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12 February 2012

News planned USDa location changes . . . . . . . .6

Crops Corn nematodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Beck’s Winter Meetings are back! Look for your invite in the mail or go to to sign up for a meeting at a location near you.

Brown enjoys raising hogs, proudly produces food Ohio’s Source for Ag Information

By Kyle Sharp Growing up on the family farm in the

1950s and ‘60s, Randy Brown can remember moving hogs from dirt lots on the west side of U.S. Route 23 to the main farm on the east. They walked the pigs across the highway between the two locations, which were about a mile apart. “Dad would wave his handkerchief to

stop traffic,” Brown said. “It was only two lanes then, and the hogs did pretty good. They pretty much stayed on the road and didn’t go off into the fields.” If the family tried that these days

across the fast-moving, four-lane route, not only would it cause a media frenzy, they’d likely introduce a new food prod- uct — the pork pancake. It’s a healthy indication of how things have changed within the pork industry. “The biggest change we made was

about 20 years ago when we got the sow herd and everything moved inside,” Brown said. “That was good for the employees and the animals. We were outside in dirt lots, and the envi- ronment is so much better for the pigs and the employees now. With no more potential for mud and ice, it’s just safer for all involved.”

It’s also better for the young pigs,

because before, if a sow was bred and it got missed, the pigs might be born outside among the other sows, and that was not good, he said. Now, most everything is bred with artificial insemination, so it is well known when they are bred and will farrow. “I wonder what it will be like

20 years from now,” Brown said. “I don’t think it will all be back outside, because they won’t be able to feed people.” The Brown family’s Maken Bacon

Farm near Nevada in Wyandot County has been in the family for several gen- erations. Today, the operation consists of a 630-sow, farrow-to-finish opera- tion, about 300 feedlot cattle raised annually and 1,200 acres of cropland. Sows are farrowing each week in the

farm’s five-room nursery barn. At about 50 pounds, pigs are moved into a finishing barn, either at the farm or to a few other farms that feed hogs for the family. At about 240 pounds, the pigs are shipped to J.H. Routh Packing in Sandusky. “It works well because we truck

them ourselves, and it’s not that far of a drive for us,” Brown said.

Randy Brown and his family have a long history of raising hogs at Maken Bacon Farm near Nevada in Wyandot County, and Brown’s history of leadership within the Ohio pork industry is equally impressive. To recognize this, the Ohio Pork Producers Council recently named Brown the winner of the 2012 Pork Industry Excellence Award.

The farm markets more than 10,000

pigs per year, raises its own gilts inter- nally and uses Isler Genetics as termi- nal sires when breeding sows. Randy focuses on the hogs and cattle, his brother Tom makes crop decisions and helps with the cattle, and Randy’s son

Kyle is the hog production manager. “Kyle was just added to the Ohio

Pork Producers Council (OPPC) Board of Directors and will be the third gener- ation on the Board, which I think is kind of cool,” Randy said.

continued on page 30

LivestoCk poultry inspection changes . . . . . . . . . . . .31

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