolsters rural economic development that contributes to local, state, and national economies. That's why we partner with organizations to help livestock farmers throughout the state. Below is one such event in the many ways we support livestock development.

ROSSVILLE, IL – Carl and Jody Clark, third generation farmers in Vermilion County, hosted an Open House for their two new 4,100 head wean to finish hog barns on April 6th. The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA), along with the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG), helped coordinate the event, which included free pork chop sandwiches for visitors. More than 350 guests attended the event and toured the barns.

Carl’s grandfather set roots in Vermilion County in 1966, and the Clark family has been there ever since. Adding livestock to the farm will give Carl and Jody the opportunity to fully provide for their family of four, and diversify the family farm. They have two young boys and welcome this addition to give them an opportunity to come back and farm in the future. Carl also sees the value of using the manure from the barns directly on their fields, to grow better crops.

The Clarks are production partners with The Equity, of Effingham, IL. Carl’s sister, Dianne, obtained a Veterinarian Technician degree from Parkland College and will be managing the barns. It truly is a family commitment.

When asked about the initiative for building the barns, Carl said, “My father gave me the opportunity to come back and farm with him, and then passed it on to me. I want to give my sons the same chance and keep our farm going for generations to come.”

The new barns will support jobs in the community, and local tax revenues to Vermilion County, estimated at more than $20,000 per year in new money with a sizeable percentage going to the Rossville-Alvin CUSD 7 School District.

“In agriculture, we continue to get better at telling our story. What better way than to host an Open House and give members of the community a personal tour and firsthand experience,” says Jenny Jackson, Director of Communications for IPPA. “I encourage consumers to take advantage of opportunities such as this so they can ask questions and gain a better understanding of livestock production.”           

This hog farm will produce over 600,000 (5-7 oz.) pork chops, over 16,000 (22 lb.) hams, and over 8 million slices of bacon per barn, per year, feeding the local community and beyond.

Mark Willard, local farmer and current Vice-President of Vermilion County Farm Bureau states, “Livestock expansion, such as the Clark farm, is very positive for grain farmers and consumers. Good quality pork is in high demand in this country and around the world. Producing more hogs creates more usage for our corn and soybeans, which should lead to better prices for our commodities in the future.” Mark helped cook the pork chops that were served to attendees of the Open House.

Other sponsors of the event are: Automated Production, Birkey’s, Danner Construction, Eastern Illini Electric Co-op, EIP Manufacturing, EPS Buildings, The Equity, Illini FS, IL Pork Producers Association & the Pork Checkoff, Maximum Ag Technologies, QC Supply, Silver Bros. Concrete, Space Ray Heaters, United Prairie LLC, and Wieser Concrete.