WIUM Tristates Public Radio

large-scale 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.

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The Illinois Department of Agriculture has cleared the way for a farm with 4,900 hogs to be built near Macomb.

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.

Clay Masters

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

Owner Larry O'Hern had one year to complete the permitting process for Shamrock Acres.  He did not meet the deadline.

The facilty would have housed up to 18,000 hog at a time. It would have been built in southeastern McDonough County.

Warren Goetsch is the bureau chief of environmental programs for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

He says, “We had issued an additional information request, I believe it was around the 7th of November, and did not receive a response.”