For too long, livestock farms in Illinois have faced undue criticism by a vocal minority. For the first time ever, this report gathers facts and data from publicly available sources to reveal several truths about Illinois livestock farms. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE UNCOMMON ON ILLINOIS LIVESTOCK FARMS. •  Livestock farmers in Illinois face multiple layers of regulation involving state and federal agencies, giving Illinois a very comprehensive, robust regulatory program. •  Many of today’s livestock farms are classified as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) AND are family farms. •  The number of complaints submitted to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) regarding livestock farms reached an all-time low in 2017.1 •  There are a declining number of Violation Notices being issued by IEPA to Illinois livestock farms with only 5 in 2017, the lowest number in the past 20 years.2 •  Livestock farmers are voluntarily investing in improving their environmental performance with $10 million invested in 2017 alone.3 •  Illinois’ livestock industry continues educational efforts by developing and distributing more than 6,000 resource guides since January 2017 to explain IEPA’s livestock rules. ILLINOIS LIVESTOCK FARMS ARE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE. •  Manure is a valuable resource that builds soil health. •  Illinois livestock farmers continuously improve their farms and produce more food with fewer resources. •  University research supports farmers as they continue to innovate and find additional ways to become more environmentally sustainable. LIVESTOCK FARMS ARE ECONOMIC ENGINES FOR ILLINOIS. •  Livestock production, along with meat and dairy processing, contributes $14.1 billion annually in economic activity in Illinois and is responsible for 52,124 jobs throughout rural and urban areas of the state.4 •  Livestock farmers invest in Illinois’ rural communities. An estimated $68 million was invested in construction costs for new or expanding livestock farms in 2017 alone.5 •  Livestock creates demand for Illinois’ top two commodities – corn and soybeans – consuming an estimated 112 million bushels6 and 36 million bushels7 respectively. •  Several Illinois-based companies have grown and added jobs due to livestock. LIVESTOCK FARMS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO BRING THE NEXT GENERATION BACK TO ILLINOIS’ RURAL COMMUNITIES. •  Opportunities exist for all types of livestock production, and Illinois is well positioned to take advantage of the growing worldwide demand for food. •  Livestock creates opportunities for young people to return to or stay on their family farm. •  Illinois continues to lose population. We need to support livestock farms that are actually keeping young people in rural communities. 1  3  4  2  Executive Summary 2