We are the third generation at Christiansen Farms farming and composting operation in northeastern Illinois. We grow about 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat. In 1992, we started applying yard waste to our fields. This was the beginning of our part in recycling the landscape waste that used to be dumped in the landfills. As time moved on, we started composting these materials on our farm. In 2005, we obtained a permit to operate a compost site from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. At Christiansen Farms we take in grass clippings, branches, and leaves. We then grind and mix these materials to enhance their natural break down. This process is called composting. After about 6 months, the “compost” can be used as a soil amendment. It is rich in nutrients, organic matter and microbes that plants need. If fact, Christiansen Farms regularly applies compost to our own fields to reduce fertilizer applications and improve soil health.