Home > Uncategorized > Cejka is One of County’s Big Hog Producers

Cejka is One of County’s Big Hog Producers

Source: “Cejka is One of County’s Big Hog Producers,” unidentified newspaper article, from the papers of Dorothy L. Hannigan.

One of Pocahontas county’s most successful hog raisers through the years has been R.R. CEJKA of Marshall township.  This 47-year-old “Farmer of the Week” operates 320 acres on his home place two miles west and one mile north of Ware.

Ordinarily CEJKA raises from 500 to 800 head of hogs a year.  He had 350 spring pigs this year and 35 sows farrowing in September and October for fall litters.  He has Hampshires and crosses them with Durocs and Chester Whites.  “Bob” keeps the straight Hamps for crossing.

Hogs and cattle used to be the “mainstays” of CEJKA’s farming operations.  Ill health has forced him to ease up a bit.  He no longer feeds cattle at all.  For the same reason he has his spring pigs later – in May, June, and July – after the rush.

To take the place of the cattle, “Bob” is now working into a sheep program.  This is his first year in sheep and he admits that he didn’t get too good a start.  He bought some Montana ewes last February with only fair results.  This May, however, he got 220 lambs from 169 ewes.  He thought he would be able to get two crops of lambs from the ewes, but now thinks differently.  This, plus the fact that several of the ewes were unable to lamb, accounts for “Bobs” belief that his sheep project is off to only a “fair” start.

Besides the lambs from the ewes, each ewe produced $6.80 this spring in wool.

The CEJKAs have lived on the present farm for the past 15 years.  “Bob” was born on the old home place, thus has lived in the county all of his life.  Most of the improvements on the place have been added during that 15-year span.  These include a new home, built about 12 years ago, cattle sheds, barns  feed lots, woven wire fencing on the entire farm and many other conveniences for large scale livestock operations.

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The farm is one of the most productive in the county, largely because of CEJKA’s livestock operations, his rotation plans and his use of fertilizer.  In addition to commercial fertilizers and that from his own livestock, “Bob” applies to his land all the waste from the Hakes’ poultry plant at Laurens.

On his other farms, “Bob” follows a three-year rotation plan.  On the farm he occupies, he has 125 acres of corn, 50 acres of beans, 80 acres of oats and the rest in hayland and pasture.  He has no set rotation plan for the home place because of its high fertility.  He plants what works best according to his livestock needs and what suits the soil best.

In addition to the livestock, Mrs. CEJKA maintains a flock of 400 chickens.  She and the children usually take care of them.

Mr. and Mrs. CEJKA have eight children: John, who is married and currently majoring in Physics at Iowa State college; Alice Rae, who is Mrs. Glenn NELSON of Albert City; Robert, James, Dorothy, Joe, Ronald and Ralph.

Their favorite hobby is fishing.  This summer Mr. and Mrs. CEJKA and three of the children spent four weeks fishing in Canada.

“Bob” has always taken an active part in the affairs of his community.  He has been president of the Pocahontas County Rural Electric cooperative since its organization in 1936.  He has also served as a director of the Corn Belt Power cooperative and the old Central Electric Federated cooperative since their organization.  He was a school board director for 18 years, a member of his Laurens church board, served on the Soil Conservation committee for 3 years after its organization.

We interviewed “Bob” while he was repainting his house and trimming the storm windows and screens.  All the buildings on the place are gray now, but eventually he hopes to repaint them white, like the house.  “Bob” is shown in the accompanying picture beside one of the 1,500 evergreens he has planted around his farmstead.  In the background are some of his feed lots and cattle barns.

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