I think that there are a lot of things that can separate a good farmer from a bad farmer. When it comes to raising livestock, there are so many things that you need to be able to do to have an efficient farm. Every farmer has their own opinion when it comes to raising livestock but I think these two questions are ones that should really be followed and questioned.

How to do you maintain the cleanliness of your farm?

The first thing many people think of when it comes to livestock is manure. Manure is everywhere. It doesn’t matter what type of livestock you have, you will always have a lot of manure.

Keeping a clean farm is something you really have to keep up on. It is not something that you can only do once a month. You need to be able to maintain it daily. It doesn’t take long for an animal to make a room extremely dirty. It is really a struggle to keep the smell maintained but it is very important to try to control this.

mucking stallsWhen you have people coming to visit your farm, the first thing they notice is the smell. If it is an overpowering smell then usually people will assume that you are not keeping your farm clean. Yes, I do know that it takes a lot of work to be able to keep a livestock farm clean but it is worth it. I have been on my fair share of farms that are not clean at all. It is not exactly pleasant to be walking through manure that is about ready to go over your rubber boot. I also don’t think it would be pleasant for any animal to live in that.

Are your animals being fed a well-balanced diet?

Every animal is different when it comes to what they eat. If one animal is sick, they might have to be fed a diet that has different nutrients in it. That is something that you really have to watch for. You always need to look over your livestock to look for signs of sickness. You don’t want your animals to be underweight or over weight. You want them to be a healthy animal with a balanced diet.

cattle eatingWhen it comes to feeding animals, you need to make sure they are being fed a very uniform diet as well. Which means, they need to be fed the exact feed every time, at the same time of day, and the same amount each time. If you were to miss a feeding and then feed them three hours later, they will eat so fast like they are starving and that is not good for the animal. It can be very difficult sometimes when it comes to feeding but if you love what you do, you will make time for it.


There are so many more questions that you could ask to see the difference between good and bad farmers.  I know that each farmer sees things differently but there are some things that do need to be followed. Raising livestock does not come easy but those in the livestock business love it. It is a lot of work but it can be very rewarding in the end.

Ssamanthaamantha Wagner
Illinois State University student

About corncorps

As Illinois' corn farmers, we're proud to power a sustainable economy through ethanol, livestock and nutritious food. We love agriculture, the land and CornBelters baseball.See http://ilcorn.org or follow us on Twitter, http://twitter.com/ilcorn.
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