Illinois Beef Expo kicks off at state fairgrounds

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The 2015 Illinois Beef Expo is under way at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The annual event, which runs through Sunday, includes a performance tested bull sale and 75 indoor and outdoor vendors. There is also a number of activities for youths, including a quiz bowl and judging contest. Acting Agriculture Department Director Philip Nelson says the event is an opportunity for the industry to get together and celebrate a year of success and prepare for the future. The Illinois beef industry is a strong component of Illinois agriculture, particularly in the area of export markets. Department officials say Illinois exported $195.5 million in beef products in 2014.