URBANA, Ill. - The University of Illinois plans to use
a $251,000 grant presented by the state attorney
general's office Thursday to test techniques and
technology to control hog farm odors. 
"Finding solutions to reduce emissions that are both
effective and cost-effective and won't reduce the
competitiveness of our swine industry in Illinois is
obviously of critical importance to swine producers.
It's also of importance to people who live near swine
facilities," said Michael Ellis, an animal sciences
professor at the university, who is leading the

The grant comes from an antitrust settlement reached
in 2000 with several vitamin manufacturers accused of
fixing prices, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said at a
news conference on the university's Urbana campus.

Some of the vitamins included in the lawsuit were used
for animal feed, so it is appropriate to use some of
the settlement money to help solve animal industry
problems, she said.

"As we have a growing number of hog farms and as we
have a growing number of people living near those hog
farms, there are some problems that arise," she said.
"To the extent that we are able to protect the
environment and protect individuals' quality of life
all at the same time, this money is going to go toward
funding that."

The grant will provide the money needed to test new
products and technology being promoted for controlling
the foul odors that often come from hog farms on a
much larger scale than can be done in a laboratory or
at the university's own research farms south of
Urbana, Ellis said.

"We can show that something works on the South Farms
here, but it's a long step from there to making sure
it operates fully at a commercial operation," he said.

The university is working with the Illinois Pork
Producers Association on the project and has
established a "Discovery Farm" at a 12,000-pig
wean-to-finish hog operation near McLean to conduct
the research. Other discovery farms are being planned,
Ellis said.

The McLean farm is owned by The Maschhoffs Inc., a
Carlyle-based farm management firm, and has nine
identical hog barns, which will allow researchers to
repeat their testing under identical conditions,
leading to more accuracy, said Bradley Wolter, the
company's production technology director.

"This gives us a little more robust conclusion," he

The grant is the second the attorney general's office
has made to the college to test swine-odor technology.
A project conducted by Ellis between 2002 and 2004 in
Henderson County "has resulted in good information and
improvements that can be made," Madigan said.

"We know that we're working with a partner who will do
what he says he's going to do and it will be a benefit
to the environment, the people who live near those
facilities and the producers themselves," she said.


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