IL Corn is a proud member of the Illinois Livestock Development Group, a coalition of different organizations that supports livestock production. One way that we achieve this goal is by providing farmers, new and experienced, with important resources to make their farm flourish and remain sustained for generations to come. Additionally, we work with farmers to educate surrounding communities about livestock production through in-person tours where they can ask their burning questions. Here's one such event from Effingham County:
Effingham, IL – Clark McWhorter and his wife, Rachael, wanted to diversify their Effingham County family cattle and grain farm. They decided to build a 2,400 head wean to market hog barn, which was recently completed. Before pigs arrived, the couple celebrated the opening of the barn with an Open House on February 2. There was a good crowd of friends and neighbors that attended the event and learned more about modern pork production.
“We were looking for a way to diversify our farm and provide a more steady income,” said Clark McWhorter. Clark and Rachael have a 5-year old son and 3-year old daughter. “This will provide an opportunity for the next generation to be involved in our family farm.”
The McWhorters have partnered with another Illinois farm family - the Borgics from Nokomis, IL - to raise the small pigs to market size.
“Another benefit of the hog barn will be utilizing the manure to fertilize our surrounding cropland. We developed a nutrient management plan with Effingham Equity to make sure that we balance the nutrients in the manure with the nutrient needs of the crops,” said McWhorter.
The manure will be applied according to the nutrient management plan and incorporated 6 to 8 inches into the soil. “This is a very environmentally safe and sustainable system,” said McWhorter.
To ensure that the new barn met all the provisions required by the Livestock Management Facilities Act (LMFA), the McWhorters worked with several experts including Frank and West Environmental Engineers, Nic Anderson with the Illinois Livestock Development Group and Effingham Equity. The LMFA protects the environment and the rights of citizens by ensuring that all new livestock farms meet setbacks, construction standards, and siting criteria.
“There was a lot of paperwork required for the permitting, but once those were all met, the construction process went very smoothly. It took about three months for the barn to be completed.”
The construction of the new hog barn supported local businesses and contributed to the local economy. “Everything to do with this project was local. All of the concrete came from local contractors. The building materials came from Niebrugge Lumber in Dieterich. All of the gates and feeders in the barn were manufactured just five miles away at Farmweld,” said McWhorter.
In addition, the pigs will consume 40,000 bushels of corn and 6,000 bushels of soybeans on a yearly basis. All of the feed will be produced from the local FS feed mill. “This will continue to support local employees of the feed mill and local trucking companies, while also generating additional property taxes for Effingham County,” said McWhorter.
Pig farmers are dedicated to preserving the environment and being good neighbors. They work to leave the land better than it was before and provide a safe and healthy pork product to consumers.
“This new hog barn is a lifetime commitment for our family. We will work hard every day to ensure that we care for our animals, the environment, and our community,” said McWhorter.