Family expands hog operation for next generation
David and Mary Klaus and their daughter and son-in-law, Jane and David Dunn, last week opened a new facility on their hog operation near Carlinville.
Published: Oct 22, 2012
This is National Pork Month, and it no doubt is extra special on Klaus Farms in Carlinville.
The 2,480-head, wean-to-finish barn not only will increase the cash flow on their Triple D Farms, but it also opens the door for the Dunns’ son, Lucas, to remain in the family operation.
“We wanted to expand,” David Klaus told FarmWeek. “But it’s getting hard to rent ground (to expand crop production).”
So the family focused on the livestock portion of their operation. Pigs in the new facility will be raised under contract with Phil Borgic, a pork producer from Nokomis and former president of the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA).
The Klaus and Dunn families switched to contract pork production in 1998, when the hog market crashed, as a way to stay in business.
“I’ve raised hogs all my life. We needed to stay in the hog industry, and that was about the only way we could really do it,” said Klaus, 65. “We needed the cash flow and (contract production) eliminates much of the risk.”
The new facility features wet/dry feeders and tunnel ventilation. The ventilation system should provide a more uniform temperature in the barn, reduce odor, and improve the overall health of the pigs.
“Our goal is to be environmentally friendly. We live right there, too,” Klaus said. “We’re glad we’re in the pork industry and supply a good product to consumers.”
The multi-generation pork producers last week hosted an open house at the new facility so neighbors could view it and learn about modern pork production. The event was sponsored in part by IPPA and Country Financial.
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