EL PASO – Rob Shaffer of El Paso enjoys growing corn and soybeans but likes the livestock side of farming as well.
Shaffer farms with his brother in McLean and Woodford counties. He also raises 10 angus cows and sells freezer beef. He particularly enjoys the spring season.
“We’ve had a good year so far calving. Spring is my favorite especially if we have a fresh black calf on green grass. There isn’t anything better than that in my opinion,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer has served on the American Soybean Board since December. He represents Illinois and serves on the policy side, visiting Washington D.C. and lobbying for soybean farmers.
“Our task is to teach legislators and also deal with trade and different things like that,” Shaffer explained.
His time serving with the Illinois Soybean Association helped him gain knowledge on the industry. During Shaffer’s time with the organization, McLean and Livingston counties have been among the top three producing counties for soybean bushels in the United States.
The Shaffers had a very good season for yields last year as their corn was better than 2014 with soybeans slightly above the 10-year average. Shaffer remains optimistic over the short term, considering soybean prices were higher at the start of this year compared to 2016. Long term, Shaffer expects agriculture to do well.
Shaffer planted soybeans in April for the first time in his 24 years of farming last year and those beans did well.