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posted: 8/5/2014 8:56 AM

Villa Park Rotary to get lesson in farming

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By Sheila Dressman
Pork board speakers bureau

How are farmers using science and technology to grow healthier food? What's the impact on our food, animal care and the environment?

Those questions will be answered at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, during the Villa Park Rotary Club meeting at Gulliver's Pizza and Pub, 17W517 Roosevelt Road, Oakbrook Terrace.

Kate Hagenbuch of Hagenbuch Family Farms in Utica will address the group with a speech titled "Farming and Food" that will highlight how ongoing advancements in agricultural science are helping farmers raise better food while using fewer natural resources than ever.

"Farmers who raise pigs have been able to make great progress in animal health, food safety and protecting the environment," Hagenbuch said. "And farmers know they must always keep learning and working to get better at what they do."

Farmers now use 41 percent less water and 78 percent less land to raise pigs than they did 50 years ago.

"Modern barns, a focus on nutrition and animal care mean pigs live healthier lives than ever before," Hagenbuch said. "And, healthy pigs mean healthy food."

The pork industry in Illinois contributes more than $1.7 billion annually to the state's economy, generates more than $136 million in taxes and supports more than 7,800 jobs.