Congratulations to Dave Asmus for celebrating 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!

posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Congratulations to Dave Asmus for celebrating 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!

Dave Asmus

A native of Audubon, Iowa, it seems that pig farming has been a part of Dave’s life for as long as he can remember.

“As a ten-year-old I started raising pigs for some cash flow,” he chuckled. “My family had a diversified farming operation with row crops and registered Hereford cattle. Farming and agriculture are all I’ve ever known.”

After high school, Dave made the trip up to Ames to pursue a degree in Ag Mechanization at Iowa State University. Upon graduation in 1982, the farm economy was showing signs of weakness, but he landed a job working for a farmer outside of Ellsworth.

“The initial plan was to get a job in construction, but not many people, if any, were building new barns,” he recalled. “The growth of the industry was pretty stagnant, but I knew agriculture was still where I needed and wanted to be.”

A few years later, Dave found himself managing a farrow-to-finish operation and he’s been in the industry ever since. He joined the Iowa Select Farms team in 1999. “I really enjoyed working with livestock and knew if I wanted to continue that, I needed to find a job somewhere that was growing,” he said. “It seemed liked Iowa Select Farms was going to be in it for the long haul.”

Initially, Dave managed a 10-barn finishing farm, but after 15 months, he transferred to the research farm near Ellsworth. During his eight years there, he worked as a technician, assistant manager and then manager. Then, it was onto the nursery side of things where he worked for ten years and most recently, transferred to the finishing side of things.

In his current role as a wean-to-finish site manager, Dave oversees the daily farm and pig care at multiple farms. He rotates weekend responsibilities with Greg Tolzmann and Ron Allen.

“Greg and Ron have also been in the industry a long time and I think we could all agree there’s been some huge changes over the years, all for the better,” he said. “We have a much better handle on diseases that can devastate a herd, like PRRS.”

Dave recalls that pseudorabies used to be a huge issue due to a lack of reliable vaccines. “It seems today as an industry we do everything better. From health management strategies to how we feed and monitor the herd, everything continues to improve. That’s what I love about this job—we’re always looking for ways to get better.”

Outside of work, Dave enjoys spending time with his wife, Linda, and their six children, ranging in age from 23 to 38. His son, Richard, also works for Iowa Select Farms as a nursery animal caretaker.

“It’s crazy to look back on twenty years and really grasp how fast it’s gone,” he said. “If I had any advice for my younger self it would be to invest—in your passions, your family and your career. Find something that challenges you and work to get better every single day.”