Young Couple Eager to Start Their Pig Farming Journey
Justin and Whitney McKeown of Hancock County are ready to dive into the pork industry. They are the owners of Oak Ridge Farm, LLC in rural La Harpe. Whitney calls this area home and grew up on a grain and livestock farm. Justin has been a carpenter since graduating high school, but is ready to make the switch to farming.
“We have an opportunity to farm with Whitney’s dad and these hog barns will help us to fulfill our dreams of farming full time.” says Justin “One day we’d like to pass the farm onto our two children.”
The McKeown’s have two 2,500 head wean-to-finish barns which will receive pigs at 12 lbs and they will leave when they have reached 280 lbs. The barns have already contributed to the local economy by utilizing local companies for building materials and will continue to contribute for years to come through taxes and providing jobs.
“The new hog barns protect the environment, make it easier to care for the pigs, provide a safe place for our family to work.” says Justin “The barns are very technologically advanced and allow for a more efficient way of raising pigs while also improving their overall welfare.”
Professional Swine Management will be helping Justin & Whitney manage their new barns. Professional Swine Management (PSM), LLC provides comprehensive management to family owned pig farms that make up the Carthage System. PSM helps family farmers remain an important part of our nation’s food supply chain by helping optimize all phases of pork production. This allows family farmers, who have been proudly producing pork for many generations, to remain on the farm. When that happens, our rural communities remain viable, our nations’ food supply is safer, and the American diet healthier. For more information visit – www.carthagesystem.com.
“Open houses provide neighbors and community members the opportunity to come tour the inside of a pig barn before the pigs move in and ask any questions they might have about how pigs are raised and the pork industry.” says Jason Propst, IPPA President. “We’re proud to partner with the Illinois Livestock Development group on these events to help promote the positive stories of the livestock industry in Illinois.”
Sponsors of the open house include: AP, ChoreTime, Cortelyou Ready Mix, EIP Manufacturing, EPS Buildings, First State Bank of Illinois – Andy Bastert, Integrity Builders, Professional Swine Management, Illinois Livestock Development Group, and the Illinois Pork Producers Association and the Pork Checkoff.
Nearly 100 friends, neighbors, and community members came out to enjoy a delicious pork lunch, watch the ribbon cutting, and tour the barn.