28 LIVESTOCK HELPS YOUNG COUPLE SUSTAIN FAMILY FARM ON SMALLER ACREAGE BRENT AND CARRIE POLLARD – ROCKFORD, ILL. After growing up on his family dairy farm, Brent Pollard attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate studies in Animal Sciences and University of Arizona for graduate school where he studied Dairy Physiology. He then worked as a research scientist, before returning to the family farm and taking over when his parents retired. Brent and his wife, Carrie, have two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and operate a 90 cow, 300-acre farm of primarily Black and White Holsteins, with the remainder being Red and White Holsteins and dairy Shorthorns. They grow corn, corn silage, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Cows are housed in a three row, free stall barn with foam and water filled mattresses and milked in a single 12 parallel parlor. “Our farm borders Illinois’ third largest city, so we are limited on the amount of land that is available to farm. Livestock has allowed our family to continue to farm on a smaller amount of acreage and provided the ultimate value-added opportunity of growing crops to feed to our cows, which in turn produces a wholesome, nutritious supply of milk.” – Brent Pollard LIVESTOCK HELPS CREATE FIRST GENERATION FARMER JACOB SCHMIDT – CAMP POINT, ILL. Jacob Schmidt did not grow up on a farm, but that did not stop him from pursuing and realizing his dream of being a farmer. With the help of family and neighbors, Jacob slowly worked his way into farming full-time. Jacob developed an interest in cattle, started renting pasture right out of high school, and continued renting more pasture while attending Western Illinois University (WIU). He was fortunate to have help from his neighbor, Brent Obert. Jacob worked on Brent’s cattle operation in exchange for the use of machinery. After graduating from WIU, Jacob started renting row crop land. Jacob and his wife, Alicia, have two daughters and farm 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans and raise cattle in Adams County. They partner with Brent Obert in the cattle operation. Jacob also owns and operates Schmidt Agri-Consulting that specializes in soil sampling. In 2017, Jacob built a 250 head, bed-pack hoop barn to use for calving, backgrounding and finishing cattle. “There’s no doubt that I would not be where I am today without livestock. Cattle have helped me become a first-generation farmer and now provide an opportunity for my children to be involved in agriculture.” – Jacob Schmidt REAL WORLD Here are examples where livestock farms have helped create opportunities