Various members of the animal agriculture community sponsored an open house on John and David Hebert’s farm in Owaneco, IL on September 14. The open house was a chance for the community to see their new neighboring beef structure up close and personal before a new herd of cattle takes up residence there.
The expansion of John Hebert’s current beef operation is an effort to allow his son John an opportunity on the farm. The expansion is a small one, only 150 cows, and that makes it difficult to prepare for some of the documentation and expert advice required under the Livestock Management Facilities Act or LMFA. On a per head basis, the costs of siting a new building like the one pictured here are much larger than the costs of siting a much larger livestock facility.
When siting a new barn just like this one, the Illinois Department of Agriculture likes to see building plans from a certified engineer. In this case, the Heberts worked with MBC Buildings and Frank and West Engineering to design this building. The costs for an engineering firm to work on a barn for less than 300 animals are extremely high and again, on that per head basis, are difficult to manage.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board offers a grant to help smaller producers mange this financial burden. Working through Nic Anderson, the Illinois Livestock Development Group’s Business Developer, ICMB is able to offset the high costs of engineers and bring that per head cost to a more manageable level.
“This grant allows medium and smaller producers the opportunity to provide professional engineering plans and drawings to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The professional plans mean that everyone is speaking the same language and the Department of Ag can write off on the plans more quickly, hopefully reducing the timeframe to get buildings sited,” said Nic Anderson.
“The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is excited to invest in our largest consumer, the livestock industry, by helping smaller producers manage costs and site new facilities,” said ICMB Chairman Scott Stirling.
The Hebert’s new hoop building stands in Christian County because of help from the Illinois Beef Association, the Illinois Livestock Development Group, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, MBC Buildings, Farm Credit Services, Kent Feeds, and the Christian County Farm Bureau.