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Serving: MO

A look inside a young farmer’s cattle barn

A childlike vision becomes a reality as a cattlewoman designs and builds a working facility.

Back in grade school, Larna Schnitker doodled designs for a cattle-handling facility on the back of her homework. Two years ago, she put the final touches on her childhood dream at the family farm near Middletown, Mo.

When she was only 8, Schnitker visited a cattle operation outside of Paris, Mo. “They invested a lot of money in their barn,” she says. “We even had to wear shoe protectors over our boots to go in, so that is going to stick with you when you’re that young.”

The barn design did have staying power in her mind. By 12, she was crafting her own designs. “I had so many pieces of papers with drawings on them,” Schnitker recalls. “I’d keep adding or taking away ideas until, finally, I had one I liked.”

In 2015, the family began turning her design into a reality. “If you added up all the steel in the building, it would be about 9 miles long,” she says. “And we did all the welding ourselves.”

Schnitker found it was a whole lot cheaper than buying a barn system. “We could build three times the size of the building for half the price,” she says.

The photo gallery offers a look and a little more insight into this young farmer’s design.

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