Illinois corn farmers certainly bolster pork consumption in our great state by grilling chops and adding bacon to pretty much anything, but there are a lot of great programs supported by Illinois corn farmers as well.
The IL Corn Marketing Board uses farmer checkoff dollars to work together with Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) on many exciting opportunities to promote pig farming with consumers and with legislators.
IL Corn and IPPA work together on the Pork Power program, which donates pounds of ground pork to food pantries all over Illinois. IL Corn contributes funding to process the pork donated by IPPA. Together, the protein that we’re able to offer to hungry throughout our state is invaluable, says local food pantry volunteers.
“Peoria Food Bank Manager Jeanette Weinmacher said of the donations, "It's a tremendous help, especially meat, it is our most popular item that our pantries request."
The two work together to help pig farmers in Illinois expand facilities or build new barns as well. The work of the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) helps farmers work their way through the rules and regulations of siting a livestock facility in Illinois. Often IL Corn leaders share testimony in public hearings in addition to ILDG cooperation.
A recent testimony of Dan Cole, ICMB Director from Adams County, said, “On a more personal note, this new hog farm will consume about 90,000 to 100,000 bushels of corn annually. That is a significant market opportunity for the farmers in the area and one that can’t be ignored. This farm will also produce enough fertilizer for about 400 acres of corn, which also saves farmers money.”
IL Corn also supports the Pork Expo at the beginning of each year and looks forward to providing labor in the commodity pavilion selling pork chops and pork burgers at the Illinois State Fair.
Don’t forget IL Corn’s investment in pork exports. Illinois corn farmers know that one out of every four hogs grown in Illinois is exported from our country to fed families across the world. IL Corn funds and participates in the U.S. Meat Export Federation whose goal is to successfully market pork in larger quantities and to new markets throughout the world.
Make a pledge to remember pig farmers in Illinois this month, but know that Illinois corn farmers support pig farmers every month throughout the year!