See how Illinois beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
Lou Lamoreux of Lanark, Illinois represents the fifth-generation farmer of his family. The family has been farming the area since 1867 and along with cattle, they also raise corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Over the life of their farm, the Lamoreux family has continually adapted and implemented conservation practices to improve the land and the overall sustainability of their farm. Instituting various conservation practices- from crop rotation to a cattle-friendly barn layout- has played a critical role in not only meeting the short-term improvement of the current cattle herd and crop growth, but also in meeting the family’s long-term vision of improving the farm for future generations. For their conservation work, Lamoreux Farms was award the Illinois Beef Association Environmental Steward of the Year.
"It’s more than a business; it’s a lifestyle. I have two young sons. If they don’t want to farm, that’s fine, but I want them to have the opportunity to do that. So that’s first and foremost: farm like you are going to pass it on and leave it better for the next generation." - Nate Lamoreux, Lamoreux Farms
Meet Illinois farmer, Christine Wexell. Christine grew up in Oregon, Illinois near a feedlot where her grandma also owned a small farm, which piqued her interest in cattle and farming. In 2003, Christine moved to the Quad Cities where she pursued a career in nursing. She and her husband also purchased a small farm and their first three cows. As a nurse and runner, Christine recognizes and values the benefits of knowing where beef comes from and how essential it is to a healthy and balanced diet.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Today, there are more than 1.1 million cattle and over 16,000 cattle farms and ranches throughout Illinois. Learn more about the people and the process involved in raising beef from the pasture to the plate in The Prairie State.
Illinois farmland covers 27 million acres which is about 75 percent of the state's total land area. In fact, Illinois farmers grow more pumpkins than anywhere else in the world.