100,000th Golden Filter Represents Improved Herd Health, Four Years of Hard Work

posted on Friday, August 30, 2019

It was four years ago when John Stinn saw the first filter rooms being constructed at Stockdale Sow Farm. He remembers this day because it was the same week his son, Henry, was born. “I flip through old photos on my phone and it’s Henry, then a filter dormer, then Henry, then a filter dormer,” he laughs. Now that his son just celebrated his fourth birthday, he recognized how fast Iowa Select Farms has moved to protect the herd from airborne pig diseases, such as PRRS.


“We were testing out the filtration and ventilation technology at Stockdale to establish the right design and figure things out,” recalls John. Iowa Select Farms already had one positively-filtered boar stud and one negatively-filtered sow farm—5,000 filters in the system.

But the idea of easing into the adoption of the newest filtration technology never quite happened, though. Within weeks of Stockdale breaking ground on the dormers, John was helping design filtration systems for five more farms designated for remodel, then laying the groundwork for the new sow farms and gene transfer center Iowa Select Farms had planned.

John and his team of Zach Schumacher and James Allison keep track of every single filter—when they were installed, exact make/model/spec and perform regular testing to ensure proper filtration and airflow. And one filter at Upland Sow Farm happened to be the 100,000th filter, which John painted gold to celebrate the occasion during the recent open house.


John says the effort takes a small army, and Ben Smith, Jeremy Andersen, John Putney and many others in production, purchasing, warehousing, transportation, health services and construction gave a lot of their time and expertise to the effort.

“The gains we’ve seen in filtration have benefited the health and productivity of the pigs and the air quality in the barns,” said John. “Jeff Hansen had a vision for what productivity could be and the courage to make a significant investment in this technology, and he’s to thank for having the faith in all of us to get it right.”