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Fourth Generation Pig Farmer Planning for the Fifth
Illinois Ag Connection - 11/18/2019

Multiple groups in the pork industry teamed up to host an open house for the Charles Leitz in Milford, Ill. Charles and wife Rhonda, along with their three kids, opened the doors to their new barn for friends and community members to see before pigs move in.

The family has built 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 family 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.

Charles was excited to share that "Building this barn will create a place for my oldest son to come home to, once he graduates college next May." Ben, the oldest of their three kids, has interest in managing the finishing barn and actively working on the farm.

The family farm was rooted by Charles' great grandpa when he settled in 1926. Charles is the fourth generation, making Ben the fifth generation, of Leitz family to farm in Iroquois County. Adding livestock into row crop farms gives opportunity to expand and bring in more family members.

Sponsors of the event were: Custom Precast, EIP Manufacturing, Ford Iroquois Pork Producers, Illinois Livestock Development Group, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Lester Building System's, LLC, Maximum Ag Technologies, Precision Structures Inc., SDI Industries, The Equity, 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.

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