At Iowa Select Farms, it's more than a company… it's like a family

posted on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Our employee family is 1,000 members strong, plus another dedicated team of 300 pork producers who provide pig care at our finishing farms throughout Iowa. Because finishing farms are smaller in size and spread out across 40 counties, our supervisors partner with area pork producers to provide excellent pig care that is specialized around the wean-to-finish or grow-finish production stage.

Earlier this year you met contractors Jeremy and Sheri, and tonight we introduce you to Seth, another member of our contracting team who oversees the pig care at the Hoelscher and Keller finishing sites, both located near Hubbard.

When we visited with Seth, we caught him reminiscing about his past. “My passion for animals goes clear back to my Grandpa. He had a farrow-to-finish operation that I worked on. Since then, I’ve always enjoyed being around and caring for animals.” He continued, “Taking care of the pigs at these two sites works out great because it allows me the time and flexibility to do something else that I enjoy.”

In addition to managing both sites, Seth works full time at the Eldora Training School for Boys, a facility that provides rehabilitation programs and individual care plans that helps troubled young men transition back to their communities. Because being a finishing contractor allows for flexibility, Seth can complete his pig chores in the early morning, late afternoon or evening, an arrangement many contractors appreciate. “I spend several hours at each site every day to walk the pens, provide treatment and make sure all of the pigs have access to air, feed and water at all times, but it still allows me plenty of time to spend with my family. In many ways, it’s like I’m my own boss. I can work a variety of hours that are convenient for me as long as the job gets done and the animals are well-cared for. My supervisor, Kevin, checks in quite often and gives me the support that I need, but the amount of independence that I have in this role is great.”

And it’s a family affair for Seth. His father, Larry, is an employee of Iowa Select Farms and manages a gilt development unit located near Iowa Falls. Larry has been employed for nearly 15 years. “At Iowa Select Farms, it’s more than a company… it’s like a family. Quite literally for me, I guess. I was with another farmer who raised hogs in the area, but when this opportunity opened up, it seemed like the perfect fit.” Seth continued, “I appreciate being able to supplement my full-time income through this partnership. The technology that Iowa Select is implementing into their barns is top-notch. The company is very committed to keeping their sites well-maintained and advanced. They do a lot to maintain their leadership and positive influence in the industry and that’s important to me and motivates me to provide these animals with the absolute best care possible.”

“When I get asked about my contribution to the ‪#‎billionpounds‬ goal, it really comes down to me being at the site every day caring for these pigs the best that I can. From biosecurity and production well-being, to treatment protocols and load-in/out procedures, a lot of what helps me succeed is simply following the SOPs that the company has put in place for us. Do I think the #billionpounds goal is big? Yeah, I think we all do. But that’s what makes it exciting. The challenge of doing better and producing more than ever before. But like I said, we’ve got the resources and technology to make it happen.” #billionpounds