WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Thursday marks National Farmer’s Day, a chance to celebrate those working men and women who put food on our tables.
“Even though 1% of our population is farmers, 100% of our population eats,” said dairy and grain farmer Brent Pollard.
Pollard’s family has helped feed the community since 2005. He, his wife, and his children work to maintain one of the many farms in Illinois.
“A lot of the farm organizations in the state of Illinois have this ‘We Are the 96′”‘ campaign to spotlight that 96% of the farms in Illinois are family owned and we’re not all big corporations,” he said. “It’s farmers that have been family members and members of the community. In my case, you know, six generations here in Winnebago County.”
Pollard said that, despite a drought this year, many farmers were able to harvest an adequate yield so far.
“It was a tough year, but our crops did surprisingly well for how dry it is. It’s amazing, what all the people behind growing seeds have created, crops that are really stress tolerant, and it’s helped us out quite a bit. It’s been really surprising for all the farmers that have been out in the combine on how good things have been this year for how little rain we got,” Pollard said.
“Everything that I produce on this farm, my family eats, too,” he said. “So, I don’t want anything bad to happen to the food that we produce here, because we eat it too. So, we’re the first stewards of the environment, the first people that recycle. It’s really, really important to us, as farmers, that we are good stewards of the land.”