The Little Wabash River which flows through Carmi once marked the dividing line between the forest and the prairie. As the early settlers of White county poured into the area, a mill on the river became the first business in a new town to serve those early farmers. Today, Carmi continues to serve the agriculture industry, while our schools turn out our future farmers and those who assist in getting food to market.
Today, the majority of farmers plant mainly grain, corn, soybeans and wheat. But there is also a growing number of farmers who are turning to vegetable and specialty crop area, with crops such as green beans, white corn, cabbage, cucumbers, sweet corn and melons. There is also a growing number of farmers raising livestock, including grass fed beef and bison.
This year Carmi saw its first farmers market in many years, and supports farm stands as well where farmers sell their produce directly to the people
Each year, more than $42.5 million of crops and $4.5 million of livestock and livestock products are produced and sold from White County. All of this is produced on 188,400 acres cropland or 234,900 acres of total farmland, which is controlled and operated by 448 farms.
Farming is a large part of the income in White County, but agricultural-related work such as fertilizer companies, grain elevators, implement dealers, seed dealers, accounting firms specializing in farm accounting, high school ag teachers and many other areas of agricultural work still hold most of the area’s jobs, since it takes all of these people to make agriculture function and thrive.
Agriculture is a cherished way of life for people in White County, and it provides for a local “flavor” in the community that provides a natural place to raise a family and enjoy the harmonious relationship between nature and the industrialized world.
For more on White County agriculture, access the Illinois Farm Bureau web site at www.ag-central.com.