Luke Tjelmeland has always been the "neighborhood kid" — prepared to help when the need arises.
Those neighbors Luke has helped along the way showed their support of their neighborhood kid during an open house held last week at the newly constructed 105-by-310-foot pig barn. The wean-to-finish barn near Nevada will house up to 4,600 head.
"He would come over and do some mowing for us, and he was always the kid in the neighborhood that people would call and say, ‘We’re leaving. Can you check our house or can you mow for us?’" said Loren Book, a neighbor to Luke and his wife, Krista.
"If anybody needs help, I’ve always tried my best to be there in the dirt, mud, anything helping them," Luke, 24, said.
When the Tjelmelands decided to pursue their passion for pork, they were advised to call Kent Mowrer, senior field coordinator for the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) for guidance. In January, the three met to discuss the correct location for the 4,600-head capacity barn.