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Illinois farm loses monoslope barn in wind storm, grateful for help rehoming cattle

An active severe weather season continues to threaten Illinois farms.

Alex Hartke of Teutopolis tells Brownfield a Monday morning storm caused structural damage on their farm in southern Illinois.

“The winds picked up and the sky got really dark. Come to find out that our monoslope cattle barn, which houses over 90% of our feed lot cattle was gone. We had high winds that took it off the foundation.”

He says the 9-year-old barn was the only thing damaged, but it left 550 head of steers without shelter.

“Three different farms in the area are able to hold our herd. Between those three farms and some good family and friends, we’ve been able to get the get the livestock moved, get fences put up and keep animals well taken care of.”

Hartke says while tighter margins and higher construction prices are a concern moving forward, “The plan is to rebuild the structure as it was on the existing site and use these other building sites temporarily until we can get moved back home. We really enjoy raising steers and don’t want to quit now.”

Hartke and his family also grow 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat and contract feed 4400 head of hogs in Effingham County.  

*Photo provided by the Hartke family*

Interview with Alex Hartke

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