31 THE MASCHHOFFS CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG LIVESTOCK FARMERS The history of the Maschhoff family farm started in the late 1930’s outside Carlyle. In 1961, Wayne and Marlene became the owners of a new 700-head finishing barn. Until that point, the Maschhoff family’s pigs were all raised outside. Wayne and Marlene’s sons, Dave and Ken, returned to the family farm in the late 1970’s after graduating from college. The family decided to focus on hog production. In 1979, they began construction on a project that boosted the sow herd from 150 to 700. They expanded further in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The Maschhoffs decided to work with other family farmers to raise wean pigs to market weight. This has allowed the Maschhoff family to focus on sows and baby pigs and provided opportunities for other farmers to get involved in pig production. Currently, The Maschhoffs partner with about 500 independent farm partners. They have partnered with 29 young farmers in Illinois and have helped them return or stay on the family farm. Today, The Maschhoffs is the largest family-owned hog producer network in North America, with nearly 215,000 sows along with market hog production sites in nine states. And yet, the family values remain embedded in the culture. Dave and his wife, Karen, along with Ken and his wife, Julie, are the sole owners of the company. The Maschhoff family, as well as their 1,200 employees and farm partners, are passionate about pigs and strive every day to raise pigs in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. YOUNG LIVESTOCK FARMERS ACCESS FINANCIAL SUPPORT Compeer Financial is a member-owned, Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. With $18 billion in loan and lease assets, Compeer Financial is one of the largest cooperatives in the Farm Credit System. Livestock is a significant part of their business. Compeer has more than 20,500 livestock loans with a value of more than $7.145 billion. 2,154 of their livestock loans are to farmers under the age of 35 and have a value of more than $359 million. Livestock specialists provide assistance to young farmers looking to add or expand livestock to their farms. “We at Compeer Financial have seen contract finishing as a way to either allow young people to come back to the farm or stay on the farm. Those young farmers have limited capacity to expand on the grain side of the business through buying or renting land, so the contract finishing provides an opportunity for them to build their own farming operation with limited financial risk.” - Mark Ray, Senior Swine Lending Specialist, Compeer Financial