By Lindsey Walls, AgriPOWER Class X participant
Our AgriPOWER class had the awesome opportunity to visit Stateler Farms of McComb, Ohio. Stateler Farms is a multi-generational farm that operates grain and swine while managing and maintaining their manure properly as apart of the Blanchard River Demo Farms Network.
We had the opportunity to walk into the Stateler Farms swine nursery, and it was amazing to see animal production at work. These piglets are brought into the barn at about 14 lbs, are then fed until they are the upwards weight of 50 lbs before they are moved and fed to their final weight of around 300 lbs. Within this barn, the temperature of the building, individual health and food and water are very closely monitored day and night.
Mr. Stateler made the comment I will never forget, and that was that “a piglet grows the size of a mini snickers bar PER HOUR” — yes, per hour every day of its life. Due to its diet, the farmer is able to capitalize a maximum growth rate during the pig’s lifetime. This is very important as the world’s population continues to grow, and pork continues to rise as the most widely consumed meat in the world.
The biggest takeaway from getting to tour this nursery is that many of the public have the wrong perception of what these swine facilities are made of. Three observations that I took away from this farm tour were that the facilities were CLEAN, very closely monitored, whether that be food, water and/or health, these piglets are well taken care of, and last but not least these pigs were HAPPY. We watched them for close to 30 minutes and they never stopped eating, drinking and playing with their friends.