Bryce: Feedback at the Farm Helps Teams Get Better

posted on Thursday, October 6, 2022

Bryce standing inside hog barn

“At our farm, we use the production well-being assessments to see where we need to improve,” said Bryce Padgett, the Wood gilt development unit (GDU) manager. “It’s an opportunity to grow our knowledge, implement new habits and increase consistency.”

Every year, all 800 farms at Iowa Select Farms receive an unannounced annual production well-being assessment that serves as a tool to ensure compliance with animal care practices. These internal animal care assessments are designed to cover all major areas of the Common Swine Industry Audit. This industry program allows packers and customers to verify that a pork production site complies with established standards for swine care and pre-harvest pork safety.

In addition to internal production well-being assessments, we also use independent third-party audits and the expertise of our Production Well-Being Advisory Committee to assess areas for growth. The committee provides valuable input on all areas of animal care and consists of multiple industry leaders from various respected organizations. The third-party audits offer each farm a fresh perspective with individualized visits.

“These programs enforce our role as animal caretakers entrusted to provide quality care to our pigs,” said Bryce. “We’re all proud of our important role in producing food and want to be the best we can be.”

Bryce understands how vital these audits and assessments are to ensuring proper pig care, so he works hard to ensure he meets and often exceeds their requirements. This dedication paid off recently when he achieved 100% proficiency on his farm’s biosecurity assessment. However, he didn’t stop there. Bryce routinely uses assessment feedback to improve his farm, taking detailed notes so he can quickly implement new ideas.

“The biosecurity assessment is good because we get to sit down and chat about the smaller things,” explained Bryce. “For example, we might forget to wash boots daily or skip the Swiffer after sweeping the bench entry area. When the assessment is done, you get a lot of clarification and get your team on the same page. That’s when you truly see growth and improvement.”

Bryce has been working with pigs since high school, and although the industry has expanded and certain practices have changed, one constant has been the importance of maintaining a growth mindset. That applies to everything from animal care to building a culture of teamwork on a farm.

“Working at Iowa Select Farms is an opportunity for me to grow and advance in the industry,” said Bryce. “I was hired into a management position, and it’s allowed me to grow in my people and leadership skills.”

Those leadership skills, paired with his growth mindset, have made Bryce and his team champions of the high-quality animal care that is the standard at Iowa Select Farms. The hard work of farms like these translates directly into top-notch animal care and contributes to the company’s culture of promoting pig livability.