Always look for someone who played sports in school

posted on Monday, February 15, 2016

We’ll never forget Kevin’s response when we overheard a brand new recruiter ask what qualities make a great employee. “Always look for someone who played sports in school, because they let themselves be coached and developed, and know how to get along on a team.”

Kevin started nine years ago as a sow farm tech at Wright Sow Farm, quickly working his way up to farrowing department head. After three years, a position opened in finishing and Kevin transferred. A finishing supervisor ever since, Kevin supervises eight farm managers who oversee 19 sites around the Eldora and Hubbard areas. “I work with really good people, they work hard and do a great job,” he said.

A few weeks ago Kevin was honored as the 2015 SelectPride Top Finishing Supervisor, taking the number one spot after consecutively finishing in the top ten list for all four quarters.

“One thing I enjoy about going to Kevin’s sites is that everything he can control is taken care of,” said Ron, Kevin’s supervisor who oversees the eastern Iowa finishing region. “There is never anything out of place and there are no surprises.”

There are 25 finishing supervisors throughout the finishing territory, each overseeing around 70,000 pig spaces. To earn SelectPride status they have to perform well in average daily gain and feed efficiency, mortality and marketing, along with meeting other goals around biosecurity and production well-being.

"Kevin keeps his managers well informed with not only the pigs they are receiving but how their performance lines up with company targets and goals, making sure they are part of the team,” said Ron. “And Kevin is not only able to keep track of his own sites and flows, but he also has the uncanny ability to track flows across the system which makes him a valuable resource for the finishing team.”

Kevin passes the credit to his team, and a few key efforts have helped everyone stay on top of things. The first is the attention his managers are giving to the newly placed pigs, and Kevin makes every effort to be at as many sites the same time they are. “I do my best to get in the pens and work alongside the managers because it’s a great time to teach and coach, and I never ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”

Kevin was also quick to give the credit to his fellow supervisors too. “Ron really stresses the importance of helping each other out, because we all have strengths and weaknesses and having a second set of eyes on your barns keeps you from overlooking something.” said Kevin.

“I think the thing I most enjoy about working with Kevin is that I can’t remember a single time that he’s said ‘sorry I don’t have time’ when it comes to helping out a team member,” said Ron.

“The work ebbs and flows,” said Kevin. “Sometimes it seems daunting, then it gets easier, and that’s when you go, and you help the others out.” ‪#‎billionpounds‬