Our Sustainable Farming Practices

The Grigsby Family has farmed with sustainable practices since our first farm in the 1940s. 

Founder Ralph Grigsby, Jr. and his brothers routinely purchased land in need of rehabilitation and used their depth of knowledge with crops, livestock, and equipment repair to help make properties extremely viable once again.  Their way of doing business enhanced not only the land they lived on, but the economy of the surrounding community as they focused on the longevity of their operations.  We take pride in using advanced technology and progressive agriculture to embrace the conservation of the land and its resources.?

Upon relocating from Tennessee and Florida to create a successful farm in Illinois in 1988, we reclaimed approximately 2,000 acres of pastureland on our 13,000 acres that had become overgrown with honey locust and Osage orange.

Our 75-year history reflects our commitment to conservation.

As this project was completed in the early 1990s, attention was then placed on implementation of conservation practices, including waterways, water sediment control structures, field buffer strips, and selective placement of CRP acres.  The positive results of this project are still being utilized today as we share our techniques with other farmers across the Corn Belt.

When we divested of our cattle operation in the late 2000s, this pastureland was put back to native prairie grass with a long-term goal of creating a more pristine, sustainable, and environmentally sound farming operation. The conversion has allowed us to continue to strategically develop and manage each asset of the farm, including that of wildlife management.  Our farm’s location immediately adjacent to the 15,500-acre Jim Edgar Fish and Wildlife Area aids in the progression of the Grigsby Farm’s management of wildlife and habitat resources.  The timber and prairie grasses at the Grigsby Farm are home to numerous native Illinois species, including trophy whitetail deer.

Grigsby Farm is embracing the regenerative agriculture movement and hopes to help other land owners and operators implement some of these same technics on their own farms.


Since mechanization hit the prairie, soil quality has degraded due to erosion, overgrazing and tillage methods reducing the biodiversity of the soil. 

Grigsby Farm is piloting several regenerative management practices in hopes of promoting topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing the ecosystem services, supporting bio sequestration, increasing resilience to climate change and strengthening the health and vitality of the farm’s soil which will in turn grow better crops. 

In 2019, Grigsby Farm started several long-term regenerative agriculture research trials including:


Grigsby Farm will trial three different crop rotations in the same field for a minimum of six-years to document impact on soil health as well as assessing the economic implications of each system.  


Grigsby Farm trialed the use of a roller-crimper to terminate a standing cover crop which can be used to replace or significantly reduce the use of herbicides to kill off a cover crop after planting the cash crop.  The farm has since purchased a roller-crimper to use as part of its farming system.


Grigsby Farm planted the cash crop in a standing cover crop.  The cover crop is terminated prior to or shortly after the corn or beans emerge from the ground and the dying cover crop serves as an organic weed barrier, moisture enhancer, prevents erosion and preserves bio sequestration from the previously grown cover crop.   


Grigsby Farm is piloting the use of various cover crop mixes to amend the soil such as a mix specifically to add nitrogen to the soil in advance of an organic corn crop which needs an ample level of organic nitrogen.  

Grigsby Farm was nominated by Sunrise Ag and awarded the Enduring Farm Award by Growmark for 2019.  The Enduring Farm Award is awarded to farmers who have adopted best management practices that optimize nutrient utilization, leading to long-term soil and water quality while enhancing ROI.  

Grigsby Farm has partnered with Indigo Ag as part of the Terraton Initiative which seeks to remove a terraton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into soil by incentivizing grower adaption of regenerative farming practices. 


Grigsby Farm is always looking for new partners for our production agriculture operations.  The Grigsby Family and its staff are committed to developing long term relationships with their landowner clients based on honesty, integrity, good communication and top tier performance.  Our passion for our industry, highly educated and professionally trained staff, and the responsible stewardship of the land separates us from others.

