Andy Gathman, a young farmer from Mason County and recent graduate from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, has found ways to come back to the family farm full time. Neighbors and members of the community joined to celebrate the opening of the Gathman’s new 2,400 head wean-to-finish pig barn at an Open House on June 15th. Andy and his father, Gary, are owners of the barn.
Andy said, “After college, I worked off the farm for a while, but was looking for ways to get home. Diversifying with livestock has allowed me to be home and farm full time with my dad. It has been a great experience. We grow field corn, popcorn, green beans, and soybeans, and recently added cattle. Adding livestock to our family farm has given me countless opportunities. I am excited to see where pork production takes us as well.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony commenced the opening of the barn, and a pork chop supper was provided to attendees. The open house took place before pigs arrive to ensure ample time for the barn to be deep cleaned and ready for their arrival. This barn will receive its first load of piglets in the coming weeks. Pigs will come in at approximately 12 pounds and live here until they reach market weight of around 280 pounds. This will take place in a 6-month period. They will raise two groups of pigs, per year.
Thank you to the following sponsors: ILDG, Longhorn Cattle & Swine Confinement, The Maschhoffs, IL Pork Producers Association & Pork Checkoff, Maximum Ag Technologies, Farmweld, Bank of Springfield, Canton Ready-Mix (Havana and Canton Plants), and Mason County Farm Bureau.