Tom and Amy Anway and Price Family Farms hosted an open house at their recently-built modern swine production facility at 2575 S. CR 17 Sunday afternoon.
Tom Anway of Anway Family Farms said the barn is 203 feet long and 93 feet wide and has a maximum capacity of 2,400 head. The building took about four months to construct, he said.
The barn is fully computerized and automated and the computer, which is based on algorithms, can do things such as monitor how much water is put out daily as well as decrease the air flow during the night, Anway said. He said it includes an automatic dialer that will let him know if anything fails.
“One of the neatest things with the building is that it has tunnel ventilation that is blowing fresh air through the building all the time,” Anway said. “It creates a really healthy environment for the pigs.”
He practices split-sex feeding, which means males and females are fed in separate rooms.
“They’re given different diets so they can grow up equally the same,” Anway said.
Todd Price of Price Family Farms said as the pigs grow and get bigger, they need more air and that can be controlled by the computer or through Anway’s cell phone.
The feed system is automatic and any bin can fill anywhere in the barn which helps to keep the feed fresh, he said.
Price said the pigs will start out in northwest Ohio, and then they will go to a nursery near Bascom and their final stop will be at Anways to finish growing.
Anway said the pigs will be 55-60 pounds coming in and will go out at around 285 pounds.
Anway said he will have the pigs for 142 days, and Price said the pigs then are to be sent to Indiana Packers in Delphi, Indiana.
After they leave, Anway said he will have a week to clean and disinfect the area before starting the process over again. Around 6,480 pigs are expected to go through the barn each year. The first group of pigs is to come in Tuesday, Anway said.
While Price owns the pigs and takes care of that aspect, Anway supplies the building and provides the labor to manage the building.
“Each stage is separated for health reasons,” Price said. “It decreases antibiotic use and definitely helps to keep the pigs healthier.”
Anway said he always grew up on a farm and raised pigs in different capacities all of his life with his father, and he thought this could potentially give his children experience or an option later on in life.
“Teaming with Price Family Farms makes sense. We’re all truly just family. It really is a family-operated business for everybody,” Anway said.
“We have tremendous support. I’ve worked with Tiffin Farmers Co-Op throughout my life and they will be manufacturing the feed for us,” he said. “They are very supportive.”
Anway said there has been an increase in pork production in Ohio in recent years.
Director of Communications Emily Bir of Ohio Pork Council said Ohio is the seventh largest pork production state in the United States. She said pork production is definitely increasing because Ohio was the eighth largest in pork production just a year ago, she said.
“It’s a large part of our state economy,” Bir said. “We are very lucky to have policies in place that make it favorable to raise livestock here in Ohio.”
Anway said people’s reaction to the barn was positive.
“Visitors just couldn’t believe the automation,” he said. “They also complimented the appearance of the building. It definitely fits in the community.:
He said 150-200 people toured the facility during the open house.
“I think the open house just shows there’s an interest in swine production in this part of Ohio,” Anway said.