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Ask A Farmer/Farm Family

What is the difference between field corn and sweet corn?

Answer: Field corn is primarily fed to livestock and sweet corn is enjoyed by humans this time of the year as corn on the cob. Sweet corn season has arrived! But did you know that sweet corn only accounts for about 1% of all the corn that is grown? That’s right! ...read more

Why do young people show farm animals at the 4-H fair?

Answer: Showing farm animals helps us learn how to raise and care for livestock which we hope to do in the future on our family farm. We are Warren Schweitzer, 11, (third year 4-H member) and Elijah Schweitzer, 10, (second year 4-H member). We are brothers and live in rural Malta. ...read more

How has COVID-19 affected your pig farm?

Answer: It has affected every business in one way or another – meat producers are no exception. For several months, meat producers across the country have been struggling with a break in the supply chain between the farm and the packing plants. In April, many meat packing facilities faced shutdowns due ...read more

How has COVID-19 impacted farmers?

Answer: Some of the effects of these unsettling times are lower commodity prices and a back-up in the supply chain which could delay our progress. But, we are geared up to move forward and plant this year’s crop, with our continued optimism and faith in farming. Enduring in a time like ...read more

Calf Questions

As a 4th generation farmer, I have grown up around agriculture my entire life. It is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do! My great-grandpa started farming in the early 1950s growing corn and soybeans and building a beef cattle feedlot. Over the years we have grown and expanded our farm with ...read more

How do you keep pigs warm and well-cared for in the winter?

Answer: Temperature-controlled buildings keep pigs comfortable, warm and safe and allow us to monitor their health and well-being with some extra steps during harsh winter months. Caring for animals has a different set of challenges that come and go with each season in northern Illinois. Winter is certainly no exception to ...read more

What is a Family Farm?

Answer: About 96% of all farms in the U.S. are family-owned and operated. Some farms have been farmed by generations of family members and are incorporated for business purposes. I’m sure you’ve seen it driving down the road. Miles and miles of corn and soybeans stretching endlessly across the horizon. Some ...read more

What Affects Could Meat Substitutes Have on Cattle Farms?

Answer: Switching to plant-based meat substitutes will have an impact on cattle farms with a disruption in beef production. It also confuses consumers who may not realize the trade-offs. As I look back on the topics covered over the past several years, this one has to be the most complicated and ...read more

How do you keep your cows warm and comfortable in the winter?

Answer: We provide buildings that protect our cows from harsh winter temperatures and drafts, along with clean, dry stalls and bedding. We also give them good quality feed with enough extra energy in their diet to withstand the cold weather. As I write this, the leaves have fallen and it’s snowing. ...read more

Will this year’s cover crops be utilized by beef cattle?

Answer: Cover crops can be harvested for livestock feed. On our prevent plant acres we grew sorghum-sudan grass (instead of field corn) and will be chopping it and feeding it to our cattle. Many acres in DeKalb County and surrounding counties were not planted to the usual field corn or soybean crops ...read more