Chad Bolinger Celebrates 20 Years with Iowa Select Farms
Congratulations to Chad Bolinger for celebrating 20 years with Iowa Select Farms! Although he’s a Lenox native and Diagonal resident, his passion for agriculture took him all the way to Stillwater, Oklahoma to pursue a career in animal science and business at Oklahoma State University. After graduation, Chad got a call from his cousin and Iowa Select Farms employee, Virgil Bolinger, to come work at his farm. Spoiler alert—he’s been here ever since.
“My first job was at Rasmussen but within a week, I was at Blanchard taking care of PRRS positive hogs by myself,” he chuckled. “I was definitely on a fast-track, but I enjoyed the work. I’ve always enjoyed working with animals.”
For the pasts 20 years Chad has remained on the GDU side of things and for him, things haven’t changed all that much.
“As far as raising hogs go, that part hasn’t changed much. Animal care has always been our top priority,” he said. “And although I don’t work on a filtered farm, I know that’s been a big focus for the company because of the improvements it’s had on animal health. The company’s always been pretty progressive at implementing new technologies.”
Back in the early 2000s, Chad was a part of a breeding project before it was an extremely common term at Iowa Select Farms. He helped breed gilts for a new farm that the company was building—Ringgold Sows 28.
“It was a lot of work, but cool to know that we were helping get that farm started,” he recalled.
Today, Chad manages Stalker #1 and Stalker #2 GDUs alongside employee Dave Stringham. Chad jokes that Dave is one of the few employees he hasn’t scared away, but together they make a great duo and have even clenched a few SelectPride wins in recent quarters.
Outside of work, Chad keeps busy—very busy. He’s got 80 cow/calf pairs near Macksburg, farms just enough ground to have corn for his calves and always seems to be raking hay, fixing fix and training dogs. Most days start at 3AM and don’t end until the sun has set. Chad jokes that he uses his vacation time to rake hay and do cows.
He’s also a proud dad to Kaydyn (8), Kelsey (6) and Kelton (5) alongside his wife, Jerica. The two have been married for 10 years and try to take a break from farming once a year to enjoy a trip as a family. They also really enjoy company outings to Adventureland and the Iowa State Fair.
Speaking of family—Chad can hardly count on two hands the number of family members, whether immediate or distant cousin, that work for Iowa Select Farms.
“Whether through marriage or blood, I’ve had lots of family who’ve worked for Iowa Select through the years,” he said. “I’m thankful for a company that provides a lot of jobs in the area, myself included. I’ve made a lot of friends over the years and still got ‘em. There’s a lot to be thankful for.”
Congrats on 20 years, Chad! We appreciate all of the hard work you put forth every single day.