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Katie Pratt

Farmer, Illinois

Expert Bio

Katie is a fourth generation family farmer and along with her husband, Andy, is raising farm kids, corn, soybeans, and seed corn with Andy’s family in north central Illinois. Katie grew up on a small farm raising cows, corn, beans and pigs and learned through 4-H and FFA, the value of listening and conversing with others about agriculture.

Today, Katie and Andy’s farm serves as a platform to talk to people from all walks of life. In addition to hosting their adopt-a-classroom class from Chicago, the family has welcomed teachers, international implement dealers and bloggers to the farm. Katie serves as the county’s ag literacy coordinator. She routinely shares her family’s farm story on her blog The Illinois Farm Girl at Through social media she strives to share a positive message about American agriculture and the choices both farmers and consumers share when it comes to food.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: What is the difference between the GMO seed production Vs. Conventional Seed production

Answered By Katie Pratt - Apr 13, 2016

A: The short answer is there is no difference. We’ve been raising seed corn for Wyffels Hybrids, a regional family-owned company, for more than 20 years. Seed corn is the seed that farmers, including us, will purchase to plant the following year. During the past few growing seasons we have grown conventional, gmo and non-gmo seed for them. Regardless of the type, growing seed is a complex process.   First, we work with our neighbors to learn what they will be planting in their fields that are adjacent to ours. Seed corn must be planted in isolation in order to lessen the exposure to [...]



Q: what gmo is put into beef

Answered By Katie Pratt - Jul 21, 2017

A: GMOs aren't really added directly to the meat, beef.  However, beef cattle may consume feed that comes from a genetically modified plant. All beef cattle begin their lives on a farm or ranch, grazing pasture or grass - none of which is considered a GMO. For many cows this will be their sole source of feed for their lifetime. Some cattle receive rations of grain, which may contain corn or soybeans, both of which have genetically modified hybrids and varieties. Cattle will also eat alfalfa hay. Alfalfa is another crop with a genetically modified option.  &nb [...]

How GMOs Are Made


Q: What is the most beneficial impact that genetically modified food has done for the agricultural world?

Answered By Community Manager - Apr 25, 2018

A: In addition to the below response, in this recent response from Chris Barbey, PhD Student, Plant Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Florida, he addresses the non-browning apples in more detail. [...]

Answered By Katie Pratt - Mar 21, 2018

A: Quite simply, genetically modified crops have given us farmers the ability to do more with less. On our farm we have seen a decrease in use of fuel because we are not in our fields as much; our pesticide use has decreased. We have been able to incorporate cover crops, no-till and other conservation methods more freely because we've been able to control weed, pest and disease pressure better with genetically modified seed. Moving forward, I see genetically modified crops providing more direct benefits to consumers. For example progress in solving the citrus greening and banana wilt virus iss [...]