The Parks Companies welcomed nearly 400 members of the community to an open house on Sept. 11 at a new 8,200-head wean-to-finish hog farm near Fithian, Ill. The event was hosted in cooperation with the Shepherd and Rademacher families of Vermilion County, Ill.
The Illinois Pork Producers Assn. (IPPA) and the Illinois Livestock Development Group (ILDG) helped coordinate the event and provided a pork chop supper to attendees. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place to highlight the completion of construction.
Neighbors, community members, local officials and more were invited to attend, as open houses offer a chance to see the latest products and technologies for swine care and environmental stewardship. Guests could see inside this new barn before the pigs arrive.
Kyle Rademacher, one of Parks’ grower partners, said, “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. There is not a more natural way to fertilize crops. This is one of the many reasons we decided to partner with Parks Livestock in building more finishing barns. Through this partnership, we are able to utilize the manure from the hog barns to fertilize more of our cropland.”
The pork industry is constantly adapting new technology and best animal welfare practices to raise healthy and nutritious animals.
“Farmers are committed to raising their pigs in a safe and comfortable environment, and modern pig barns provide just that,” said Jenny Jackson, director of communications for IPPA.
ILDG is a coalition of Illinois agricultural groups committed to expanding and growing the livestock industry. Its members include: Illinois Beef Assn., Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Milk Producers’ Assn., Illinois Pork Producers Assn. and Illinois Soybean Assn. checkoff program.
In addition to ILDG and IPPA's pork checkoff, other sponsors of the event were: AP, EPS Buildings, The Equity, Frank & West Environmental Engineers, Gro Master, Hog Slat, Import Supply, Maximum Ag Technologies, Old National Bank, QC Supply and Space Ray Heaters.