Brummer said profit margins have been steadily shrinking for at least a generation, forcing the modern farmer to increase the scale of his operation.
“You used to be able to make a living with 50 steers,” he said. “Now, you need 1,000.”
Sean Sherrod of Vita Plus, who joined the legislative group at the Brummer farm, said many of his customers are concerned about how to pass their land onto future generations. Effingham-based Vita Plus manufactures livestock feed.
“These guys have taken a risk,” Sherrod said. “They have borrowed money to allow more family members to get involved in the operation. But sometimes a new law is passed in the middle of the game that throws everything off.”
Sherrod said farmers are increasingly dealing with homeowners who build their dream houses downwind from farming operations.
Legislators were also scheduled to visit John Boos & Co., as well as J&J Ventures.
Effingham city commissioner Brian Milleville said it’s important for municipal officials to establish rapport with state officials.
“Much of what they do on the state level affects us locally,” Milleville said. “But we can show what can happen when you have a pro-business environment.”
Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or firstname.lastname@example.org.