Andrew Riniker is Excited and Appreciative for Cheers
“When we have a new person join us, we all work to help find a good spot for them in our family,” said Andrew Riniker, manager of Hastings Boar Stud, and now Cheers. “Then we all work together to help not just the new person get better, but the whole team.”
Andrew started out his career dairying in Illinois. His passion for livestock drew him to Iowa in 1996, to be a part of what Iowa Select Farms was building. Because of his experience in breeding, he started as the assistant at the mini-stud at Rout Sow Farm (Sow 2).
In 2000, he was offered the manager position at Hastings. “I remember I was nervous because I was so young and it was a big responsibility,” recalls Andrew. “But we were all young and new, and we figured it out. Now we’ve grown up together as a family.”
Andrew oversees the day-to-day operations, plus staffing the 11-person team, training and ensuring the right and best biosecurity protocols are in place and executed.
“Andy is an exceptional planner,” said Brian Qualley, Gene Transfer Center Supervisor. “Often thinking of upcoming hurdles weeks ahead to have a plan. He and his crew have always been up for the challenge of additional doses as the company grows.”
The whole team at Hastings, Hefner, and now Cheers, pride themselves on low turnover. “Our core has been extremely stable,” said Andrew. “I think it’s because we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we’re cross trained to where everyone can pretty much do everything.”
Andrew says the next few weeks and months will be challenging, but he’s confident in his team’s ability to make the transition go smoothly. “We know what we have to do, it’s all down to the execution of getting the boars in and getting them settled in comfortably,” he said.
After the transition, he’s excited to see the production performance improvements take shape. “In the middle of this hectic time, we have to stop to think that Mr. Hansen has given us the opportunity to start up and run a high functioning, state-of-the-art stud right here in our hometown."
Andrew and his team are both excited and appreciative. "We’re ready to unlock the potential and see what’s possible in terms of being more efficient, driving genetic improvement and increasing the quality of the semen going out to the farms," said Andrew. "Being a part of this has been rewarding.”