Chris & BreeAnn Bohnenkamp

Chris Bohnenkamp, 33, has been raising swine since he was a kid. His grandpa had 3,000 outside hogs and a large farrowing house, and his dad built a finisher a couple of years before Bohnenkamp was born.

“It’s just all I know, and I really enjoy doing it,” he said.

Today, he and his wife, BreeAnn, are contract growers. Their feeder-to-finish operation includes a 600-head nursery and 2,400-head barn, which produce 3,600 feeder pigs and 7,000 finished pigs annually. With the help of a hired hand, Bohnenkamp also takes care of his dad’s 2,200-head and 4,800-head sites. The two have a combined total of 35,000 pigs on feed.

Bohnenkamp is in charge of day-to-day responsibilities, from regular chores to ordering feed, vaccinating, and powerwashing. They mostly grow for Hanor, but work with Tyson Foods and smaller integrators, as well. Pigs are marketed to Tyson in Storm Lake and Seaboard Triumph Foods in Sioux City.

The father-son duo also runs a commercial manure pumping business, which started with a homemade tanker and really ramped up once Bohnenkamp graduated from high school in 2007. They pump about 25 million gallons and cover up to 7,000 acres a year, and the income has allowed them to build more barns. In addition, Bohnenkamp is a salesman for ManureMagic®, an additive to prevent solids buildup, foam, and odor in pits and lagoons.

About five years ago, Bohnenkamp got recruited by the Plymouth County Pork Producers. He has since served as a delegate at Iowa Pork Congress, and has been tapped to become president of the county organization next month. The Bohnenkamps have helped with various county activities, including the annual golf outing, grillings, and the Plymouth County Fair. In 2021, they headed up a committee to offer their popular “Chop in a Glove” when the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) stopped in Le Mars, and they assisted neighboring Ida County Pork Producers when RAGBRAI rolled through Ida Grove in 2022.

Bohnenkamp coaches T-ball and is a member of the MMCRU Schools youth athletic board. His wife, who did not grow up on a farm, is a dental assistant in Orange City. The couple stay active with St. Mary’s Parish in Remsen, and helped organize an auction last summer.

The Bohnenkamps’ sons, Brennan, 7, and Collin, 4, fight over who gets to do pig chores.