Pork’s Impact on Illinois

Illinois currently ranks fourth in the U.S. in pork production.

The pork industry is a vital part of our local and state economies:

  • Pork contributes $1.9 billion annually to the state’s economy.
  • Pork generates more than $176 million in taxes.
  • Pork supports 18,500 jobs in Illinois and 800,000 jobs in the U.S.


Pork production is a significant demand factor for crops.

  • Market hogs consume more than 94 million bushels of corn and 28 million bushels of soybeans per year in Illinois.
  • 57 percent of the U.S. corn crop last year was used as livestock feed, with hogs consuming nearly 1.2 billion bushels, or about 10 percent of the total crop.
  • Pork producers purchased the equivalent of 424 million bushels of soybeans last year, or about 27 percent of all soybean meal in the United States.


By using information, better technology, and improved genetics, we’re producing a better product.  U.S. pork contains 31% less fat than in 1983, tastes better, and it is a bargain at the grocery store.

Pig farming has changed dramatically over the last 50 years just like every other segment of the American economy.  Today’s farmers have to be more efficient to compete in a global economy.  Frequently, that means becoming larger or more specialized in order to reduce costs.

For some, a changing hog industry is a very emotional issue.  For some who remember how farming used to be, these changes are painful.  The fact of the matter is farmers have to change to be successful.  As Winston Churchill once said, “Take change by the hand or it will take you by the throat.”

(Click on image to download PDF)