(BERESFORD, SD) - Darin Larson and his two older brothers have been farming together since 1987. They all have their different strengths. Darin found his with hogs.
He raises pigs in Beresford, South Dakota just down the road from his brothers' dairy farm. The three run Larson Brothers Dairy. After getting a taste of raising hogs, Darin realized the job was for him.
"I've always been fascinated with pigs from an early age. It's just very rewarding from both conception to the dinner plate," said Darin Larson.
Darin Larson knows a thing or two about getting pigs ready for your dinner plate. He's been tending to hogs for more than 20 years.
"With two older siblings that were part of the dairy, it just gave me the chance to take charge of this end of the enterprise, I guess, on my own," said Larson.
It all started after he graduated high school.
"I worked on a hog farm for two years and a gentleman really showed me the ropes and just increased my passion for the hog industry. And after going to college for that one year, I pursued my dream," explained Larson.
Although Darin grew up around dairy cattle, little piglets caught his attention.
"It's really rewarding to see a healthy litter of pigs suckling on her mother. It's just a reward for all the hard work that goes into it," said Larson.
You can see that hard work at his brand new barn to hold his hogs.
"It should increase the profitability. We have access to the manure now. It is increasing the value all the time. Our own labor can go into it now versus somebody else's labor and, it builds equity," said Larson.
Not to mention the new technology that came with the barn: an automatic sorter system.
"It'll weigh that pig. And if it's heavy enough to go to market, it's gonna release it out this front gate," explained Larson as he showed the system. "If it's too light, it's gonna exit out this side gate here and that'll keep looping around the barn until it reaches that desired weight your looking for where they'll exit out the front."
Technology aside, it's still a tough job. However, Darin says it's all worth it in the end.
"It's a hard grind. It's seven days a week, 10 hours a day a lot of times. I guess it's just rewarding at the end of the day to produce that good product that the consumer demands. It's a good feeling to be able to do that," said Larson.