In the world of modern pig farming, Doug Hartmann’s farm is unusual. Most pig farmers, known as pork producers, focus on just one stage of the growth cycle. The first stage is farrowing, when sows give birth to piglets. The second is finishing, or raising weaned pigs to market size. Doug has a ‘farrow-to-finish’ farm, meaning he cares for pigs through their entire life cycle.
Farm visitors may flinch at the pig aroma, but it is obvious Doug is used to it. He grew up raising pigs (also called hogs), showed them in 4-H and FFA, and never wanted to do anything but be a pig farmer. His children also grew up raising and showing hogs. His son Dan graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture and now farms with Doug. Chances are Dan will be the 4th generation of Hartmanns who will raise hogs as his living.
Raising hogs takes constant dedication, says Doug. “You really have to care, and really have to pay attention,” especially when working in the farrowing barn. Sows are fed by hand, and baby pigs are watched to make sure they get enough milk from their mothers. Thoughout each animal’s life, Doug makes sure it is healthy and safe. After all, safe, healthy pigs mean safe, healthy food for people.
Doug Harmann is a 3rd generation farmer. His family includes his wife Cathy, two adult children; farm partners include Doug’s father Gerry, brother Jeff and sister Andrea. The Hartmann farm is Southeast of Sycamore. Doug now lives in the home where his grandfather grew up.
Learn more about local farmers and farming at DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s website!
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