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Local

Open house kicks off opening of Blackstone pig farm

The Defenbaugh family cuts a ribbon to signify the opening of their 2,496 head wean-to-finish pig barn outside of Blackstone, roughly 10 miles east of Streator.
The Defenbaugh family cuts a ribbon to signify the opening of their 2,496 head wean-to-finish pig barn outside of Blackstone, roughly 10 miles east of Streator.

An open house kicked off a recently developed 2,496 head pig farm outside of Blackstone, roughly 10 miles east of Streator.

Kevin and Tabitha Defenbaugh invited friends, family and the local community to the barn for tours and a meal.

The Defenbaughs said in the press release they have two young children and the barn will better prepare their farm for the future by adding diversity and farm experience.

The open house was a chance to see the farm before the pigs are moved in. The barn will be washed and sanitized and will also incorporate new technology such as automatic fans and ventilation, all-day access to food and water as well as a controlled environment to make for safe living conditions for the pigs.

The original announcement of the pig farm was not met with warm reception from some of the nearby residents who left complaints with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Livingston County zoning and planning office.

The residents also reached out to The Times in July to share concerns of smell, air contamination and increased traffic.

The site was inspected three times by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, which is the norm for any hog farm, and Kevin Defenbaugh said in July he plans to plant trees in front of the fans to help the smell rise.

The hog farm is four pigs shy of 2,500 by which a public hearing with the county's zoning and planning office would be required.

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