Two words to describe the livestock industry, rapid growth. As companies are making impactful strides in technology, transportation, marketing, and regulations to increase integrity of the industry. Livestock are the number one consumer of all grain products in Illinois as well as the Unites States. In Illinois animals consume approximately 118 million bushels of corn and 31 million bushels of beans annually. These facilities also can contribute majorly to economic growth to an area, as well as create tax revenue and increase jobs.
Large scale livestock companies are looking to the farmers for partnership. Not only to expand, but to create stronger ties within the industry as well as bring more competition among other companies. Like other aspects of agriculture swine farmers are constantly being asked to increase efficiency to maintain within a competitive worldwide market. Companies like The Maschhoffs, Smithfield, and Tyson have created the contract swine facilities to concentrate themselves as a company as well as present the modern farmer as a way to diversify themselves as a self sustaining entity.
In order to be a production with one of these companies, the farmer pays for the hog building; while the companies cover all other expenses as far as feed, medication, and even the expenses to haul the pigs. The integrator (which would be the company owning the pigs) compensates the farmer with a flat dollar amount per how many pigs are supposed to inhabit the building. As this creates a benefit on both ends of the spectrum, but the farmer does in fact get to reap the benefit of the most valuable component of all the manure.
Swine Manure is one of the most valuable organic fertilizers that the farmer has access to. Building organic matter in the soil will present farmers the opportunity to increase yields in their crop ground. Contract hog buildings create a great return on investment, for the farmer. These buildings are a low risk investment that create their own source of income; but can over time give farmers the chance to increase their crop yields which here again puts more money in the pocket of the farmer.
As contract hog facilities are creating opportunities for secondary income. Yet with increasing input costs in the agricultural sector its exceptionally difficult for a young aspiring agriculturist to start a farm on his own. This allows the farmer the chance to try and bring the younger generation back home to the farm. Being the fourth generation of my family’s farm and wanting to be a part of my families farm.
My father has travelled down this path as well. We currently have a contracted hog building with a local company near my home town. This was an effort created by my dad to let me have part of the business as I approach entering the work force after graduating college. I am the predecessor to my families farm following my father, it has always been a something I have aspired to do in my life. A swine facility such as this, along with full time employment will allow me to create credit as well as income to be able to sill be a part of the family business. We are one small example, farmers like us all across the country are investing in facilities like this for a number of different reasons. One thing still holds true in my opinion though; on both ends of the spectrum the companies as well as the farmers have family in mind when it comes to raising livestock. Both in Illinois and the rest of the country.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog about contract swine facilities. My name is Dylan Sigrist, I am a Senior Ag Science major at Western Illinois University. I hail form Farina, Illinois which is located along Interstate 57 in South Central Illinois. As I have stated previously I am a fourth generation member of my family farm where we run a 2500 acre corn, soy rotation grain farm as well as manage 2450 head swine barn for The Equity in Effingham Illinois. I have grown up around all aspects of agriculture throughout my life. I am a 2013 graduate of South Central High School in Farina Illinois. I am a 2015 graduate of Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois. After transferring to Western Illinois University I have been a very involved member of the Livestock Judging Team, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, and Hoof n’ Horn Club.