Central Illinois poultry firm operates amid corn, soybeans

PETERSBURG, Ill. (AP) — The owner of a poultry business operating in the heart of central Illinois’ corn and soybean country says he hopes future farmers will also consider specialty farming. The State Journal-Register reports that Petersburg Poultry Processing owner Cavan Sullivan sells the assets of pheasants, chickens and turkeys. His operation is surrounded by corn, soybean and wheat crops. Sullivan gave tours this week to students of the National FFA Organization before the annual Illinois FFA State Convention in Springfield. He says he grew the family wholesale business out of his own FFA high school project, and it put him through college. Illinois’ poultry industry is tiny compared to livestock and grain. U.S. Agriculture Department figures show Illinois egg production totaled 1.5 billion in 2016, compared to 13.6 billion in top-producer Iowa.