Phil Bradshaw is the past chairman of the United Soybean Board, the checkoff organization for the soybean industry. He is also the Vice Chair of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). He is a third generation farmer who farms 900 acres in Illinois.
Bradshaw began farming in 1963, when his uncle invited him to help run his far. In 1964, his uncle rented him the farm, continuing to do so until Bradshaw bought the farm in 1972. The farm includes "several hundred acres of corn and soybeans and what turned into a 200-sow, farrow-to-finish operation" (a farrow to finish operation is one that maintains breeding sows and then raises the piglets until they are ready for slaughter). "The operation inventories about 5,000 segregated-early-weaned pigs, which he finishes for Cargill."
In 1993, Bradshaw turned the hogs over to his nephew, Brian. In 2007, Brian "sold the LLC that runs the finishing business to Cargill" and continued to function as a contract hog producer. The hogs go to Cargill's Excel plant in Beardstown, IL for slaughter. "Bradshaw quit farrowing in the 1990s, but family members — his son, daughters, brothers, nieces and nephews — have majority ownership in the farrowing units and continue to operate them. [As of 2008] He still maintains interests or part-ownership in a farrowing and finishing LLC in Illinois."
In the first decade of the new millennium, using grant funds from the USDA's Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP), Bradshaw built a $30,000, nine-bay composting site to dispose of the hogs' waste.
Changes in the Hog Operation
- "Bradshaw insists family hog farming has undergone major changes that have forced many farmers into contracting arrangements and participating in other hog business ventures to secure their futures. He says there are very few family farms similar to his old 200-sow, farrow-to-finish setup left in the industry. Twenty five years ago, that unit produced 2,000-3,000 market hogs a year.
- "In those days, there were struggles in dealing with the fluctuations in grain and livestock commodity markets, too. But for Bradshaw, it was all about making sacrifices and keeping costs low in order to succeed. For years, he didn't have fancy hog buildings or drive a shiny new pickup truck, he recalls.
- "He remembers the '60s, when he farrowed sows in A-huts and raised 1,400 pigs in the timber. To navigate his 10-year-old, two-wheel-drive truck through the woods after fall farrowings required tire chains. The latch on the driver's side door was broken, so he installed a bar to hold the door closed when driving.
- "Most of the confinement hog buildings and barns that are on his farm were built in the '70s and have been retrofitted as needed."
Professional Organizations and Membership
- U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, Vice Chair
- United Soybean Board, Past President
- Illinois Soybean Association, and former ISA District Director
- American Soybean Association
- Past National Institute for Animal Agriculture
- Past U.S. Animal Health Association, served as President in 1989.
- Past USDA Secretary's Advisor Committee on Foreign Animal Diseases
- World Soy Foundation, Chair
- Illinois Pork Producers Association, member since 1970, served as president several times.
Leadership on the United Soybean Board
According to an undated biography written while Bradshaw was president of United Soybean Board (his term ended in 2010):
- "Phil and his wife, Linda, grow soybeans, corn and wheat and raise swine on their operation near Griggsville, Ill. This is Phil’s sixth year as a USB Director. He currently serves as USB Chairman. Phil’s previous leadership roles include service as USB Vice Chairman, Chair of the Global Opportunities Committee, USB Communications chair, vice chair of the International Marketing Committee, team lead of the Animal Agriculture Initiative Leadership Team for three years and as a member of the Global Opportunities Committee. During his tenure on USB, he has also been a member of the Domestic Marketing Committee and the Analytical Measurements & Market Standards Initiative Leadership Team. Phil has served as chairman of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) and the World Soy Foundation. He also serves as a board member of QUALISOY and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Phil is a member of the Illinois Soybean Association and the Pike County Farm Bureau. In addition, he is a past president of both the Illinois Pork Producers Association and the United States Animal Health Association."
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Executive Committee, Accessed September 21, 2011.
- Illinois Soybean Association recognizes two Pike County farmers, Accessed September 21, 2011.
- Illinois Soybean Association Nominates Industry Leaders for National Recognition," August 1, 2011, Accessed September 21, 2011.
- Joe Vansickle, "Philip Bradshaw: This Illinois producer is as active as ever.," National Hog Farmer, May 15, 2008, Accessed September 21, 2011.
- Phil Bradshaw, Illinois Soybean Association, Accessed September 21, 2011.
- Phil Bradshaw, Comment Visions, Accessed September 21, 2011.
- "Soybean Board Leader at Stakeholders Meeting," AgWired, August 20, 2011.
- Joe Vansickle, "Philip Bradshaw: This Illinois producer is as active as ever.," National Hog Farmer, May 15, 2008.