Stoller, Steidinger families unveil barn

GRIDLEY – A family-operated livestock facility in McLean County was officially dedicated Friday morning.

The monoslope deep pit beef barn, built by the Stoller and Steidinger families, is designed to improve cattle comfort and performance while also increasing operational efficiency. It allows cattle to stay out of extreme weather and to gain more.

“These cattle are on a 12-foot deep pit,” explained Clark Stoller. “We have manure approximately once a year and we finish them out at about 1,400 pounds.”

Stoller operates High Tower Farm with his son-in-law Mclane Steidinger and their families. They wanted a name which would honor God and found a biblical verse which says the Lord is “my high tower and my refuge.”

“This farm is separate from where we live. We bought it several years ago with the purpose of putting this livestock facility here,” Stoller recalled.

Steidinger describes the barn as a positive experience for the family. The facility, which was built almost three years ago, has three pens which hold 120 head apiece – leading to a total capacity of 360 beef finishing cattle, which will be fed out and sent to market.

“My grandfather raised cattle and got out of it in the early 90’s. It has always kind of been with me,” Steidinger admitted.

Both Steidinger and Stoller can maintain their full-time jobs by doing chores in the morning and evening. He admits the manure is an added value he didn’t realize was there initially.

Tim Maiers with the Illinois Livestock Development Group hopes people learned more about modern livestock production by attending Friday’s open house near Gridley.

“It’s a chance to really tell the story of the Stoller and Steidinger families and what they’re doing here.”

According to Maiers, these barns are becoming more popular in Illinois as moving cattle inside allows producers to control the manure.

For more on the livestock industry in Illinois, search for the Illinois Livestock Development Group online. Sponsors of the recent ribbon-cutting event included: Case IH, Compeer Financial, Graymont Co-op, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Livestock Development Group, Sioux Steel Company, Stoller International and Summit Livestock Facilities.

A free lunch and tours were provided to those attending the event.

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