The planning is done. The open house has been had. It’s time for pigs to be delivered to the Leitz family finishing barn.
On Friday the about 500 pigs will be delivered from a sow farm in Oklahoma, said Charles Leitz. Then, soon, another 2,000 will arrive, and probably another 500 or so after that. “It’ll be 150 in a pen. They come in just weened from the sow at about 12 pounds and they’ll grow to market weight of about 280 pounds in about five months.
“We’re very excited.”
This new venture for the family started getting organized about a year and a half ago, and in late winter/early spring the paperwork was filed and approved for the family to start building the operation.
The family farm is going into its fifth generation. Leitz explained how his grandfather Alfred moved to a portion of the current farm in 1926, with his father, Fred, moving into with operation.
His father, Robert, and mother, Elaine, added crop acres, and when Leitz was younger had a 20-sow operation in the ’60-80s. He said he worked with the pigs growing up.
Leitz added his own crop acres, and now farms about 900 acres. He said he’ll be using the manure from the pigs on his own crops, about 500 acres of them.
“It’ll all be very controlled.”
He said there’s a lot of regulations to follow and there’s plenty of technology to help out, especially in ventilation.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback,” he said, especially from the attendees of last week’s open house. It was hosted by Leitz, as well as his wife, Rhonda, and three grown children: Ben, Bradley and Lyndsey.
He said the nearest neighbor to his barn is about a mile away, and the Milford village limits are not much further than that.
He practices sustainable agriculture, and soil testing is done often to keep track of the nutrients in the soil. The manure is injected into the soil, reducing any odors.
The family will be able to grow two sets of pigs each year in the barn, and in between each set, the barn will be thoroughly pressure washed and sanitized before any new come in to ensure a clean and healthy environment. This is just one of the many practices that pig farmers implement regarding biosecurity.
The fifth generation, Leitz’ son Ben, will be done with college in May.
“Building this barn will create a place for my oldest son to come home to,” as he’s expressed interest in managing the finishing barn and actively working on the farm.