Slykhuis Farms has always fed some cattle out to a finishing state. This has generally been on a small scale, until 2012. We had pushed our genetics far enough and made a decision that we needed more return from our calves than just feeder calf prices. We considered expanding the outside lots. This was going to be costly while staying in compliance with EPA guidelines. We would also be left with the same issues we have had in the past with the weather. Southern Illinois has all the resources to feed cattle, but the soil and climate can be a real challenge. The farm made the decision to establish an indoor feeding facility. This is a Monoslope barn built by Summit Livestock that consists of dry pack bedding. The facility was constructed according to EPA rules and guidelines. This is one of the smartest decisions our farm has made. This move gave us a “Birth to Harvest” type of operation that is more sustainable. It gives us better marketing opportunities and more control of our returns. It is amazing what the genetics can do when we can control the environment. The barn is bedded with sawdust or cornstalks. The compost is spread back on the fields to cut back on fertilizer costs.   


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