Farm Feature: Sometimes The Farm Life Sucks You Back In
When Trish Cook and her husband went to go live on the farm in 1994, Trish wasn’t very involved in the farm life. She was working off the farm while her husband was very involved in its operation. Over the last 28 years, that all changed as Trish transitioned to become more hands-on in the operation and is now the President-Elect for Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Trish and her husband Aaron own and operate CBL Farms in Winthrop Iowa where they grow 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans and produce around 30,000 baby piglets a year.
But Trish’s return to the farm hasn’t been the only thing that has changed over the years.
Over the years we've changed how we raise those animals with the advancements made in hog buildings and having them climate controlled, pigs have access to food and water at all times and we don't have to worry about them getting cold out in the snow.
And in the past year they have added drying capabilities and grain storage to their on-farm feed mill.
Due to biosecurity measures, Trish was only able to give me a tour of the wean-to-finish barn. We were not able to check out the inside of the nursery during the visit. Trish explains that the highest level of biosecurity for pigs is seen on the sow farm, where the mothers and naive baby pigs are.
Our facility when you visit our sow farm, requires a shower to go in you fully change into clothes that are provided by the soft farm and then when you leave at the end of the day you shower out you leave those clothes at the soft farm and then you put your street clothes back on to go home.
On CBL Farms, Trish explains they are constantly having piglets. They have anywhere from 55 to 60 sows farrowing each week.
While we were unable to tour the nursery, we were able to get an inside look at one of the wean-to-finish barns which are owned in partnership with a nearby family.
That site is owned by the Slattery brothers and we're really happy to be in partnership with them. They own the building and provide the labor and we supply the pigs so they're a great relationship that we have with them.
So, now that we learned more about the operation, let's take a tour of CBL Farms.