Animal Ag Benefits Jasper County

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Published on December 31 2012 7:44 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The animal population of Jasper County benefits more pocketbooks than many realize. Jasper County ranks first in Illinois in personal income from livestock production, according to a study by Peter Goldsmith, associate professor of agribusiness management at the University of Illinois.

The study, which was commissioned by the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) and funded in part from the Illinois soybean checkoff, finds that animal agriculture contributes 9.9 percent of personal income to the local economy.

“Hogs, cattle, poultry and other livestock make up one of the least appreciated industries in Illinois,” says Donald Guinnip, Marshall, Ill., farmer and area Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) director. “But Jasper County reaps the benefits of $38 million in total economic activity from these farms, plus $2.8 million in total taxes.”

Based on this study, Jasper County is among the top contributors to the $3.5 billion in economic activity, the 25,000 jobs and the nearly $292 million in local, state and federal taxes provided by the Illinois animal agriculture industry. This industry has an output multiplier of 1.88, meaning that for every $100 of direct output or sales, another $88 is created outside the industry, and many of those dollars stay local.

“Farmers tend to purchase inputs, sell goods and spend profits and wages locally,” explains Guinnip. “Supporting agriculture, including animal production, helps our rural economy, and Jasper County exemplifies this.”

Although Jasper County has embraced the value of animal agriculture, the study indicates room for growth in the local animal agriculture industry. Meat consumption continues to increase, and global demand for meat and poultry products is expanding rapidly. Strong in-state demand and access to export markets means Jasper County can take advantage of even more growth potential. Plus, the study notes that Illinois meat and dairy processing plants import about 75 percent of their raw materials from other states.

“Livestock farmers are the No. 1 customer for Illinois soybeans,” Guinnip says. “Thriving animal farms ensure a market for local corn and soybeans, and when existing operations want to expand, we should support that growth.”

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) represents more than 45,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through the state soybean checkoff and membership efforts. The checkoff funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and education. Membership and advocacy efforts support Illinois soybean farmer interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C. ISA programs are designed to ensure Illinois soy is the highest quality, most dependable, sustainable and competitive in the global marketplace. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.