Congrats to Mike Wachlin on 15 Years!
Congratulations to Michael for celebrating 15 years with Iowa Select Farms!
A native of the “Iron Range” (Duluth, MN-area), Mike made his way to Northeast Iowa through way of the Twin Cities. A bonafide country boy “born in the sticks”, he loved the idea of working in agriculture, away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life. He joined our team in 2005 and has been working on farms in northeast Iowa ever since.
“I love that no two weeks are the same in this role,” he said. “One week I may be working on feed lines and the next I’m welding crates. There’s a weekly, and evenly daily, variance that I’ve come to know and love.”
If you know Mike, you’ll know that he’s as outgoing as the come. In fact, it’s what he loves most about his job—getting to do maintenance while working alongside some great people.
“There’s not one individual in this company I wouldn’t want to sit down and have a beer with,” he joked. “The employees are by far my favorite part of this job. Everybody I talk to is just awesome.”
As a repair and maintenance technician, Mike supports a majority of the sow farms, nurseries, finishers and gilt developers in northeast Iowa. In addition to maintenance, his job description includes a variety of others things from hydrocleaning and environmental maintenance on finishers to being the delivery guy.
Mike even spent a few years managing some finisher farms. “They decided to bring me on as a farm manager because they were having a lot of pit issues,” he recalled. “They realized I was better off in maintenance because I was doing more fixing than anything else.”
For as long as he can remember, Mike has been fixing things and collecting antiques. But with a Dad who was both an implement dealer an auctioneer, can you really blame him? When he’s not at work, Mike enjoys traveling to antique shows with his daughter, Ahna. Over the years, he’s collected more than 150 Aladdin-style lamps.
“They’re the one thing I can’t pass up,” he said. “I was raised around antiquing and can’t stand to see historical items go to waste. If I haven’t seen an antique, it probably doesn’t exist.”
In addition to antiquing with his daughter, Mike enjoys dirt biking and spending time with his wife, Janelle and their son, Luke.
Like many employees, Mike has experienced a tremendous amount of change over the years. For him, some of the most impacted areas have been biosecurity and animal well-being.
“As a maintenance technician, I help keep our farms running and in good shape to best serve our employees and animals,” he said. “I see every day the type of care that our animals receive and it makes me proud to work for a company that really takes it seriously. Our employees do an awesome job of caring for our pigs.”
With the exception of a move to London—Minnesota, that is—Mike doesn’t foresee any big changes in his life, neither personally or professionally.
“My son thinks I’m too old to be doing wheelies on the dirt bike, but I’m not so sure about that,” he joked. “I’m really content right now, both in life and at work. I feel lucky to have a great job that I love and don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.”
Congrats on 15 years, Mike! Keep rocking the dirt bike and maintenance tickets. We’re grateful to have someone as fun and optimistic as you on our team.