Chawn Receives Finishing Top Honor

posted on Monday, May 17, 2021

Chawn SP
“It’s the strong sense of community that makes this work so well,” said Chawn McGrath, finishing supervisor for Iowa Select Farms. “Not just the towns and where we live, but our Iowa Select Farms community, too. We help each other out, we’re there for one another.”

A supervisor for five years, Chawn recently clenched the Overall Finishing Supervisor title in the Select Pride program. Meaning, the performance of all his finishing farms collectively ranked the highest in the company. Marketing performance, low mortality and production well-being assessment scores objectively drive the ranking results.

But Chawn’s no stranger to the program, Chawn and his team of growers have achieved nine quarterly top ten spots (four of which were number one spots) and now two overall “top supervisor” awards –in 2018 and 2020.

He works with 14 different managers across 23 farms, all located within a three-county area. Most of his farms are through Mitchell and Howard county, though two dip down into Bremer county.

“Chawn takes great care to make sure his managers have what they need to do their jobs well,” said Tom, senior finishing supervisor. “He understands what happens at the barn level is the most critical, and he stays ahead of his teams so they are set up for success.”

The weaned pigs that flow into Chawn’s finishing farms don’t travel far. They were born at Thorsen (Sow 24) and Erickson (Sow 23) sow farms, which also employ his co-workers and friends in the community.

He’ll admit he’s been lucky to be on the receiving end of PRRS-negative pigs, which give him an advantage. “He could easily set the cruise control,” said Ron, director of finishing and transportation. “But that’s not enough for him, and cruise control doesn’t drive the company forward. He is always pushing himself and others around him to get better.”

Chawn says his managers are great to work with, and the ones who make it happen. “They know what they are doing, they know what to look for—they’re a talented, and dependable and pay attention to the details. Most importantly, they have tremendous pride in what they do.”