When landowner clients work with Grigsby Farm, they receive the following:

  • Competitive rental returns with a lease plan that meets the landowner’s needs
  • Unsurpassed stewardship of the land
  • A crop plan that includes crops to be planted in each field and a summary of seed, fertilizer and herbicide to be used that year.
  • Crop scouting throughout the growing season
  • An annual written assessment of the farm’s status regarding fertility, drainage, needed capital improvements and conservation efforts
  • Documentation of farming activities in the form of yield maps, as-applied prescription maps, scouting reports and any pictures taken throughout the year.
  • Frequent communication throughout the year.
  • Soil test to be provided bi-annually

Grigsby Farm operates Grigsby Grain Partnership, a family-owned production agricultural enterprise committed to using sustainable and regenerative farming practices in the production of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa.  Farming activities are enabled by a professional, experienced, and highly-trained staff allowing for the adoption of the latest farming technologies and production practices. This entity is partnered in ongoing research relationships which promotes the development of new production methods that will allow production agriculture to become more dynamic through yield enhancements and better input and resource utilization.

If you are a Central Illinois landowner and you would like hear more about how we can tailor our services to benefit you and your farm, please contact us at 217-634-4123.

Grigsby Farm has diversified its grain production by starting an organic grain production enterprise. In the fall of 2018, Grigsby Farm planted 150 acres to wheat representing their first transitional organic crop. In 2019, Grigsby Farm received their certified transitional organic status on these acres. In 2020, they added another 150 acres of cropland to the organic enterprise with hopes of growing the enterprise annually over the coming years. We are now considered a parallel farming operation, growing both conventional and organic produced grains, using regenerative farming practices. Grigsby Farm is on schedule to sell their first certified organic crop in 2021. Organic farming is not without risk but can offer great incentives, both financially and environmentally. The attributes of an organic farming system fit the regenerative evolution that is underway at Grigsby Farm, while providing desired economic incentives, diversification, and growth opportunities.

We encourage any landowner that has an interest in learning more about organic farming and what benefits it may bring to their farm to contact us to learn more.

Grigsby Farm has a number of acres devoted to native prairie grass.  Located in West Central Illinois, we are in the region of the country known nationally for large whitetail deer.  The Jim Edgar Fish and Wildlife Area, a 15,500-acre state park adjoins The Grigsby® on our western property line.  As the state park actively manages their wildlife, specifically whitetail deer, we have followed their efforts by managing our wildlife and habitat resources in a similar manner.  Between the state park and our own land holdings, there are 30,000 contiguous acres for trophy whitetail to mature.  The Menard/Cass Hunt Club began the management in the 1990s and into the 2000s.  The result today is the creation of Grigsby Outdoors, LLC.  Numerous articles and outdoor shows have been filmed on the property giving The Grigsby® national visibility as one of the premier whitetail destinations in the United States.

We partner with Savage Outdoors TV.  Mike Stroff and his team have an extensive background in outfitting, with outfitting businesses in Texas and South Dakota. They run one of the largest outfitting businesses in the country (SOE HUNTS) Mike also host two television programs, Savage Outdoors TV on the Sportsman Channel and The One on the Outdoor Channel.  The Savage Outdoors crew is committed to building on the Grigsby’s conservation and stewardship techniques to establish a world class whitetail herd. With the more than 80k acres they manage for trophy whitetails; they bring a wealth of knowledge to help round out a very committed program to the management of all the wildlife on the Grigsby Farm.

In 2015, the Grigsby Family made a major commitment to the swine industry by constructing two wean-to-finish swine sites, one in Menard County and the other in Cass County.  Both sites are permitted for 9,306 hogs and employ the latest technology to protect the health and safety of the animals and surrounding environment.

To further our sustainable and regenerative farming model, nutrient rich manure from operations is applied to select fields annually where corn, soybeans and wheat are grown.  The manure application is completed using a dragline injection method.  Manure is transported through a dragline and injected six inches into the soil thus eliminating or greatly reducing any odor.  The manure application has allowed us to replace 100% of synthetic fertilizers on select fields and reduce our carbon footprint. 

We also partner with The Maschhoff Family—one of the largest family owned hog farming networks in North America.  The Maschhoffs partner with family farms in nine states across the Midwest and are dedicated to using progressive farming family style.  For more information on The Maschoffs, visit their website.

Ag Plus Developments, Inc. is a management company that has provided equipment, services and managerial direction to a variety of multi-state agricultural concerns for over 25 years.  During this period, Ag Plus Developments, Inc. has successfully managed and supported progressive livestock, annual and perennial crops, commodity grain, land management and land improvement enterprises across three states and a wide range of assets.