ASHTON, ILL. – The Dave Meurer family recently constructed a new 2,400 head wean-to-finish barn near Ashton, IL. The IL Livestock Development Group (ILDG) and the Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) coordinated an Open House to welcome friends, neighbors, and community members.
A ribbon cutting ceremony commenced the opening of the barn, and a pork chop lunch was provided to attendees, prepared by the Lee County Pork Producers. The open house took place before pigs arrive to ensure ample time for the barn to be deep cleaned and ready for their arrival.
In his welcome address, Dave Meurer emphasized the purpose of this pig barn is to provide opportunity for the next generation of Meurers: his children. Specifically, their son Levi will be returning to the farm after college to further pursue a career in the pork industry.
The Meurer family is a true example of the Illinois Pork Producer Association’s tagline: Generations of Commitment. “The future of our industry lays in the hands of future generations of pig farmers. We are proud to see the Meurer family preparing in such a way,” says Jenny Jackson, Director of Communications for IPPA.
Modern pig barns include numerous advancements in technology. The pigs will have feed and water access all hours of the day, thanks to automatic feed systems located in each pen. Ventilation is controlled throughout the barn keeping pigs cool and comfortable through the warm months and, alternatively, warm in the winter. Layers of air filters and “cool cell pads” act of air conditioning during the summer.
The new barn will also add to the local tax base by contributing taxes to the county and local roads, school district and other local taxing districts. The construction and operation created economic development for local businesses and provided job opportunities. Annually, the pigs will consume approximately 45,000 bushels of corn and approximately 10,000 bushels of soybeans.