Guebert: Farmers are 'true environmentalists'

Earth Day a chance for farmers to be proud of sustainability track record but also a reminder to continue looking for ways to improve.

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Resource guides from some of Illinois’ livestock groups can help animal farmers find new ways of protecting the environment. (Photo by Catrina Rawson)

For Illinois animal farmers, environmental sustainability goes beyond just rules and regulations – it’s a way of life. Using sustainable farming practices often makes good business sense on the farm, but it also means protecting important resources for those who will farm the land next.

“Today’s livestock farmers are strong examples of true environmentalists,” said Richard Guebert Jr., a farmer from Ellis Grove and president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “They have a deep love and appreciation for the land because it in turn supports their families.

“These hard-working people are dedicated to caring for the resources entrusted to them,” he continued. “They also know first-hand that caring for the environment protects their way of life for future generations.”

Earth Day is a chance to celebrate the responsible practices farmers have adopted over the years.

But it’s also important for farmers to continue to improve, according to Illinois Beef Association President Joni Bucher.

“Environmental sustainability is a process that involves continuous improvements,” said Bucher, a cattle farmer from Good Hope.

The Illinois Agriculture Coalition created resource guides to help beef, dairy and swine farmers identify best management practices they can use on their operations.

Look for these guides at future meetings and events, or request a free copy by contacting the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Milk Producers’ Association or Illinois Pork Producers Association.

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