Today's agriculture on display at new hog barn opening

Nearly 400 people attended an open house to see new hog barns. Interest remains strong at similar events around the state as the growing livestock sector connects with neighbors and others.

By Dan Grant and DeLoss Jahnke

Illinoisans had another opportunity to see a part of todays agriculture at an open house this week in eastern Illinois. (Photo by Jenny Jackson, Illinois Pork Producers Association)
Illinoisans had another opportunity to see a part of today's agriculture at an open house this week in eastern Illinois. (Photo by Jenny Jackson, Illinois Pork Producers Association)

The Rademacher and Shepherd farm families of Vermilion County, who partnered with The Parks Cos., recently opened new hog barns near Fithian.

And, in what has become a tradition around the state, the families hosted an open house so neighbors, curious onlookers and other farmers interested in hog farming could see what a modern hog barn looks like and how it operates.

Nearly 400 people attended the event hosted in part by The Parks Cos., which has been in the hog business about 40 years. The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) coordinated the open house.

“The Rademacher family is a third-generation farm family that is blessed to have a long history in grain and livestock farming. This history is what has shown us the benefit of using hog manure for fertilizer,” said Kyle Rademacher, one of the Parks’ grower partners. “Through this partnership we are able to utilize the manure from the hog barns to fertilize more of our cropland.”

The new barns are set up as an 8,200-head, wean-to-finish hog farm. The barns feature new technology and best animal care practices that were on display at the event.

“Farmers are committed to raising their pigs in a safe and comfortable environment, and modern pig barns provide just that,” said Jenny Jackson, IPPA director of communications.

The recent livestock open house in Vermilion County continues a trend of large turnouts for similar events around the state. A hog barn open house in northern Illinois drew nearly 500 people, while a beef farm open house attracted nearly 350 earlier this year.

“It’s really the effort of the commodity groups, who then brought in someone like Tim (Maiers, ag consultant) to expand (the focus on livestock open houses),” said Nic Anderson, ILDG business developer. “It’s very evident by the turnout that people are interested in that.

“The livestock industry is growing,” he added. “We’ve tried to put more emphasis on transparency, and let people see what we’re doing.”

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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