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View from the Cab: Getting the facts

Kent talks to Nic Anderson from the IL Livestock Development group during an open house last week / Rita Frazier photo.

It’s always nice to hear the facts when it comes to agriculture.

Our city friends often misinterpret what we do on the farm and one way to clear up the information is to attend a livestock open house here in Illinois. I had the pleasure of attending an open house for a new pig barn on the Defenbaugh farm near Blackstone last week.

This new barn, which is curtain sided and tunnel ventilated, will be home to more than 2,000 pigs. The structure was built per stringent standards established by the Livestock Management Facilities Act governed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Representatives from IDOA inspected the farm during and after the construction phase and the farm must continue to comply with the Illinois Environmental Protection Act once it is operational.

Kevin and Tabitha Defenbaugh will both complete the Certified Livestock Managers certification and manure will be used to fertilize corn and soybean fields for the family’s crops. This will be applied under the soil which ensures an accurate ratio of manure to soil, providing a very sustainable system. Manure will be stored in a concrete pit built according to engineering standards which ensure environmental protections.

Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the new facility is the amount of food which will be produced. Nic Anderson with the Illinois Livestock Development Group told me the barn will produce around 320,000 pork chops and five million slices of bacon each year. This is the perfect example of farmers feeding others and it all starts on the farms around here.

“We think about farmers as agriculture and people involved in that industry but if we eat, agriculture is part of our life. We provide for the animals and they provide for us,” Anderson said.

During a time when our state and local economies are struggling, the Illinois Pork Producers Association says we need to support the farm families willing to invest in our rural areas.

More information on the new venture can be obtained by contacting Kevin Defenbaugh at 815-867-0184 or by e-mail at

(The View from the Cab is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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