Farmers connect with our communities by delivering healthy, safe, nutritious food to everyone’s tables. But few people are aware of all that we’re doing to make our communities stronger.
Our commitment to being good neighbors goes beyond taking care of our land and our livestock. Being good stewards of the land also connects with community service. One of the ways we make our communities stronger is by purchasing locally when we buy farm machinery and other supplies we need for our business. This provides jobs in our communities, which benefits everyone. Our Illinois harvest also yields about $5 billion in economic value.
Taking care of our land and animals makes us more productive and efficient, which increases the return on our investments. That makes a farm more profitable, which makes it possible to buy a new tractor now and then. The tractor salesman makes a profit and buys a house; the realtor makes some money and purchases a new car; the car salesperson buys new furniture at the local store; the furniture person buys some steaks for dinner (which were raised on the farm); and so on.
We also help our communities by teaming up through checkoff-funded groups like the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA). Each year the association offers $40,000 in scholarships to students majoring in crop sciences at Illinois universities. ISA has partnered with the Illinois Pork Producers Association to donate almost seven tons of meat to local food banks. ISA also helps put food on tables globally where it’s running short through the World Initiative for Soy in Human health, which delivers soy protein to places where food is needed most. We also support teachers with literacy materials and information about soybeans.
In addition to community service, we team up with a number of environmental and government groups, finding ways to protect air, water and soil for our neighbors and future generations. We listen and are committed to working together.
About 96 percent of America’s farms are family-owned. Our families are able to earn a living, while at the same time producing food for many others’ tables. Providing for the community is our way of life.