Congratulations to Brody, Ed Minnick and Bob Sobotka for Their SelectPride Achievements

posted on Monday, July 15, 2019

"We take a lot of pride in the pigs we produce because they are the future of Iowa Select’s herd,” said multiplication grower manager, Brody Abell. “Our goal is to always be in the top five with both farms. Anything after that is just an added bonus.”

Congratulations to Brody, Ed Minnick and Bob Sobotka for claiming both the first AND second place SelectPride spots last quarter! Together, the three are responsible for the daily care of nearly 9,000 gilts.

“Our goal is to produce the best possible pigs we can for the GDUs,” continued Brody. “If we get the first place spot, awesome, but it doesn’t change the way we do anything in the barns.”

Like most farms, days for Brody, Ed and Bob start with a morning meeting to set an action plan. At Roger North and South, no one has specific responsibilities—they complete every task as a team.

“We all go out first thing and do our main walk through,” said Ed. “We check food, water, fans and make sure everyone is up and at ‘em. Then we’ll do any necessary treatments together and extra stuff like cleaning off bin pads and sorting pigs. Then it’s off to the next barn to do it all again.”

Brody has managed both farms since 2017, but started in 2007 under his Dad, Randy, at Cooper #1 GDU. In 2016 he took over Patel nursery as manager, then Howard, Dolecheck and finally landed at Roger North and South earlier last year.

“We’re all very different, but work really well as a team,” said Brody. “Ed is very observant and makes sure that everything is done the way it needs to be, even if that means more of his time. He is also great with repairs, so if something’s broke and I’m not there, I know Ed can take care of it.”

Brody, Bob, and Ed

Although he hasn’t been at Iowa Select Farms as long as Ed (4 years) and Brody (12 years), Bob has impressed his team in a short period of time.

“Bob is by far one of the best new-hires I’ve ever worked with,” said Brody. “He grew up on a farm and animal husbandry is second nature to him. He’s by far exceeded any expectations that I had.”

Of course, when you’re a well-oiled machine like Brody, Ed and Bob it’s not all work all the time.

“I’ve always said work is never fun if all you’re doing is working,” chuckled Brody. “We sit around and talk about how everybody’s day was and what’s going on outside of work. We’re not just there for work, we’re there because we actually enjoy what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with.”

Select Pride awards for multiplication nurseries and growers are based on mortality, production well-being, biosecurity assessments and supervisor site visit scores. According to Shamus Brown, director of multiplication, last quarter’s multiplication grower award winners were all very close, with less than 10 points separating the top winners.

“Our teams do a great job making it hard to snag the first place spot,” he said. “It’s a team effort and this crew especially does a great job with animal observation and care. It’s important to reward them for their accomplishments because it’s no small feat.”

Congratulations to Brody, Ed and Bob on your SelectPride win. Keep up the great work!

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