Protecting Our Environment

Preserving our land. Protecting our water. Providing our food. Illinois farmers are making a difference in your life, whether you realize it or not.

Leading on environmental issues. It’s a priority for us and our members. We have committed significant resources to accomplish ambitious goals with regard to water quality, livestock production, pollinators, and a host of other challenging issues. We do that by educating our members about important environmental issues, the latest university research and the best management practices that can help them meet their conservation goals. We work with agency staff to explain rules and regulations and ensure our members can achieve compliance and environmental benefits. We share with consumers the stories of our farmer members doing good work to protect the land on which they depend.

Environmental issues are complicated. They're long term. And they require continuous improvement from our farmer members. Thankfully, Illinois Farm Bureau members are ready for the challenge. Read on for more details about how we’re tackling key issues in Illinois.

IFB Documentary: Sustaining Our Future

Illinois farmers go to great lengths to preserve our soil and protect water quality. In 2022, Illinois Farm Bureau staff wanted to go to those same great lengths to produce a video that showcases these efforts. "Sustaining our Future: A Farm Family Story" illustrates how three generations of farmers have approached sustainability.
Read more and watch the documentary here.

Did you know? 2022 U.S. ag emissions were the lowest in 10 years.
Click here to read AFBF’s MarketIntel report documenting how ag is producing more food while using less emissions.

Environmental Reporting

The IFB Board of Directors is committed to setting environmental action as an organizational priority, following through by continually committing significant resources to do the job. IFB has expanded its work on environmental topics, such as the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) in four priority areas: 1) education and outreach to farmers, landowners and the general public; 2) supporting research of best management practices; 3) supporting farmer implementation efforts across the state; and 4) demonstrating progress and reporting successes toward long-term environmental targets. The 2023-2024 Environmental Action Report shares the progress we have made so far as well as outlines some of the goals we wish to achieve in the future.

View the 2023-2024 Environmental Action Report.

For more information on the NLRS visit the IEPA website.


IFB staff work hard on behalf of our members who raise livestock to communicate with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on issues related to their operations and the environment. We embark on education campaigns through the Illinois Agricultural Coalition – a partnership among IFB, the Illinois Beef Association, the Illinois Milk Producers’ Association and the Illinois Pork Producers Association. Read more.

Pollinators and Monarch Butterflies

At IFB, we understand the importance of pollinators to our food system and to the ecosystem overall. That is why we have been actively involved in conservation planning efforts surrounding the monarch butterfly and other pollinators in Illinois for a number of years.  Read more.

Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program

With the first year of work being completed in 2016, the Nutrient Stewardship Grant Program has become a cornerstone of IFB’s work to implement the NLRS, serving as one example of the many ways IFB is creating lasting impacts in nutrient stewardship efforts across Illinois. Read more.

Rural-Urban Partnerships

IFB staff works closely with Illinois farmers to build and strengthen relationships with stakeholders in our rural and urban communities. One means of collaboration is through partnerships with wastewater treatment utilities across our state. A partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is one example of how experts across the spectrum – researchers, farmers and clean water professionals – are working together to move the needle on the state’s NLRS. Learn more about the partnership’s goals and it’s on-the-ground research site in Fulton County here.

Farming for the Future

Illinois Farm Bureau supports the important conservation efforts of our farmer members. That includes educating the public about practices being used on the farm. Using video, social media and other channels, we are helping the public see exactly why Illinois farmers’ conservation efforts should be applauded. Read more.