Congratulations to Kevin Winker for Celebrating 20 Years With Iowa Select Farms!
Congratulations to Kevin Winker for celebrating 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!
If you’ve worked with the Iowa Select Farms’ grow-finish team, Kevin’s last name should sound very familiar—he’s one of five Winkers that work for us in the region. Together, Kevin, Rodney, Rex, Jake and Lisa have worked at Iowa Select Farms for 80 combined years.
“I initially worked part-time for my Uncle Rodney, who managed 4 finishing farms at the time,” recalled Kevin. “I did that for about a year and a half before coming on full-time. I really enjoyed the work and it seemed like a good opportunity.”
Since joining the Iowa Select Farms’ team 20 years ago, Kevin has worked in several farms; however, all have been finishers. Currently, he oversees the daily care and upkeep at three farms—Kendrick, Colonial and Ralston. His brother, Rex, who manages two farms, helps with treatments and they rotate weekend chores.
“I just can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Do I really look that old?” chuckled Kevin. “I guess when you enjoy what you do, time flies.”
For the last 20 years, Kevin has had a front seat to the ever-changing, ever-improving hog industry.
“We’ve gone from paper records and fax machines to computers, which I’m still trying to figure out,” he joked. “Maybe they’ll finally start to work for me in the next 20 years.”
In addition to implementing new technologies, Kevin says one of the biggest changes has to be the number of hogs the company markets.
“It’s rewarding to know I play a role in the company’s continued success,” said Kevin. “When you get a group of sick pigs and work hard to treat them and keep death loss down, you know you must be doing something right. And that’s a good feeling.”
As the manager of three farms, Kevin loves the daily challenge his job provides, working with animals and the flexibility of being your own boss.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a great supervisor and support system,” explained Kevin, whose cousin Jake also happens to be his maintenance guy. “But if you’re doing your job right and keeping yourself accountable, things can stay pretty quiet around here.”
But if you know Kevin, he’s anything but quiet.
“Kevin has to be one of the nicest guys around,” said finishing supervisor Jeff King. “Whether he’s cracking a joke or telling some crazy story, he’s always making people laugh. It’s fun to work with guys like him.”
When he’s not at work, Kevin keeps busy traveling to local and national stock car races to help friends with their cars. While they’re no NASCAR pit crew, Kevin said they changed four tires in under five minutes with one jack—and you thought managing three farms was impressive.
As busy as he stays, Kevin says his favorite thing to do is spend time with his son, Hunter. Ironically, the two love to hunt, fish and trap together.
“I’ve really appreciated the flexibility this job provides when it comes to setting time aside for family and friends,” said Kevin. “Whether it’s coming in early in the summer to get your chores done or picking up a weekend for someone, everyone is understanding and we all help each other out.”
Congratulations, Kevin! Thank you for 20 years of dedication to Iowa Select Farms.