Posted June 14, 2012
Eric and Emily Crosman filled their new hog-finishing barn in early June , but it was with people, not hogs. Nearly 200 neighbors, friends and farm leaders toured their new 2,400 head hog building near Ogden during an open house June 5, just days before the first load of pigs was scheduled to arrive.
The event — sponsored by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF), Cargill Pork, Quality Ag Inc., the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Boone County Pork Producers and City State Bank, an office of Ames Community Bank — featured a short program, tour of the building and a pork burger lunch to honor Boone County’s newest business.
“The turnout today is unbelievable,” said Eric, while speaking to the crowd. “I appreciate everyone’s support and think it’s great that you are all here to see first-hand what we are doing and how we are raising hogs today. Agriculture has changed a lot in the 109 years this farm has been in our family and I’m sure it will continue to change as our sons grow up and work into the family operation.”
Before the Crosmans started construction, they turned to the coalition for advice in choosing a good location and a plan for talking to their neighbors about putting up the barn on their century farm.
“The coalition was very helpful and was there for Emily and I from start to finish,” said Eric. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to talk to your neighbors before you start to build and address any concerns they may have. Emily and I want to be the best neighbors we can be because we plan to be on this farm for a very long time.”
“This hog building will have a $1.5 million impact on Boone County in the first year alone,” said Brian Waddingham, CSIF executive director. “This event helped local residents understand the positive impacts of livestock farming in their communities. Although many people drive by hog barns, few have any idea what actually occurs in one. This open house gave people an opportunity to step inside and feel how the air moves on a hot day and see how comfortable the pigs really are.”
The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers was created by farmers to help farmers raise livestock responsibly and successfully. It’s a joint partnership involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and Midwest Dairy Association.