Growing up on the family farm watching my father and grandfather work together helped develop my passion for agriculture, specifically raising pigs. We also grow corn and soybeans that we use to feed our hogs.
My younger brother and I own a wean-to-finish swine operation in Sycamore that I manage the day-to-day operations.
My day always starts and ends the same by spending time with the pigs making sure they have three key things to keep them happy and growing – food, water and the proper environment.
I also check to see if there are any signs of sick pigs that may need treatment. Yes, our farm does use antibiotics to help treat sick pigs. We work very closely with our veterinarian to develop plans to keep our animals healthy.
After completing morning chores, making sure all of the pigs are happy and healthy in the barns, I then make my way to the feed mill. I spend a large part of my day preparing feed to keep the pigs healthy and growing. In a large mixer, ingredients that make up the pigs’ diet, including ground corn, soybean meal and added vitamins and minerals, are mixed together.
I then deliver and store the feed in bins that are on automatic feedlines that go directly into their pens and keep the pig feeders full.
Once I complete the task of making sure the pigs’ bellies are full, I then move on to many other jobs around the farm. There seems to be a lot of maintenance projects due to the pigs always trying to break something in the barn.
Monthly visits with our veterinarian, meetings with the nutritionist, completing feed orders, farm paperwork, cleaning barns and consulting with our banker are just some of the projects that keep me busy.
In the spring and fall I will jump in a tractor to help plant and harvest the corn and soybeans that are a very important part of our pigs’ diet.
When I am done taking care of the tasks on the never ending to-do list for the day, I go back to where my day started, walking amongst the pigs to ensure they have everything they need. I make sure I spend a lot of time overseeing our pigs’ health to make sure I am producing the best potential meat product from my farm that will end up on consumers’ tables.
DREW KUHN – HOG & GRAIN FARMER, GENOA