As with many farmers, you are either born into itor you marry into it. You could say I was very fortunate to have done both! Growing up on a farm in Arcola, in east central Illinois, my roots run deep in agriculture and the pig pen where my parents still farm. But today, I farm with my wife’s family in rural Elkhart.
A MULTIGENERATIONAL FARM YEARS IN THE MAKING
Over the last 53 years, the farm has grown to support multiple families and is cultivating the seventh generation to join our deep heritage.
Today, we raise corn, soybeans and hay on 1,700 acres while also growing 12,000 pigs annually as part of our 750-sow (momma pig) farrow-to-finish (birth-to-market) farm. I spend most of my time managing Tri Pork, Inc.’s pork production business, with most of my focus on the sow center.
In true diversified fashion, we also raise 45 cows, 20 goats and 12 chickens. My wife and I would say, however, the most important things we’re raising on the farm are our own children.
BUILDING CHARACTER IN THE SHOW BARN
My roots are deeply planted in 4-H and FFA, so I devote 75 sows to raising show/fair pigs for sale and exhibition. I want my own daughters, nieces and nephews to learn the joys of showing livestock, but I also take a lot of pride in assisting in the development of many core character-building values of today’s youth.
America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Nomination
I am honored to have been nominated for America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2019. Watch the video to learn more about my farm and our values here in Elkhart, Illinois.