Congratulations to Bill Foley on 20 years with Iowa Select Farms

posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Bill Foley

Congratulations to Bill Foley on 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!

Bill grew up in Colo, Iowa. His first job out of high school was working as a farmhand for a local family farmer raising pigs and helping in their row crop operation. He smiles when he says, “I was somewhat of a misfit, and would probably have stayed that way if not for this family taking me in and encouraging me to go to college.” At 26, he enrolled at DMACC and then Drake University to pursue an accounting degree. Shortly after, he passed the CPA exam.

Bill spent 8 ½ years at McGladrey (now RSM)—a CPA firm in Des Moines, with a fifteen month stint in the middle at Premium Standard Farms in Missouri. In 1999, he came to Iowa Select Farms as controller and then moved into the role of Chief Financial Officer in 2004.

While Bill jokes that he’s “still just the guy in the corner office,” last year he moved into overseeing special projects for Iowa Select Farms. He wanted to keep contributing to the company but also focus on starting up his own CPA practice right across the street—something he had always aspired to do.

Looking back, Bill says it’s been the challenges that have been the most rewarding.

He said the first year with Iowa Select Farms marked the end of the “phase one” of sow growth, with the final touches going on Cartwright Sow Farm (Sow 22) near Thayer. They all worked to develop farms, recruit employees and build relationships with neighboring farmers who would receive the manure.

That same year marked the purchase of the “TIP” production system in Mitchell and Howard County. Those farms pushed Iowa Select Farms sow base to 100,000. In 2004, more growth added another 42,000. A few more farms have been purchased along the way and the most recent growth now has Iowa Select Farms at over 240,000 sows.

While Bill’s led the finance, risk management and accounting team through the years, he’s also played a big role in site development, contractor relations, information technology, human resources and safety.

And if you had the time, he could walk you through about every obstacle this company has faced over the last twenty years. “Farming is a tough business. It’s challenging, dynamic and throws a lot of sucker punches.”

He says overcoming those challenges has been a very rewarding experience. “As a team we took each one head on and somehow managed to succeed.”

Bill takes a lot of pride in being part of the management team that has gotten Iowa Select Farms to where it’s at today and looks forward to watching it grow well into the future. Bill will tell you--it’s an excellent place to work, has an excellent benefits for its employees and can be extremely rewarding and challenging for those willing to make the effort.

And he's never forgotten his roots—Bill's been crop farming for years while juggling a full-time job and family life. While so much in agriculture has changed over his years of service to Iowa Select Farms, one thing’s always for certain—like all farmers, he’s ready to get in the field!