Farming is the foundation of the southern Illinois economy. Working lands in our area provide crops and food to the local communities and people throughout the globe. Working lands also define the rural character of much of our region and provide a green oasis when located within communities. Beyond food, well-managed farmland offers wildlife habitat, builds healthy soils, sequesters carbon, and provides scenic open space.
Southwestern Illinois contains roughly 800,000 acres of prime farmland – some of the most highly productive soils in the world. We work to protect these critical soils from development while helping farmers preserve their farming legacy, connect new farmers to the land, and bolster farmland’s economic viability.