Steven Loveday of Neosho, Missouri started Lil L Farm. Contributed Photo.
Contributed Photo

Hometown: Neosho, Mo.

Family: Daughters Grayson and Ebony

In Town: Steven Loveday has been in education for 25 years. He has been an agriculture education instructor and FFA advisor for 24 years and spent one year as a counselor. He is currently an ag teacher in the East Newton School District and has also worked in the Southwest and Greenfield school districts. 

“Everyday is different,” he said of his years in education. Steven currently teaches Exploring Ag (a junior high class), and ag construction, ag structures and ag 2 at the high school level.  

In the Country: Steven started Lil L Farm to spend more time with his daughters.

“In the life of an ag teacher, you’re always raising someone else’s kids, and yours can kind of get neglected,” Steven said. “We started with some feeder pigs as a 4-H project. We always liked the pig shows, so we thought we would start our own thing.”

Steven had never raised pigs, so getting into show animals was a new experience.

“My brother and I used to background calves,” he explained. “We would run 100 to 200 calves at a time. Back in high school and college, it was horses, so the feeder pigs were the maiden voyage.”

Steven said he tried to keep five or less sows, due to time constraints, but daughter Ebony has prompted the operation to expand. 

“She wanted to raise more pigs and offer more pigs for kids to show,” he said. “It’s ironic because she wants to show more sheep and goats, but she wants to raise pigs. We will have 13 litters for the spring show season.”

The Lovedays like Durocs and crossbred pigs, and have some Yorkshire and Chester White females.

“I just like good pigs,” he said. “When you have a good mating, it really doesn’t matter what color it is.”

Sows and gilts are bred via AI, which Steven said is the most economical and provides the greatest diversity of genetics. 

“There is no way you can afford to go and buy the level of genetics you can access with AI; some of these boars are $400,000 now,” Steven explained. “We might be using 10 different boars, and we wouldn’t be able to buy that many boars.”

Future plans: While Lil L Farm is focused on quality show pig production, there is another side, of the farm. 

“I expect we will expand and have a multi-species operation. We’re getting the genetics we want, and people know the kinds of hogs we raise, but Ebony likes the sheep and goats. We started with some Southdowns and have been fortunate with the wether goats the last couple of years, so we will probably have a flock of those as well. It will kind of be unique to have multi-species show stock because they are each different.”


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