Livestock farm features tree buffers around hog building

The Illinois Tree Buffer Initiative is preparing for another year of working with farmers to plant trees around livestock buildings.

University of Illinois Extension Educator Jay Solomon, who works on the initiative, said the buffers serve more of a purpose than simply hiding the barns from view. “These trees are out here for a purpose,” he said. The trees help with “ventilation and air movement up and away from the ground. Also, what are some of the wildlife benefits we can do with it? We’ve selected trees that have some benefit for birds and small animals ... and being part of the nature out here.”

Recentlythe group held an open house at Darren Brown’s farm near Magnolia, showcasing the buffer around Brown’s hog buildings. Brown installed 25 trees in each of the past two Octobers. “They’re growing well, and I think it will help a lot.” Brown said. “It looks good, it makes the area look better. And it helps keep the air clean.”

Additional opportunities exist for farmers to plant tree buffers this year. For more information, contact the Illinois Pork Producers by email at or phone at 217-529-3100.

Brown said the experts who work on the project make sure the trees work for each farm’s unique situation. “It’s been a good experience,” he added. “They came out here and helped us lay everything out and worked with us really well.”

Pictured left to right is Laurie Glenn, Darren Brown, Jennifer Tirey, Jay Solomon, Tyler Shipley and Erika Luft.

Article by Jeff Brown and Rita Frazer, RFD Radio Network.