March - Ag Week




For farmers, growing and raising our food means continuous improvement. It means discovering ways to do things better and finding solutions to complex problems. And we’re making decisions every day that advance our methods for raising animals and growing crops. That’s why innovation grows here, play the video below to get a taste of what we are doing in agriculture. 

Innovation on the farm – self-steering equipment, field-mapping drones, animal health monitors – means less environmental impact, safer food and a healthier world. In Illinois, farmers use the latest in science and technology to advance the way we grow and raise food that is better for you and our world.

Find out why firsthand from the farmers who are bringing this innovation to life by clicking here.

Video and the above content is provided by Illinois Farm Families. A group of Illinois farmers along with other experts, share their perspectives and provide you with accurate information to make informed choices. You’ll find that they don't all farm alike or have the same answers to every question. What you do have from them is a commitment to providing safe, healthy food for every table.


2 million farms dot America’s rural landscape, and the vast majority are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations

One U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will have to grow about 70% more food than what is now produced.

After accounting for input costs, farmers and ranchers receive only 8 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution.

In 2018, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.

About 8% of U.S. farms market foods locally through direct-to-consumer or intermediated sales.

Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families.

The pounds of feed (grain, forage, etc.) a dairy cow needs to eat to produce 100 pounds of milk has decreased by more than 40% on average in the last 40 years.

Farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal and account for less than one-half of 1% of the total U.S. budget.

More than half of America’s farmers intentionally provide habitat for wildlife. Deer, moose, birds and other species have shown significant population increases for decades.

One day’s production for a high-producing dairy cow yields 4.8 pounds of butter, 8.7 gallons of ice cream or 10.5 pounds of cheese.

Careful stewardship by America’s food producers has spurred a 34% decline in erosion of cropland by wind and water since 1982.

On any given day, one in eight Americans will eat pizza.

Americans throw away about 25% of the food they purchase for at-home consumption.

Farm and ranch families comprise less than 2% of the U.S. population.

30% to 40% of all food grown and produced in the U.S. is never eaten.

Of the 10% of disposable income Americans spend on food each year, 46% is for food eaten at home and 54% is for food eaten away from home.

Women make up 36% of the total number of U.S. farm operators; 56% of all farms have at least one female decision-maker.

 Fast Facts About Agriculture & Food was published in the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Food and Farm Facts book (2021 edition).