Alden Couple Celebrate 25 Years of Marriage and Dedication to Animal Care
posted on Saturday, February 1, 2020
Back in 1994, Tiff and Allan Schnitker were newlyweds ready to conquer the world and their new jobs at Iowa Select Farms. Over the years, they have seen technology advancements and job changes, but their care for pigs remains constant.
“When we started, I think the company had just eight sow farms,” recalled Tiff. In fact, Allan’s first farm was one of those newly built—Kielsmeier Sow 12. He joined as an animal caretaker and on his first day of work, the farm had their first-ever litter of pigs. “I suppose that really shows my age when I tell people that, but I still think it’s pretty cool,” he joked.
Allen then transferred to Miller Sow 13 as breeding department head and then to Jacobson Sow 7 as farm manager. He was there for 14 years until he left to manage his current farm, Sow 117.
He reflected on changes over the years, “When I started, farms were considered state-of-the-art, but we’ve taken things to a whole new level with positive pressure filtration.” Allan will get to experience that evolution of this technology first-hand when his farm undergoes a massive remodel in 2021.
Tiff’s first job with Iowa Select Farms was in the breeding department at Stumme Sow 3. “Back then we did not use artificial insemination,” she explained. “It was a lot more labor intensive and dangerous for the employees.”
Over the years, Tiff has held various positions including sow farm manager. Three years ago, she joined the Production Well-Being Team as an onboarding trainer where she helps with new employee orientations, on-farm training, Pork Quality Assurance and Transportation Quality Assurance certifications.
“What I love most is the different people that I get to welcome into the company,” she said. “A lot of our employees have never worked with pigs, so I try to help them and make things easy to understand.”
Tiff and Allan now have three children —Heather, Dylan and Tristan. All have been very active in school sports, 4H and FFA, which has kept them extremely busy . They are all Iowa Select Farms’ Future Ag Leader scholarship recipients. Tiff reflects that, “Our kids understand where their food comes from and communicate that to their non-Ag friends. It makes me proud to hear them speak highly of what me and their Dad do as pig farmers.”
Congratulations, Tiff and Al on 25 years of marriage and 25 years with Iowa Select Farms!
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Ashley Dyer Heads Hooper Sow Farm Farrowing Department
As the farrowing department head, Ashley and her team of Selene, Vivian, Dolly, David, Zory, Hugo, Alonzo and Yulissa—to name a few—will receive the gestating sows within a day or two of farrowing, make them comfortable, monitor health and feed intake, and then assist with birthing.