Livestock Farms Create Opportunities to Bring the Next Generation Back to Illinois’ Rural Communities
Opportunities exist for all types of livestock production, and Illinois is well positioned to help meet the growing worldwide demand for food.
Did you know?
- In the last four years, Illinois’ population has continued to decrease. One reason people are leaving Illinois is for employment opportunities. Livestock farms are creating employment opportunities in Illinois.
- Livestock farmers are doing something to benefit Illinois by making a concerted effort to keep young people in our rural communities.
- Livestock creates opportunities for young people to return to the family farm and rural communities.
LIVESTOCK HELPS YOUNG COUPLE SUSTAIN FAMILY FARM ON SMALLER ACREAGE
Brent and Carrie Pollard – Rockford, ILL.
After growing up on his family dairy farm, Brent Pollard attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate studies in Animal Sciences and University of Arizona for graduate school where he studied Dairy Physiology. He then worked as a research scientist, before returning to the family farm and taking over when his parents retired.
Brent and his wife, Carrie, have two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and operate a 90 cow, 300-acre farm of primarily Black and White Holsteins, with the remainder being Red and White Holsteins and dairy Shorthorns. They grow corn, corn silage, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Cows are housed in a three row, free stall barn with foam and water filled mattresses and milked in a single 12 parallel parlor.
“Our farm borders Illinois’ third largest city, so we are limited on the amount of land that is available to farm. Livestock has allowed our family to continue to farm on a smaller amount of acreage and provided the ultimate value-added opportunity of growing crops to feed to our cows, which in turn produces a wholesome, nutritious supply of milk.” – Brent Pollard
There are many opportunities for young farmers to work with other farmers or companies when raising livestock.
THERE ARE MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG FARMERS TO WORK WITH OTHER FARMERS OR COMPANIES WHEN RAISING LIVESTOCK
Chad & Julia Krogman – Shannon, ILL.
Chad and Julia have been married 8 years and desired a farm lifestyle for their family where they could work together as husband and wife and build a legacy to pass on to their three sons. They both grew up on farms and have been involved in agriculture all their lives. Over the years they worked for other farms, for agricultural retail companies, hauled livestock and raised a few cattle as freezer beef for others.
In 2015, they had an opportunity to move to the Shannon community and began custom feeding with other farmers. In 2017, the Krogmans built a new 2,450 head wean to market hog barn.
“We enjoy raising and caring for livestock and the environment. As first-generation farmers, we see hog production as an opportunity to work into an agricultural realm that is very capital intense. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to pursue our goals in agriculture and desire to be good stewards of what we’ve been given.” - Chad Krogman