Polk County Farm Bureau member and District 4 Director for Nebraska Farm Bureau Kevin Peterson calls Osceola home … literally. He and his wife Cassidy live in the house he was brought home to as a baby; he refers to it as the Peterson Family starter-house. He met Cassidy while attending Southeast Community College in Beatrice, went back to the farm and worked for a hog producer in Shelby, Neb., for 2 ½ years and in 2000, built his first hog facility. The couple was married 2-2-02.
Kevin is a wean-to-finish contract hog producer for a gentleman north of Columbus, Neb. That means the pigs do not go to a nursery after being weaned, instead they go directly to a farm like Kevin’s where they are finished (fed) and remain there until slaughter. His facility has also added supplemental heat for pig comfort when they are first weaned.
Kevin grew up around cattle but chose pigs because of the controlled-temperature environment in the barns. In 2000, the farm had 2,500 spaces and in 2008 doubled in size to be able to hold 4,800 pigs. They also farm row crops in partnership with Kevin’s parents.
Kevin says, “My business relationship with the owner of the pigs is a necessity. At 21, I had to secure funding to build a new facility which wasn’t easy. If young producers want to get their start, they have to be able to forge those relationships with established producers.”
Everyone has a story to tell but Kevin says his is “nothing special.” He says they don’t do anything unique or extraordinary on the farm, they just wake up every morning with their priority on animal comfort and care. Listen more here.
The couple has three children: Caleb – 7, Braylon – 4 and Aubrey – 9 months; Cassidy works as an LPM at the nursing home in Osceola and grew up in Beatrice. Kevin says if Cassidy would’ve known beforehand that she’d be marrying a farmer, she may have gone out on a date with his other roommate. “I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. I’ve taught her about farming, and together we keep each other going.”
Continue to check back to the blog each Thursday to get to know more farmers and ranchers from across Nebraska as they share their everyday stories. And to read past farmer and rancher profiles, click here.