Congratulations to Randy Abell for celebrating 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!

posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019

Congratulations to Randy Abell for celebrating 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!

Back in 1999, Randy heard about a company that was looking for people with livestock experience at a place called, “The Ponderosa” where five sow farms were being built. Since he practically grew up sorting pigs at his Dad’s sale barn in Sigourney, Randy knew he would be a good fit for the job.

“The big draw at the time was you’d be done by Noon which left plenty of time to do chores at home,” recalled Randy. “It was fun, but I remember I spent more time getting lost in the barns than I’d like to admit.”

That company, of course, was Iowa Select Farms and since making the decision to join our team, he hasn’t looked back.

Throughout the past 20 years, Randy has worked at sow farms, managed multiple GDUs at once and developed leaders for the system.

Today, he manages Cooper#1 and Cooper#2 multiplication growers. In his role, he provides quality gilts for nearby GDUs and ultimately, sow farms. And although his biosecurity and animal well-being assessments and production numbers are great, it’s his personal accomplishments as a farm manager that he’s most proud of.

“When the boys win, it’s just as good as me winning, maybe ever better,” he said.

Randy is talking about his sons—Tysen and Brody.

Tysen is the senior multiplication supervisor (that’s right—Randy’s boss!) and Brody is a fellow GDU manager at Roger North and Roger South. Brody’s team recently received the first place ranking for Q1 of SelectPride.

“Both Ty and Brody started under me and then went beyond me,” said Randy. “As a parent, that’s what you hope for. You want your kids do better and more than you. My boys are doing that and it makes me really proud.”

When he’s not a work, Randy enjoys spending time with his family, farming, tending to his small cow/calf herd and helping Tysen with his flock of sheep. His wife, Donna, also works for Iowa Select Farms at the Afton Warehouse and future daughter-in-law, Courtney, is a gilt selection specialist.

“They say Iowa Select Farms is an all-Iowa company, well, we’re an all-Iowa Select Farms family,” joked Randy. “We’d be lost without this company—truly! We’d all be out a good job.”

After 20 years, Randy says his favorite thing about working for Iowa Select Farms is the people and flexibility the job offers.

“It’s a good company,” he said. “From Adventureland and the State Fair to free pork loins and everything else, it adds up. They treat you right.”

Randy will always remember fellow employees giving up their vacation time for him when Donna was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma—ensuring that he could continue to work while driving 360-miles round trip to Omaha multiple times a week for Donna’s treatment.

“It really meant a lot to me and still does to this day,” said Randy. “If that doesn’t show what kind of company we are, then I don’t know what does. I’m grateful to have built a career here and now watch my boys do the same.”

Congratulations, Randy! Thank you for 20 years of dedication to Iowa Select Farms.