DeKalb Swine Breeders
Image Courtesy of Karen Kruse
2045 Aberdeen Court, Sycamore.
DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (WWW.DAAHA.ORG) and The Illinois State Historical Society
DeKalb swine breeders grew from the shared vision of two companies, Lubbock Swine Breeders Inc. (LSB) of Lubbock, Texas, and DeKalb AgResearch, Inc. (DeKalb) of DeKalb, Illinois, that synergistically combined to transform agriculture. LSB began developing its total confinement system for large-scale hog production in the early 1960s. The average inventory of a U.S. hog farm was only 50 hogs. LSB principals Euel Liner and Roy Poage developed a new, unique system of producing hogs in large numbers in total confinement. This innovative system carefully controlled all aspects of the rearing environment, from conception through maturity. Following its success in boosting yields through hybridization of corn, chickens, and sorghum, DeKalb embarked on hybridizing swine production in 1968. But it became apparent that controlling disease was critical to produce hogs in large numbers. DeKalb identified LSB as the nation’s leading producer of swine breeding stock, with its proprietary confinement system. DeKalb and LSB principals met in 1971, concluding there was clear business logic for a merger. In 1972, LSB and DeKalb merged their swine businesses into DeKalb Swine Breeders (DSB) with Roy Poage as president. Within 15 years, DSB, headquartered here, became a world leader in swine breeding. In the process DSB transformed the U.S. swine industry. By 2005, average inventory per farm increased 18-fold to 900 hogs, as swine producers adopted the total confinement techniques first developed by LSB, then refined and expanded by DSB.
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