The opening of a new feed mill is a rare occurrence. It’s even a rarer event for the public to be invited to tour the mill. That’s exactly what The Equity did by hosting an Open House for their new state-of-the-art Horace feed mill on Wednesday, August 22.
Approximately 200 members of the surrounding east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana communities enjoyed a free pork sandwich and learned about the technology utilized in the feed milling process and the connection to pork production. Attendees had an opportunity to network with other agricultural companies and view displays and information from vendors.
“We wanted to offer a chance for the public to come out and see the feed mill for themselves and learn more about what we do here,” said Darwin Wohltman, The Equity vice-president of feed and livestock. “The mill is designed to produce up to 450,000 tons per year of complete swine feeds, which will feed 1.35 million market pigs annually.”
The mill, which started construction in 2016 and began operation in February 2018, consists of three major concrete sections – a 156-foot-tall mill building, a receiving and loadout building and a warehouse. Corn is supplied from the adjacent 4-million-bushel grain elevator. The mill is set up to receive other feed ingredients at up to 300 tons per hour.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the positive economic contributions to the local and state economies through additional jobs and increased taxes. The mill will add demand for 6.4 million bushels of corn and 2.7 million bushels of soybeans, benefitting area farmers.
Numerous agricultural organizations, feed mill equipment companies and feed ingredient companies helped to sponsor the event. Sponsors of the event included: ADM Nutrition; CPM-Beta Raven-Roskamp Champion; DP Techlink, LLC; Hog Slat; Illinois Corn Marketing Board; Illinois Pork Producers Association; Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program; Nutra Blend; Provimi – a Cargill Company; Scott Equipment Company; Tyson Fresh Meats; Union Iron; and Zoetis.
“The Horace feed mill is a great addition to The Equity’s commitment to furthering opportunities in production agriculture in east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana,” said Bruce Vernon, The Equity CEO. “The feed mill helps The Equity build upon our vision of being a leading Midwest Ag Service provider while generating a superior return to our owners.”
The Equity’s roots date back to 1919 when a group of forward thinking farmers saw that by joining together, they would have greater buying power than each farmer had individually.
Today, as one of the largest independent agricultural cooperatives in Illinois, The Equity offers a broad range of products to fulfill their customers’ needs including: agronomy, grain services, feed and livestock, energy and a Hardware Do It Center. The Equity provides services to customers in an area encompassing 20,000 square miles.
Along with the new feed mill expansion, The Equity is also looking to expand the number of contract feeding pig farms. “These farms provide a low risk business opportunity for potential growth of pork production in the area, said Wade Harrison, The Equity Director of Livestock Contract Development. “The Open House was a great opportunity to educate farmers about the possible benefits of contract pork production such as diversifying farm income during low commodity prices, helping bring the next generation back to the family farm and utilizing manure as a fertilizer source to lower crop input costs.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the contract pork production opportunities should contact Wade Harrison at (217) 994-6397 or visit www.theequity.com.
“We’re proud of the mill and work hard every day to produce a safe, nutritious feed supply, while caring for the environment and being a good neighbor,” said Wohltman.