Casey: Use Feedback to Get Better

posted on Thursday, October 6, 2022

Casey in an empty farm leaning on a pen

“The best part of working at a boar stud site is knowing that it all starts here,” shared Casey Still, an animal caretaker at Cheers gene transfer center (GTC).

At Iowa Select Farms, these GTC farms are vital to the success of the rest of the farms--they provide the paternal genetic material needed for every new litter of piglets.

Casey says it’s important to stay focused on the care they give the boars. She also understands that they have to stay healthy.

No secret to anyone that boars, at times, can be tough to move. She says she likes that the farm has cameras that capture footage of biosecurity processes and boar handling.

“We get feedback on how we can do things better for the boars, safer for the caretakers and more biosecure for everyone,” said Casey.

Iowa Select Farms has 667 video surveillance cameras across all GTCs, sow farms and filtered gilt developers (GDUs) to facilitate additional biosecurity and animal handling compliance monitoring.

Video surveillance reviews are conducted at least six times a year. Two of the six reviews are incorporated into the on-farm assessment.

“The video footage is an amazing tool for the farm and can be utilized to identify gaps in our training,” said Andy Riniker, the manager at Cheers. “We want to enable our caretakers to thrive and learn, and video surveillance is just one more tool we can use for training and education.

Any day of the week, supervisors can tune into the Cheers farm footage and see Casey and the team handle the animals. This makes her feel confident that she’s doing the right things the right way.

 “It’s important to me that the farm keeps improving. Good boar health and care means we’re sending the best genetic material to the sow farms, setting everyone else up for success. We have to get this right,” said Casey.