SPRINGFIELD, ILL – Multiple groups in the pork industry teamed up to host an open house for J+D Farms in Marshall, Ill., on Nov. 7. Siblings Jacob Miller and Drucilla Shotts opened the doors to their new barn for friends and community members to see, before pigs move in.
Jacob and Drucilla (J+D Farms) have partnered to build a finishing barn that will hold 3,800 pigs. The term “finishing” is related to the last stage of a pig’s life cycle, before they go to market. Piglets will arrive at their barn around 12 pounds and grow for five to six months. After this time, the pigs will be around 280 pounds, which is considered market weight in the industry.
The partners will be able to grow two sets of pigs per year in their barn. In between each round of pigs, the barn will be thoroughly pressure washed and sanitized before any new come in, to ensure a clean and healthy environment. This is just one of the many practices that pig farmers implement regarding biosecurity.
This brother and sister team knew they wanted to raise pigs of their own one day, after watching their dad and grandpa raise pigs during their childhood. Even at their young ages, they are excited and willing to take on the financial risk of building a new state-of-the-art barn to create opportunity for full-time farming one day.
“A farm is more than land and crops,” says Drucilla. “It is a family’s heritage and future.” During the ribbon cutting ceremony it was evident that this team was passionate about raising livestock and being the fifth generation of Millers to continue farming.
Sponsors of the event were: Ag Property Solutions, CCI Redi-Mix, Frank & West Environmental Engineers, Illinois Livestock Development Group, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Pals Electric, Peoples Bank & Trust, SDI Industries, The Equity and Tyson.
ILDG is a coalition of Illinois ag groups committed to expanding and growing the livestock industry. ILDG 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. Part of the on-going efforts of ILDG is to help tell the positive story of livestock in Illinois. One way to accomplish this is helping plan and coordinate Open Houses for new livestock farms.
— Illinois Pork Producers Association
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