WIUM Tristates Public Radio

hog farm

There’s a new strategy when it comes to combating the smells and air quality concerns that arise from large-scale animal feeding operations: Blame the company, not the farmer.

And if a recent federal case against the largest pork producer in the U.S. is any indication, it’s a model that could benefit contract growers — people who don’t own the livestock they raise but own the property and the barns.

Courtesy Illinois Pork Producers Association

Growing up in Rushville, Carrie Johnson, the granddaughter of Schuyler County pig and dairy farmers, learned early-on the importance of agriculture to the local economy. Now an adult living and working in Rushville, Johnson says she supports the growth of local business and agriculture.

JOSHUAY04-WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A petition drive forced the Illinois Department of Agriculture to hold a public informational meeting on plans to build a large-scale hog farm east of Macomb. But a person who helped spearhead the drive said he isn't necessarily opposed to the farm.

Joshuay04-Wikimedia Commons

A pork producer plans to build a hog farm in McDonough County. Tri Oak Foods, based in Oakville, IA, has chosen a 1.5 acre site south of U.S. Highway 136 and about four miles east of Macomb.

Courtesy Caroline Abels

As animal welfare expert Temple Grandin has described it, pregnant pigs housed in gestation crates spend their days living in the equivalent of an airline seat for humans.

Clay Masters

Thanks to tight competition, hog farmers are feeling a push to expand or get out of the business.

Illinois Approves Adams County Hog Farm

Jun 11, 2013
Judy Koehler

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved a proposed hog confinement in Adams County, after adding additional environmental protections.

Hog Farm Permit will be Delayed

Mar 5, 2012

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is holding up a proposed large-scale hog farm in northeast Hancock County.

Junction Acres would be home to up to 18,000 pigs a year. It would be built near LaCrosse.

The deadline for the permit was March 3rd. The department instead requested the construction plans and the animal waste-handling plan.

Walter Goetsch is the Ag Department's Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs. He said the information is often not part of the original notice of intent to construct.

Opponents of a proposed large-scale hog farm in McDonough County can breathe a sigh of relief - at least for now.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture declined to issue a permit to South Morgan Acres, LLC, which would be built in the northwest part of the county. The state said it required more information about the farm.

In a letter sent to the owners on February 3, the Agriculture Department said:

“Our additional information request is as follows: