Smiths bolster Fremont County economic development
Dean Adkins - Sat, 13 Oct 2012 01:46:43 CDT
(Sidney)--There's plenty to celebrate in Fremont County, especially if you support livestock agriculture and local economic development. The two definitely go hand-in-hand these days as the Smith Brothers Hog Barns are up and running.
Shannon and Erin Smith farm in Fremont County and recently have been involved in the construction of a number of just-under 5000-head-per-year hog facilities. Shannon and Erin, (photo left) the proud parents of Lindze, Wyatt and Tanner, also stay busy with their row-crop and extensive cattle operation. Shannon's brothers Shad, Sean and Shane also farm in the area while Shannon's parents, Dwight and Madonna are closeby as well. The brothers, who are also involved in the new hog facilities, have one, sister, Rhonda, who lives in Missouri.
Shannon tells us Parks Enterprises out of North Carolina was looking for some locations to build some hog buildings and the Smith brothers were looking for some natural fertilizer in the form of hog manure to bolster their soil so the two got together and have been fostering economic development in Fremont County ever since. J-6 of Seneca, Kansas owns and supplies the baby pigs while the feed comes from United Farmers Mercantile in Red Oak. The Smith brothers provide the labor and ultimately the hogs are processed nearby in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Speaking of local, each barn will go through about 50,000 bushels of corn every year for the close to 5000 hogs that come through the facility in a year's time. Shannon says the DNR has been a part of the process every step of the way making sure there's a stringent manure management plan in place. He says the natural fertilizer works 150 acres of corn-on-corn per barn or 300 acres for a corn-soybean rotation.
An open house was recently held to make sure neighbors and others in the area were aware of the facilities and many questions were answered as well for the 160 or so folks who showed up at the facility October 9th. Those in attendance saw the marvel of new technology as the hog barns' automated feed process and air flow ventilation system works well to keep the pigs cool and content.
There are eight barns total for the Smith Brothers and with some neighbors in the mix a total of 10 barns are in operation with the possibility of more facilities in the future.
October Pork Month and more economic development for Fremont County. Plenty to celebrate with Shannon and Erin Smith and the rest of the Smith family with the Smith Brothers Hog Barns.