While small family farms continue to struggle all across the Midwest, one local family is defying the odds by building a pig barn for generations to come.
The Harter Family held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday in Barry, Illinois for their new 2,480 head pig barn.
Doug Harter says the barn is state-of-the-art. He uses his phone to control automatic fans and ventilation.
Harter says his wife and three sons, who are the fifth generation in the family, will run the farm and raise pigs
“My boys want to stay on the family farm. We do not grain farm enough acres to support other families, other than mine and my sons. This is the only way to keep them on the family farm was to put up a pig barn.”
Harter says the pigs will arrive next week and they will soon be able to produce two million slices of bacon a year.
The Harter Family recently built a new 2,480 head pig barn outside of Barry. Friends, family, and the local community were invited to the barn for an open house and meal to celebrate the addition to their farm. Tours were offered, and a delicious meal prepared by The Maschhoffs was provided.
During the ribbon cutting Doug shared, “We are proud to announce the expansion of our farm. We work together as a family with care and compassion to provide the best quality pork to help feed the world.”
Doug and his wife, Kim, along with Bryce, Cayden, Camden, and Kelsey cut a ribbon to signify the opening of their newest pig barn. The boys are very involved in the farm and enjoy working with their dad. They are the fifth generation to farm and raise pigs. The Harters have been grower partners with The Maschhoffs for seven years.
The open house allowed visitors to get a look inside a modern pig barn before the pigs move in. This allows time for the barn to be washed and sanitized before the pigs arrive in the following weeks. New technology such as automatic fans and ventilation, 24/7 access to feed and water, and a controlled environment make for safe living conditions for pigs. A majority of the materials used in the construction process were sourced from local businesses.
The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) hosted the event. ILDG is a coalition of Illinois ag groups committed to expanding and growing the livestock industry. Members include: IL Beef Association, IL Corn Marketing Board, IL Farm Bureau, IL Milk Producers’ Association, IL Pork Producers Association, and IL Soybean Association checkoff program.
Other sponsors of the event were: Farmweld, Frank and West Environmental Engineers, Longhorn Cattle & Swine Confinement, Maximum Ag Technologies, Mid-Valley Radiants & Industrials, Pike County Concrete, Pike County Lumber, Prairieland FS, RMG Electric, The First National Bank of Barry, The Maschhoffs.