Charlie Coleman and family recently built a new 2,480-head pig barn outside of Donnellson, Ill. Friends, family and the local community were invited to the barn for an open house and meal to celebrate the addition to the Coleman farm on Nov. 1. Tours were offered, and a meal prepared by the Illinois Pork Producers Association was provided.
Charlie is the fifth generation in the Coleman family to farm in the area. Along with wife, Regan, and their two young children, the Colemans love spending time together on the farm. The farm has consisted of corn and soybeans for the past 13 years, and they are now ready to bring livestock back into the equation. “My family is excited for the new opportunities this will bring to our farm, helping to feed and fuel the world,” says Coleman.
Construction of the barn included work from many local businesses in Illinois. From the building frame to electric, concrete, and pig equipment, many local jobs were associated with the process. In one year, the pigs in this barn will consume approximately 40,000 bushels of corn and 6,000 bushels of soybeans, grown by local farmers. This pig farm will produce over 320,000 (5-7 oz.) pork chops and over 5 million slices of bacon per year, feeding the local community and beyond.
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.
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: A.J. O’Mara, Bank of Springfield, Frank & West Environmental Engineers, Hog Slat, Maximum Ag Technologies and The Maschhoffs.