Animal Care on Illinois Farms

For Illinois farmers and ranchers, the health and safety of every animal is the central principle in livestock agriculture. Here are just a few of the many ways that local farmers are caring for the health and well-being of Illinois livestock:

  • A network of experts. Illinois farmers and ranchers don’t do the work alone. Every animal gets the benefit of a huge network of specialists, from nutritionists to veterinarians to animal scientists and much more. Together, this team develops plans and systems to ensure that every animal is healthy and safe throughout their life on the farm.
  • Treating animals with respect. The USDA and Illinois Department of Agriculture set science-based ground rules to ensure that animals are treated with respect and dignity. From small herds to big farms, the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Care for Animals Act ensure that every animal is well supported.
  • Going above and beyond. Illinois farmers and ranchers go the extra mile in the care of their livestock. Nearly every livestock industry has developed and implemented a voluntary care program, such as Beef Quality Assurance, Pork Quality Assurance, Farmers Assuring Responsible Management, Youth Quality Care of Animals, and more!
  • Family values. Did you know that 96% of Illinois farms are family-owned? And nearly one-third of those include livestock. When parents introduce their children to livestock, often through showmanship, the values of responsibility and hard work are taught on the foundation of respect for the animals – through grooming, custom nutrition, bedding, and more.


Farmers recognize that when animals are happy and healthy, everybody wins. Through animal agriculture, farmers are fighting food insecurity while also protecting the environment, strengthening communities, and driving economic growth. To see how, click here.