Did you know that hay farming takes place right here in Cook County? And that the Forest Preserve District is the largest hay farming landowner in Cook County?
The Forest Preserve has long used areas in preserves that are not part of active restoration to farm hay. This practice involves contracting with several farmers, and brings in $50,000 in revenue.
Not only does hay farming serve as a revenue generator for the Forest Preserve District, but it also helps the land. Planting and harvesting hay helps prevent invasive species from penetrating land that isn't currently being used to grow other crops. Once the hay is baled, it is sold by the farmers for between $5 and $20 a bale, depending on size.
Baling hay is an activity Commissioner Britton finds himself very familiar with having grown up on a farm in central Illinois. Check out clip below to watch Commissioner Britton inquire more!