Chicago-Area Moms to Moonlight as Soybean Farmers in New Illinois Farm Families Initiative

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Nine Chicago-area moms will grow soybeans in their backyards and on their patios, as a hands-on experiment in producing one of Illinois' most important agricultural crops. The urban moms are being guided by Ron and Deb Moore of Roseville, Ill., who raise soybeans and corn on 1,000 acres. The experiment is part of an Illinois Farm Families initiative to open our farm doors, show consumers how we grow your food, and answer your questions about food and farming.

Illinois Farm Families Field Moms

Chicago-area moms have been touring Illinois family farms to see for themselves how their food is grown.

Nine urban moms may be Illinois’ most unlikely soybean farmers this year. These Illinois Farm Families® Field Moms, Chicago-area moms who have been touring Illinois farms to get their food questions answered, will be growing soybeans in their backyards and on their patios. Part of the Field Moms’ Acre project, the backyard beans are a hands-on way for the city moms and their families to learn what it takes to grow one of the state’s most important agricultural crops.

Guiding the Field Moms from planting through harvest are veteran soybean farmers Ron and Deb Moore of Roseville, Ill., who are growing more than 600 acres of soybeans on their family farm this year. One acre of their farmland also will serve as the Field Moms’ Acre throughout the growing season.

In early May, the Field Moms will plant their soybeans on the same day as the Moores plant the Field Moms’ Acre. The city soybeans will be watered only when the Moores’ farm receives rain. The Moores and the moms will check in with each other through online video chats to compare crop progress on the farm and in the city.

Throughout the experiment, the Field Moms also will learn about soil conditions, weather impact, pest control and the cost of raising and marketing the crop – including seed, fuel and transportation costs – to sell the soybeans. The moms will tour the Field Moms’ Acre in Roseville on June 9.

“Moms particularly want to be connected with the food they feed their families. They want to know how it’s grown and what’s in it,” Deb Moore says. “Most moms and consumers don’t realize soybeans are used in thousands of food products and are an important feed for the animals we and other farmers raise on our farms.” Once the Field Moms’ Acre is harvested, the Moores and Field Moms will donate the acre’s profits to charity.

The Moores have been farming for more than three decades. They raise soybeans and corn on 1,000 acres in Warren County, and also have 250 acres of pasture for their feeder cattle.

Meanwhile, the Field Moms live in and around Chicagoland. They have been touring Illinois farms during the last year, blogging about their experiences and sharing their new knowledge with their children, family and friends. To learn more about the Moores, their farm and the Field Moms, visit the Illinois Farm Families website, WatchUsGrow.org.

Illinois Farm Families are Illinois farmers who support Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board, and Illinois Beef Association through farmer-funded checkoff or membership programs. We are committed to having conversations with consumers, answering their questions about food, farmers and farming, and sharing what really happens on today’s Illinois family farms. More than 94 percent of Illinois farms are family owned and operated. We are passionate about showing consumers how we grow safe, healthy food for their families, and ours. We invite you to visit us at http://www.WatchUsGrow.org.

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