CHRISMAN, ILLINOIS, U.S. — The Equity, a farmer-owned cooperative in Illinois, celebrated on Aug. 22 the opening of its new feed mill in Horace, Illinois, U.S.

Construction started on the mill in 2016 and operations began in February. It consists of three major concrete sections — a 156-foot-tall mill building on a 63x43-foot area, a 49x43-foot receiving and loadout building and a 62x145-foot warehouse.

Corn comes from the adjacent 4-million-bushel grain elevator. The mill can receive other feed ingredients at up to 300 tph. It takes five to six minutes to load a semi-truck through nine fixed spouts.

The mill is designed to produce up to 450,000 tons per year of complete swine feeds, which will feed 1.35 million market pigs annually, said Darwin Wohltman, The Equity vice-president of feed and livestock. It has the capability to produce pelleted feed.

About 200 people from east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana attended the grand opening celebration.

“We wanted to offer a chance for the public to come out and see the feed mill for themselves and learn more about what we do here,” Wohltman said.

The mill will add demand for 6.4 million bushels of corn and 2.7 million bushels of soybeans, benefitting area farmers.

Numerous agricultural organizations, feed mill equipment companies and feed ingredient companies helped to sponsor the event.

Sponsors of the event included: ADM Nutrition; CPM-Beta Raven-Roskamp Champion; DP Techlink, LLC; Hog Slat; Illinois Corn Marketing Board; Illinois Pork Producers Association; Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program; Nutra Blend; Provimi — a Cargill Company; Scott Equipment Company; Tyson Fresh Meats; Union Iron; and Zoetis.

“The Horace feed mill is a great addition to The Equity’s commitment to furthering opportunities in production agriculture in east-central Illinois and west-central Indiana,” said Bruce Vernon, chief executive officer of The Equity. “The feed mill helps The Equity build upon our vision of being a leading Midwest Ag Service provider while generating a superior return to our owners.”

The Equity, whose roots date back to 1919, is one of the largest independent agricultural cooperatives in Illinois. It offers a broad range of products, including: agronomy, grain services, feed and livestock, energy and a Hardware Do It Center. The Equity provides services to customers in an area encompassing 20,000 square miles.

Along with the new feed mill expansion, The Equity is looking to expand the number of contract feeding pig farms. 

“These farms provide a low risk business opportunity for potential growth of pork production in the area, said Wade Harrison, director of livestock contract development at The Equity.