Sow Barn a Good Way to Diversify

Joel Overskei and his family own and operate two finishing barns near Nunda, SD, which is about 20 miles southwest of Brookings. From these barns, they send around 15,000 head of hogs to market annually. The Overskeis get all of their pigs from the Fox Run sow barn near Parker, which was completed and began operating in 2013.

“We’re really happy to have a good, reliable source of pigs that are healthy,” says Joel of the Fox Run facility. “It’s been a big help to know where our pigs are coming from.”

The Overskei family has farmed south of Volga for quite a few years. “My family homesteaded not far from where we live now,” says Joel. “We’ve continued to farm, and have grown over the years.”

Joel and his wife Donna married in 1979, and raised four children. The couple’s three daughters live in the Sioux Falls area and their son Clint came back to farm with them in 2003, after graduating from South Dakota State University with a degree in agronomy. Today, Joel and Donna, Clint and his wife, Brandi, and full-time employee Kevin Gross make up the staff of this diversified farming operation. “We farm about 4,000 acres,” says Joel. “The majority is corn and soybeans.”


At one time, Clint custom-fed pigs for Pipestone Management and bought other pigs on the open market. Then, in 2012, the Overskeis had an opportunity to buy into the Fox Run barn.

“We’ve obviously made a long-term commitment buying into this sow unit,” says Joel of the future, “but we wanted to be diversified in our farming operation, and this seemed like a good way to do that.”

Editor’s Note: Joel and Donna Overskei entered a new phase of their lives in 2013. They went from having zero grandchildren to having five—all in one year.