Congratulations to Darian Fisher for Celebrating 25 Years With Iowa Select Farms!
Congratulations to Darian Fisher for celebrating 25 years with Iowa Select Farms!
After working for a local farmer in high school, Darian realized at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in agriculture, specifically swine production.
“I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I did grow up in a rural town where nearly everyone was connected to farming in some way,” said Darian, in reference to his home community of Ackley. “After high school I went to Ellsworth Community College for a swine confinement course. The same course my Dad completed in the 80s.”
At Ellsworth, Darian met Darwin Miller, a swine science professor and human resources manager at Iowa Select Farms. Shortly before graduation, Miller arranged a tour of Iowa Select Farms for his students. Darian was impressed, applied for a job and—you guessed it—the rest is history.
“I never imagined working at one company for the majority of my life, yet here I am,” chuckled Darian. “25 years seems like yesterday. Time really does fly.”
Darian’s career started at Stumme Sow Farm, one of three sow farms that Iowa Select Farms had at the time. After nearly six years in the sow system, he transitioned to a new frontier for Iowa Select Farms—gilt development units.
“When I started we called them ‘acclimation barns’ and it’s where gilts were kept before entering the sow herd to ensure they weren’t carrying any disease,” he said. “I remember it was a big deal that we were going to start breeding them on site. It was the first GDU in the Iowa Select farms’ system.”
That was back in 2000, but Darian must have enjoyed it because he’s been on the GDU side of things ever since. He’s managed Balvanz North, Balvanz South, Grouse, Nelson, Opal and now helps oversee Marton/Hunt, Iowa Select Farms’ largest GDU with a capacity of 8,000 gilts.
“It’s somewhat ironic that I worked on Iowa Select Farms’ first GDU and now the largest,” said Darian. “It’s been a really fun journey and I’m glad that I stuck along for the ride. I never could have imagined we’d be where we are today.”
For Darian, some of the biggest changes at work in the past 25 have been barn technologies.
“We’ve gone from raising gilts in old finisher farms with curtains to highly advanced, filtered farms where biosecurity is the top priority,” he said. “The new barns have allowed us to produce more and set higher goals. I’ve really enjoyed working at a company that’s not afraid to take risks to be better for their animals and employees.”
When he’s not working, Darian enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelly, and their four kids Brittany, Breanna, Bethany and Brayden.
“I take a lot of pride working for a company that has stayed strong in the communities where I grew up and now get to raise my kids,” said Darian, who also lived in Jewell and Algona as a high schooler. “When I started we only had three sow farms and to be where we are now, Iowa’s largest pork producer, is incredible. It’s hard to not be proud to have played a part in that.”
Congratulations on 25 years, Darian. We appreciate all that you’ve done and continue to do!