What We Grow and Raise: The Illinois Supply Chain
The agricultural industry creates an integral link within the Illinois supply chain—connecting the state’s farmers with businesses who distribute food, fuel and fiber. Agriculture’s strong economic impact creates opportunities within our state, bringing in significant revenue for businesses and our communities.
The agriculture industry and related economic activity add a significant contribution to the Illinois economy with about $51.1 billion in value-added.
Illinois accounts for 4% of all U.S. agriculture sales, with 81% coming from crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat and forage, and 20% from livestock.
Every person in Illinois is impacted by agriculture. The important connections created by our state’s supply chain ensure the health of our residents and offer career opportunities within numerous industries and at varying education levels.
Despite fluctuating consumer demand and supply chain disruptions, Illinois farmers are powering forward to ensure continued success for themselves and those who rely on their goods and services.
- Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and swine.
- Farmers in the state also grow a wide variety of specialty crops, which include horseradish, pumpkins and Christmas trees.
- In 2018, Illinois ranked 3rd in the U.S. for ethanol production capacity.
- Agriculture and related industries support 6% of Illinois jobs—that’s more than 482,000 jobs!
- There are over 3,600 established specialty crop farms utilizing more than 81,250 acres to produce over $472 million in sales annually within Illinois.
- Illinois’ ethanol production in 2018 helped support more than 365,000 jobs and added $46 billion dollars to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
With 2,640 food manufacturing companies, Illinois is well-equipped to turn the state's crops and livestock into food and industrial products. In fact, the state ranks first in the nation with $180 billion in processed food sales. Most of these companies are located in the Chicago metropolitan area, which contains one of the largest concentrations of food-related businesses in the world.
Illinois farmers take pride in raising safe and wholesome corn, soybeans, pork, beef, fruits, vegetables, and more. Illinois is home to a vibrant local and regional food community, serving as national leaders in the production of pumpkins and horseradish. And, Illinois ranks in the top ten for production of asparagus, cauliflower, fresh cut herbs, green peas, lima beans, mustard greens, and snap peas.
Whether it’s the food at your local grocery store or at the local farmers’ markets, Illinois farmers are working hard to feed all of us. These farmers feed the same food to their families, so they take their job very seriously.